The Dilemma

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Jun 2020

Member Reviews

The Dilemma is that I really wanted love this book as much as I loved the previous 3 books written by B,A. Paris.  The Dilemma is a thriller but more of an emotional thriller brought on by Adam and Livia keeping important , life altering secrets from each other in order to protect the other.  The message is that couples need to keep the lines of communication open no matter what!  I don't want to delve into the plot....the summary can be read on any website.  I did find the ending well worth the torture of "The Dilemma" . All in all, I enjoyed The Dilemma and had trouble putting it down.  I hope that Ms. Paris continues to write as each of her books are gems
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I wasn't sure what the point of this Adam and Livia's story was but as I read I figured out the "dilemma" was different for each of them. Should they tell their spouse something that would impact their lives in an irreversible way? Should they prolong the inevitable? The dilemma they each face has the potential to tear their family apart so the reader either sympathizes with them or berates them for being cowardly and indecisive! 
I had mixed feelings about each character but I felt that there was a satisfying ending even though there wasn't the typical "twist" that this author is known for.
I look forward to reading more books by this author.
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Thank you St Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the chance to read this beautiful book.  This is an extremely emotional book and you will want a few tissues on hand to read it.  Adam and Livia are preparing for her elaborate 40th Birthday Party, the one that Livia hopes will make up for the lack of a big wedding.   They married at a young age when Livia became pregnant with their son Josh.  Livia’s parents disowned her and never spoke to her again.   After a rocky start their marriage has become strong and they are happy and share everything with each other.  Adam has arranged for their daughter to fly home and surprise her mother for her birthday.  What he doesn’t know is that Livia has a secret she hasn’t shared with him.  What follows is 24 hours of turmoil and pain while each person tries to keep their secret to save the other pain. The characters are well developed and I liked them all. The author blends the storyline nicely, going from one person to the other while slowly introducing more  information to the reader.  One can’t help but feel the pain that Adam is going through while he tries to stumble through the party.  I didn’t like Livia when Adam told her the tragic news but she came around and acted loving again.  The emotions were raw and real.  It is a great book showing how far people will go to protect the ones they love and how one omission can change so much.
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Thank you so net galley for the ARC of this book! I have absolutely loved all of B. A. Paris' books especially Behind Closed doors! But this one lacked suspense/thriller type I was looking for.  Being that the book dragged throughout 1 whole day made it tough.  I didn't see such a huge dilemma, just talk to your spouse!   Yes, it was heartbreaking and gut wrenching at the end but I was expecting a big twist and really more to it.  I'm hoping the next book will be more of a thriller like the past books.
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This was quite a different book from B.A. Paris's usual thriller, and this was particularly confusing as it was marketed as a thriller, which I found a massive mislabeling of genres. It just isn't. It's maybe women's fiction/family drama, all of which is centered around one main dilemma.

For me, it fell flat and I had a hard time connecting to it. It's basically one of those books where you spend the whole book waiting for the answer to one simple question, which you're pretty sure you know anyways, and at the end realize you could've just skipped to the end to find out the answer. I did read throughout to make sure I didn't miss anything, but there were just pages and pages where absolutely nothing happened.

The entire premise of the book, the dilemma, I found not remotely plausible. Who wouldn't tell their spouse that their child is potentially dead? I couldn't even get behind it, it was so unbelievable. Readers should know this is a slow-burning drama rather than a thriller, as the marketing and packaging suggests.

