Cover Image: Bye, Baby

Bye, Baby

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Member Reviews

Bye, Baby is an exciting, heartfelt thriller that tells the story of Cassie and Billie. Cassie and Billie grew up together and have shared a daunting past, a combative present and a sad future. Cassie has nicknamed Billie "Baby" after the character in their favorite movie, Dirty Dancing, and the title of the book can mean many things. An influencer, Cassie has married up and now have a four month old daughter. She has forgotten her past with Billie and when her daughter goes missing, Cassie wants her oldest and dearest friend. She doesn't realize that Billie is the one that took her daughter. Bye Baby can be the end of their friendship or the disappearance of Cassie's daughter.

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Why are female friendships so complicated? Billie and Cassie were best friends growing up, and now, they could not have grown more further apart. The relationships are interesting and drawn out well. I've been Billie, so I could empathize somewhat with her confusion and grief, but the obsession with Cassie was tending towards creepy. In the age of social media, I guess that is expected. Overall, it's a great book!

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the arc.

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Bye, Baby is part mystery, part fiction with a focus on a lifelong friendship between Billie and Cassie, now in their mid-30s. Billie is content with her travel job, friendships, and single life. Cassie is a boutique owner/influencer who appears to be happily married with a baby daughter. They have been friends for about 25 years, but have drifted apart, largely due to Cassie's unyielding desire to social climb. Billie clings onto their friendship to an almost obsessive level. When the novel opens, Cassie's daughter has gone missing. Their dual perspectives eventually lead up to what has happened. There is some mystery regarding her daughter's kidnapping, but it leads to the deepening of their friendship and rumination on how they've both changed. Cassie's character often drove me a little batty. She's so consumed by marrying rich and appearing to have it all. I liked Billie, but she frustrated me with her reliance on Cassie and unwillingness to accept that things have changed. Overall, it kept me interested and I flew through the audiobook in a few days. The audiobook, which was perfectly narrated by Helen Laser and Karissa Vacker for each character's perspective.

Thank you NetGalley and the publishers for providing this ebook and audiobook ARC. All thoughts are my own.

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Thank you St. Martin’s Press for my #gifted copy of Bye, Baby!

𝐓𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞: 𝐁𝐲𝐞, 𝐁𝐚𝐛𝐲
𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫: 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐚 𝐋𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠
𝐏𝐮𝐛 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: 𝐌𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐡 𝟓, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟒

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was so addicting and I loved it SO much! I was honestly hooked from the first chapter and found the format to be so engaging and thought it flowed so well. I went into this book blind, so I really had no idea what it was about or even the genre. I was so surprised with how much I loved this book and highly recommend it for anyone who is hoping to read a suspenseful story about friendship, childhood, and secrets.

Cassie and Billie were best friends growing up, and were always inseparable. Now, as adults, the two have grown apart, but Billie is desperate to have her friend back in her life. Cassie, who is married, a social media influencer, and a new mother, lives a completely different lifestyle from Billie. One night in a NYC apartment, Billie hears a baby crying and quickly realizes it’s Cassie’s baby in the apartment above where she is, and there’s a party going on that Billie was not invited to. Billie climbs the fire escape to grab the baby and bring her back to the apartment to soothe her. It’s not long before Billie hears Cassie and the chaos from above as everyone searches for he missing baby. Billie will do anything to get her friend back, including hiding the truth about what happened the night the baby was taken. Full of secrets, childhood trauma, and evolving friendships, we learn about Cassie and Billie through alternating timelines and dual POVs in this suspenseful work of literary fiction.

💔Dual Timeslines and POV
💔Character Driven
💔Suspense
💔Childhood Friends
💔Social Media Influencer
💔Lots of Secrets

Posted on Goodreads on March 1, 2024: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/144922955?ref=nav_profile_l
**Posted on Instagram - Full Review- on or around March 5, 2024: http://www.instagram.com/nobookmark_noproblem
**Posted on Amazon on March 5, 2024
**-will post on designated date

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Thanks to St. Martin Press for the early review copy!!

Love the set up of living in NYC so close to your "best friend!" But, that's about where the warm feelings end in this book.

I loved the alternating viewpoints and the multiple mysteries unraveling at once. This is a very difficult book to summarize without spoiling, but it involves a missing baby, an unraveling friendship, and a shared traumatic past. A terrific addition to an exciting month in publishing!!

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Billie and Cassie have been friends for 23 years, but as they have grown up they have also grown apart. Bye, Baby follows their toxic and dramatic friendship with alternating POVs and timelines. A secret from their past has kept them together all these years, but will a secret of their present tear them apart?

