The Dilemma

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jun 2020

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed "The Dilemma" by B.A. Paris, though I have to say it wasn't what I was expecting.

Paris has become the go-to for thrillers and suspense, especially her last book "The Breakdown". "The Dilemma" is more domestic fiction, which is to say it's more intricately about the inner workings of a marriage and a family where the main concern is their reactions and insights rather than waiting for a "twist".

The book has its pacing down and is still worth a read for those who enjoy Paris' work or domestic fiction where the real drama is the family tension that could destroy everything until everything is revealed.
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I was so stoked to get an ARC of The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris - thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press!  Look for this one on June 30th.

This book centers around Livia and Adam who married at a young age.  To make up for the wedding reception she never had, Livia is putting everything she has into throwing herself a lavish 40th birthday party. She is determined that everything is going to be perfect, but she and her husband are both keeping secrets from each other, ones they're holding off revealing until the party is over. ⁣
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When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be one of her signature fast-paced thrillers, but it's actually more of a family drama, and I struggled some with shifting my expectations.  This was slower paced, and I found my attention waning at times.  On the other hand, I also found myself not wanting to put this book down because I HAD to get to that big reveal.  I also found this book to be an emotional read (have your tissues handy!), and the tension I experienced was palpable as I waited for the ball to drop.  The very fact that I felt these things so acutely is the mark of a great writer.  All in all, I had mixed and contradictory feelings on this one, but I think many readers will love it, so definitely be looking for it on June 30th.  I'm super excited to see what B.A. comes out with in the future. 
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I have read all of her books and this by far was a complete disappointment. #TheDilemma was slow and dragged on. I was secretly waiting for a twist, but sadly it never came. Behind Closed Doors drew you in and kept you wanting more. The Dilemma was very hard to sit down and actually read.
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I love this author!!!! But I was disappointed in this book. It was just way to slow moving for me and boring! I didn’t like any of the characters and just didn’t connect at all.
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I think Behind Closed Doors, Paris’ debut thriller was fabulous. I will be honest and say that none of her subsequent novels have been that amazing, but The Dilemma was a particular disappointment. I think she can build tension well, but the revelation of the “dilemmas” was a let down. I just don’t think real people would have acted like the characters in this book. It’s hard to get past.
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I’m such a fan of BA Paris and even though this book is more of a family drama than her past thrillers, I was HOOKED. 

The author has such a way of making you feel anxious and on the edge of you seat about what is to come. 

The Dilemma is about the secrets, twists and turns that come out (and are kept) during a 40th birthday party. 

There were times today where I read 50 pages in what felt like a blink of an eye- which speaks volumes of how captivating the story is. 

This story is told from two different perspectives, which I enjoyed and the setting is in England which provided a nice backdrop for the story. Although they really never leave the party. 

I understand that with it taking place in England and it’s an English author, there would be some differences reading it as an American, which I am used to. However the terms “revising” (which I took at studying) and “marquee” (which I took as a tent for a party) were used quite a bit and It did take a bit to figure out what we would call them in America. 

It did get difficult to keep track of the characters in the end, especially when they were all being listed out. I still don’t really know who Ian was and how he was related. 

If you’re looking for a fast pace drama that keeps you turning the pages- look no further!
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This is the third B.A. Paris book I've read, and while it wasn't what I expected, I enjoyed it. I like her writing style and was able to get right into the story from page one. It takes place within a 24-hour period, and revolves around a husband and wife (Adam and Livia) who are each keeping a secret from the other, on the day of her 40th birthday party. I liked the fact that it was written in alternating viewpoints from both Adam and Livia and I liked the themes of strong marriage, family and friendship. For the most part I found the characters to be likable. (However, I found it a little odd that an adult woman would put so much hope and planning into a birthday party for herself.) 