Thank you to netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I normally really like B A Paris’ books, but this one fell a little flat. Livia and Adam seem to have a great life, 2 great kids, lots of friends and a strong relationship. Livia is turning 40 and planning a huge party. The only damper she’s feeling is a secret she’s keeping about her 19 year old daughter. It turns out that Adam is keeping an even bigger secret, one that will shatter their lives forever. 
Honestly, the secret that Adam kept from Livia on the night of her party is unfathomable. No parent would be able to keep a secret such as the one he’s hiding for even a few minutes, much less an entire day and night. 
All in all, it was a decent book. Not my favorite by Paris, but it kept me turning the pages.
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A suspenseful, yet heartbreaking story from B.A. Paris. I could not put this book down once I started, but it read more like a very long, short story. The entire novel takes place in one night, so there was no character development, nor changing settings.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for this ARC!
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview THE DILEMMA by BA Paris.  I have read all of Paris' books - this one is a stunner.  The novel centers on a family and the two voices are Livia and Adam (the mother and father).  They live a comfortable life, been married for 20 years, have two grown children, love each other; but each struggles with the past.  Adam and Livia were married because they were having a baby.  Livia's family disowned her so they never had the wedding that Livia so wanted.  But time has past and Livia is throwing herself a 40th birthday party and this is going to be a celebration to remember.  Their children Josh and Marnie, are two great kids.  Adam dotes especially on Marnie who is studying in Hong Kong.  Marnie wants to surprise Livia and show up at the party and she must take three planes to get back home.  Adam is the only one who knows she is coming - and he is so excited to see Marnie too.
But Adam and Livia have secrets - things they have held onto - and they are about Marnie.  And the day of the party there is a plane crash and it is the one Marnie "may" be on.  But the secrets and the thoughts keep Adam and Livia on edge but the "show must go on".  Either way, their lives will not be the same.
This book kept me on edge - the chapters go between Livia and Adam.  My only criticism if there is maybe too much dialog and information that isn't necessary to the plot, but I must say the emotionally this book tore at my heart.  Realistic and dramatic.  I have to give this book 5 stars - This novel is going to be a best seller all day long.  Recommend!
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Well written with good character development for all involved. Interesting and definitely different plot and breakdown flowing between all those main people involved evolving chapter to chapter. Typical twists and turns of a Paris novel. I was kept guessing and in anticipation until the end.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to preview this ARC of The Dilemma by B.A. Paris.

Unfortunately this is a DNF for me, I made it about 20% of the way.  I will tell you why I can't stomach continuing.

This is a family drama centered around a 40th birthday party and a family secret.  I never discovered what the secret was, but I never got to a point where I cared.

To begin with, FIRST WORLD PROBS.  Omg, I've been planning my 40th bday party for twenty years because my stupid parents didn't give me the magical wedding that I wanted.  I get it, that sucks, but seriously, I have a hard time believing that a grown woman would make that big of deal over her own party.  

Also, the strained relationship of the father and son because the dad wasn't around for the early years.  Again, that's tough, but dude, you're twenty!  And your dad has clearly spent years making amends, stop making jabs like it happened yesterday.