Review:
First, I think it is important to understand the type of book this is. Going in, I assumed it was a thriller/mystery, but it is more toxic friendship drama with a little suspense sprinkled in. I love a good drama, so I was not disappointed by this at all. I know that some people don't like books that talk about social media, but I enjoy it. I loved that Cassie was an influencer and spoke about it often. I absolutely loved the writing; it was easy to read and kept me invested in the story line. Bye, Baby is very character driven and there were moments that I loved the characters and moments that I despised them, which I think is the whole point. I feel like I have a great grasp on who Billie and Cassie are after reading the book. I felt sorry for Billie a lot; Cassie was a HORRIBLE friend, BUT Billie didn't help her cause at all. I mean who takes their friend's baby!!!! How traumatizing! Overall, I really enjoyed the storyline of how not all friendships are meant to last, sometimes they are only needed for a certain season of your life.
Rating:
3.5 stars
Thank you NetGalley, Carola Lovering, and St. Martin's Press for this ARC of Bye, Baby in exchange for an honest review! Bye, Baby is out on March 5th, be sure to grab your copy!

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I am not sure that I would call this a mystery or thriller - but still enjoyable to read. The book follows two women, who alternate telling the story from their perspective. Friends since childhood, the book follows their toxic and unhealthy relationship through adulthood. They make terrible mistakes that impact their relationship forever - and it is not until the end of the story that we learn why their toxic friendship lasts so long. I did not realy like either of them, was frustrated by their actions, their behaviors and their personalities. Their interactions made me want to scream. Opposites connected by a past that they can't let go of. All that being said, I could not look away from the disaster that they both were. I wanted to know more about them as individuals and as friends. I listed and read this and both versions were enjoyable.

Thank you netgalley for my advanced reader (and audio!) copy.

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Bye, Baby was a propulsive read, which I finished in only two days. However, I was under the impression that this book was supposed to be a thriller, and it is certainly not one. There were mystery and suspenseful elements, but it was more of a friendship drama. Particularly a dark drama about the tail end of a friendship that's run its course and is only tethered by a nefarious secret.

The majority of the suspense came from me waiting for the other shoe to drop as I was expecting a twist to eventually materialize. However, none of this took away from the story's binge worthiness, which also had the short chapters I prefer.

Now for my gripe. I appreciate when white authors make the effort to be inclusive, but as a POC Latino woman, I'm really tired of the only time I see a Latina/o/e in a book, they're relegated to the role of "the help." In this case, it was a nanny/housekeeper who spoke very little English 🙄. Believe it or not, we do work in other professions, and I would prefer not to see any representation than one that plays into tired stereotypes. This is why sensitivity readers are useful.

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Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
"Bye, Baby" was a great twisty tale from Carola Lovering.
There's themes of sexual abuse, friendship & loss.
The story is told from alternating point of views.
I would definitely read another book by Ms. Lovering.

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\4.25 star

Pub Date: March 5th

This novel was a WILD F-ING RIDE. Ok so, most of the characters in this book are unhinged in some way or another. We have our main character, Billie, who is weirdly obsessed with her lifelong best friend, Cassie, who has been a not-so-best friend as of late. Ignoring her texts, bailing on their plans, the works. Now Cassie, she wants to be an influencer and has almost 50k followers on instagram so she’s doing pretty well for herself. She also married into a super rich family.

That’s the backstory. Soooooo, Cassie had a baby which is making her even more unavailable to Billie because Cassie wants to hang out with other mom friends. Valid, right? Well Billie is pissed and sad.

Then one night, Cassie’s daughter goes missing for almost 12 hours then just randomly shows up left outside their front door. This is not a spoiler because it’s in the synopsis, but you will NOT believe who took her

It’s told in dual POV as well as a dual timeline. I loved this, it kept me so engaged and I was extremely invested in every aspect of it. There were a few slow parts or some parts that I felt didn’t need to be a part of the story.

I’d highly recommend this one if you like Lucy Foley!

Thank you to St. Martins Press for my copy!

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I had such high expectations for Bye, Baby. Perhaps due to the synopsis and the unmitigated potential for dark behaviors and evil motivations, I anticipated intrigue and dread rising from the pages. While there was some foreboding, it wasn’t exactly in the vein of a thriller—or even suspense. Instead, the book felt decidedly like a domestic drama with a teeny, tiny possibility for an unexpected villain.

The storyline itself was a long, slow burn right from the start. Well, after the prologue that actually contained the most thrilling piece to this incredibly uncomplicated, straightforward plot. With nary a twist or even any well-hidden subterfuge, what unfurled lacked any real surprises. Don’t get me wrong, the dual POVs and dual timelines provided deep backstories for the two central characters, but somehow that just wasn’t enough.

Speaking of the characters, I found that I couldn’t connect with either Billie or Cassie. The former actually irked me quite a bit with her dogged devotion to a friend who didn’t deserve it. As for Cassie, she felt decidedly shallow, both in terms of characterization and persona. And despite Billie being relatively well fleshed out, she still didn’t seem to ring true.

In the end, I did enjoy the exploration of female friendships and motherhood, especially given the toxicity that flowed between these two former friends. A character-driven plot through and through, this was no thriller or tale of suspense. At the same time, I was thoroughly engrossed by Billie and Carrie’s relationship which realistically demonstrated how tension can arise when people change. Even that, however, didn’t entirely rescue this novel for me, so I’m left giving this one a somewhat ambivalent thumbs up. Rating of 3 stars (just).