Once I got about two thirds of the way through I couldn't put it down. I did feel like it dragged on a little too long toward the end, as I was getting very stressed and found myself saying "Just tell her already!!!"  The author did a great job of portraying the conflicting thoughts and emotions that both Adam and Livia were feeling. Overall, I thought it was a thought-provoking and  emotional book, that tackles the question: How do we chose what is best for the ones we love?
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This one fell flat for me. I liked the idea of the entire story taking place in one night. I also liked how it alternated perspectives between husband and wife. But the characters were boring. I didn’t hate them, but i wasn’t rooting for them either. It boiled down to a bored wife who was too invested in her daughter’s personal life, and a husband with poor communication skills. That’s about it.
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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of The Dilemma by B.A. Paris. I have been a fan since I first read Behind Close Doors, Bring Me Back, and The Breakdown. As an author, Paris continues simply to get better and better at her craft. However, as a genre-typed author, her books are in a similar vein to Shari Lapena and Ruth Ware, except I think Paris’ books are a level up. The Dilemma is her best one yet. It follows a 40th birthday party for Livia, planned by her husband, Adam. Their daughter, Marnie is away at school and cannot come. As the story progresses, Livia finds out some information regarding Marnie, that if discovered by anyone else, will be tragic for their family. Marnie’s spot at school allows Livia to breathe a little easier until she figures out what to do. Meanwhile Adam, as part of the party surprise arranged for Marnie to be home. Adam ends up coming across some detrimental info of his own. So what now? How far do you go to protect someone you love? Go read this. You won’t be disappointed.
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Okay, I really don't know how I feel about this book. It was very readable, I read it within 24 hours, but I didn't have any characters I was really rooting for and was pretty annoyed by them most of the time (which I'm sure was the author's intent). I read 'Behind Closed Doors' by Paris and I assumed this one would be along the same genre, but I was wrong. This is more of a family drama, and a "what would you do?" book that makes you think. I liked the twists that were thrown at you over the course of the book, but was expecting a little more climactic at the end. 

Overall, I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, not sure I would recommend it. 

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This wasn’t my favorite. It was very long and dragged out. I did enjoy the time stamped alternating povs. I liked the way they aligned to continue the flow of the story without overlapping. After reading Behind Closed Doors, I was expecting a suspense/thriller. However, this book was not in that genre.
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A little slow in the beginning, but then, wow!  I enjoyed the development of each of the characters, and thought the book did a great job of showing the complexities that all families face.
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Another great book by B A Paris! I really enjoyed this one.   Thanks to  NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.
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Thank you Netgalley for an early copy from one of my favorite authors. I don't know how much I really enjoyed this book ,but I was so angry with the husband Adam through the entire book. His reasoning made no sense to me. Not my favorite B.A. PARIS read but still love her dearly.
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I received this as an ARC from NetGalley. I think I thought this was going to be a psychological thriller, but it ended up being a string of secrets kept between spouses. I enjoyed it, but was waiting for the big "aha" moment...which didn't happen. Everyone just figures it all out...no surprises. Overall the book was good. It just didn't deliver the punch I was hoping for.
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Oh what a dilemma!  Where to begin…

Something about this book makes it addictive.  It doesn’t make you feel good (because you sense something bad is going to happen), but you keep on reading.  The pace is a little slow with how it reveals the story which made me anxious and caused me to skim at times.  There were some good twists along the way (the FaceTime conversation and her mother’s appearance), but I was also frustrated with Adam’s character.  He and Livia’s communication was a like watching a train wreck in slow motion.  I’m not sure I know what to make of these characters but it was fascinating.

I love B.A. Paris’ writing, and look forward to her next book but am hoping it’s not a family drama.


Thank you to, NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Marissa Sangiacomo for providing me with an advance copy of this book to review.
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This novel is heartwrenching.   Livvy and Adam were teenage lovers who had a child together causing a rift with Livvy's parents.  They muddle through a few years and then stabilize and have a second child.   Their children are imperfect and the dilemma concerns a secret that each of the parents is keeping from the other and the reasons why.
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The Dilemma was definitely so hard for me to put down!!  A husband and wife with secrets do tell me more!! I was completely hooked! This book is different from the rest. As this one is more of a family drama than a psychological thriller. Still well written and enjoyable! 

Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for an advance copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the chance to read and review this book. I really enjoyed it! Livia has been planning her 40th Birthday for quite some time-it's the party she never had. Her husband, Adam, has planned a surprise for her. Unfortunately, it goes horribly wrong. Adam and Livia both have secrets concerning their daughter Marnie-who will tell their secret first and how will it change their lives? A good read with several twists and turns!
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Livia has been planning her big 40th birthday party since she could remember. The day is finally here and she is having second guesses and doubt that she should spend this amount on just her. Adam is trying to surprise her in the best way by splurging for their daughter to make it to the party from Hong Kong. But there’s word of catastrophic news. Both Adam and Livia are trying to hide a secret from the other. Both living in their own personal agony. As the night where’s on the conflicting emotions get worse. What would you do? Hold  in your secret and cause yourself pain so someone else can  experience a last bit of joy , or share it and get it off of your chest? I honestly had anxiety the whole time I was reading. Each character and the internal dilemma they were faced with left you wondering what will happen next? Can they continue to hide their secret? Who else knows about what they were hiding? The Dilemma was an easy read that had me not wanting to put the book down. Although the content wasn’t something would have considered a thriller it did keep me on my seat wanting to know how it was going to play out.
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