Overall, it was all just silly.  The details became too weighty and the characters all felt like adult children.  I just can't invest any more time.
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This was very different from what I have come to expect from B.A. Paris, and I loved it.  Hard to give too many details without spoiling the story.  Livid and Adam are married, with two children.  Throughout the story, we learn everyone has a secret, some more devastating than others.
You are kept guessing to the end, and hoping for a different outcome. Beautifully written!
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I had a hard time connecting to this one. I didn't love either main character and there were some points to the plot that I had a hard time understanding. Planning that long for a 40th birthday party makes no sense. You don't care about your 40th birthday in your 20s! And why did Adam not do any of the obvious ways to find out if Marnie was on the plane? And seriously, I can't believe thats a dilemma to not ruin a party for. And Adam's dislike of his son was bizarre. My parents had me when they were 19 unexpectedly and I can't imagine them holding that against me. I've really loved previous books from Paris, this one just was a confusing one for me.
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A big thank you to NetGally and St. Martin's Press for the ARC! I was so excited to get my hands on The Dilemma. B.A. Paris has an absolutely wonderful writing style! It's fluid and captures your interest instantly. I am a huge fan of her other works, Behind Closed Doors especially! Unfortunately for me The Dilemma fell short. While I appreciated how the book alternated the points of view between Adam and Livia- both characters were beyond irritating and seemly immature. The real Dilemma in the book is the lack of communication between Adam and Livia. Both are hiding life altering secrets from each other, for what seems like no other reason than to enjoy a birthday party??? WHO WOULD NOT IMMEDIATELY TELL THEIR SPOUSE THAT THEIR CHILD IS POTENTIALLY DEAD? What grown adult is so self absorbed that the only important thing in their life is their own, other the top extravagant birthday party?! My other issue with this book is that the plot falls extremely flat. The whole book essentially takes place over 1 day and so many details described in the book are redundant and/or irrelevant. Realistically, the whole book could be written in less than 100 pages to get the same point across.  I only finished this book with the hopes that by the end something would redeem it, but it did not! I would not recommend this book.
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You'll spend the whole book waiting for the answer to one simple question, then, when you have the answer, you'll argue with yourself about whether you knew the truth all along or if you wanted things to turn out differently. I wonder what my desire for one outcome or the other says about me, and, on the whole, think this book was an interesting psychological experience.
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I was pleasantly surprised by this newest novel by B.A. Paris.  So far, my experience with this author has been with page turning psychological thrillers that leave me feeling just a little scared (as a self-proclaimed chicken!)  When I accepted this advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review, I was expecting just that in "The Dilemma."  The story takes place during the course of one day and night, and much of the information is gained from the two main characters inner monologues, as well as reflections of memories and events from the past.  This helped me to feel immediately that I knew both characters even without knowing all of the specifics of circumstances they referred to.  I loved how I went through moments of disliking, relating to, and also feeling for both as more of the story unfolded and the person's perspective put actions into context.  While this certainly had me engrossed and rushing to see what would happen next--both in the present day happenings and to have answers to more of why the past had colored emotions in the present--this page turner appealed to me as a wife and daughter, as well as a therapist as the layers of family dynamics were peeled back, and flawed characters revealed themselves in a way that left me feeling empathy, for ALMOST every single one.  While there were certainly very sad moments, ones that I found myself not wanting to fully immerse myself in because of how surprisingly connected to the characters and their emotions I felt almost right away--the story felt realistic and satisfying in the way that it ended.  Messy, raw, real, but working hard to accept the circumstances and do their best with where they are left at the end---just like all of us do ideally in real life. 

While I think expecting something more along the lines of the first book of B.A. Paris' that I read, "Behind closed doors," sort of had me waiting to see what the disturbing twist would be about these characters I was starting to relate to (not that there are not disturbing twists--just not in the characters I was expecting!) it also became a twist in itself for me personally to find empathy (again, for most not all of the characters in this story!) and impressed me to see what feels like a great ability that feels like it crosses genres for this author.   

Thank you for gifting me with this copy--I feel so honored to have been able to read it in advance, and the opportunity to review this great read!
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Wow!
Read this in two quick sittings, I could not put it down! Another amazing reading from B.A. Paris.  Each chapter follows a married couple and follows either Olivia or Adams perspective.  The novel takes place around Olivia's 40th birthday party, the party/wedding she never had.  As the story unfolds, both Olivia and Adam are holding on to large secrets that the other does not know.  Each holding on to the secret to protect the other, but as we know the truth eventually unfolds in the most dramatic and heart wrenching way. So many twists and turns that will prevent you from putting the book down.

Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced copy!
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I liked this one, but I felt like the twists/turns were anticlimactic and they were not as intense as they could've been. I think the story itself was cool, but there were lots of missed opportunities for suspense.
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Thanks to Net Galley for the digital arc.  I loved this book.  It kept me glued to the pages and I finished it in five hours.  Loved the storyline, the characters not so much...  Hope you enjoy this book.  It gets a 5 star from me.  I have read all of B.A. Paris books.
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I love all B.A. Paris's books but this was my least favorite. You know whats happening or going to happen basically the whole time and at the end it's just confirmed, which anyone in their right mine would know.
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I thoroughly enjoy BA Paris’s writing style and plot pacing. This particular one fell flat to me. It read less like a psychological thriller and more like domestic fiction. I couldn’t relate to the MC at all. Having recently turned 40 myself, the obsession with the perfect birthday party that Livia has been planning for 20 years read as a really sad and selfish version of ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen’. I am sure other readers will be able to relate better; this one was just not for me.
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