Thank you to Carola Lovering, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

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3.5/4 stars

my first Carola Lovering read but definitely not my last!

feels reminiscent of other stories I’ve read in domestic thrillers, childhood friendships growing into adulthood, and mystery thrillers. familiar but in a fresh enticing new way, I couldn’t stop listening to this audiobook to figure it out

maybe the ride was so wild the destination fell short me? the ending left much to be desired but I enjoyed the majority of the read.

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There’s something I love in books about women behaving badly and that was definitely the case in this one. Childhood best friends have lost their connection. Billie doesn’t see much of Cassie in person but she sees her multiple times a day on Instagram loading her mommy and lifestyle content. They are slowly reconnecting but it’s hard. Cassie is focused on her affluent life, her husband and above all her daughter. Until one day her daughter goes missing. I don’t want to say too much but I couldn’t stop listening to this one!

Huge thank you to @macmillan.audio and @netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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WOW!!! What an amazing read that kept me turning the pages very late into the night.

What would you do to keep a childhood friendship going? How do you live with secrets that you are keeping.

Cassie and Billie are childhood friends that grow up together and share everything. After Cassie meets the man of her dreams their friendship cools off and Billie feels lost. Cassie has made a new set of friends and lives her life in the public eye as an Instagram influencer. When a horrible scare reconnects their bond the secrets and lies being kept threaten to ruin everything.

This book was amazing! 5 huge stars!!! Thank you Netgalley and St Martins Press for the chance to read and review this book!

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Carola Lovering has been an auto-buy author for me for a while now and this one takes the spot as my favorite!

There is something about the way Lovering writes a thriller, especially how she gets deep down into the perspectives of each person. It's raw and real and you really feel a connection with each character even if they may be unreliable and the "villain". And it makes you ask, who is the villain here?

Bye, Baby is a thrilling story about the complexities of best friends who really are toxic to each other, and the unspoken trauma between them. I loved the back and forth POV's between Cassie & Billie in the present, and the early 2000's.

Everything meshed really well together and I read the entirety of this book in one sitting, yes it's that good!

This is a must read!

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this is my second Carola Lovering book and it was nothing short of what i thought it’d be like! it gave drama and trauma. i really enjoyed the 2 different povs plus the bonus added timeline of how it was growing up together. i’m glad billie came to the realization that cassie only thought about herself her whole life and nothing cassie did was because she loved billie, but billie should’ve never taken the baby especially because she has no maternal instinct so why did she think she could help??? cassie was insufferable and was chasing something she isn’t her whole life. the baby being taken should’ve been a wake up call, but she went right back to what she was doing. i liked this book a lot!!

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I was hooked from the beginning… definitely some unlikeable characters but I love stories about Rich people behaving badly! Narration was great too… I truly couldn’t put this one down. A tiny bit far fetched at times but aren’t all popcorn thrillers? I loved this one! 4.5 stars

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This is a story told in two POV transpiring over two timelines of two friends, once like sisters but now estranged. Cassie is married with a baby and an IG influencer, thriving on her power from her many followers. Billie travels the world for her job to exotic locations, unmarried but dating, never ever wanting to be a mother. Childhood trauma binds them together yet as adults Cassie has ghosted Billie, who longs for the closeness they once had. But when Cassie’s baby goes missing, it is to Billie that she turns to, who laps up the immediate attention. Strange and haunting, this story will have you reading just to find out how it is all resolved. How well do you know your best friend? How far will you go for them when they need you? Cassie and Billie have an unusual relationship that I’m not even sure they understand. A solid read, this book was hard to read at times (spoiler - sexual abuse content), but a good read all the same. Many thanks to #netgalley, #byebaby, for the opportunity to read and review this book. 3.5 rounded to 4.

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Cassie and Billie, once inseparable companions, have seen the bonds of their friendship slacken gradually in recent years, largely due to Cassie's evolving lifestyle. Cassie's marriage to a wealthy man and her pursuit of an influencer career have created a growing chasm between them, leaving Billie struggling to reconcile with the loss of their once-close connection.

The narrative begins with the poignant exclusion of Billie from Cassie's birthday celebration, a stark indicator of the fractured state of their relationship. In a desperate act, Billie resorts to the unthinkable, snatching Cassie's infant child. How did their friendship deteriorate to this extreme?

"Bye, Baby" delves into the intricate dynamics of their friendship's evolution. What factors led to their estrangement? Was it solely a buried secret from their adolescence that bound them together? With gripping storytelling, "Bye, Baby" captures the unraveling and reconfiguration of their bond, promising to captivate readers as they navigate the twists and turns of Cassie and Billie's friendship journey.

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Billie and Cassie used to be the best of friends, after a terrible incident during their teenage years tied them together forever. Now, their lives are very different, and the two women are drifting apart. Cassie is an influencer, who owns a high end clothing store and is married to a wealthy man, who she's recently had a baby with. Billie is unmarried, doesn't want children, and is very focused on her job with a high end travel agency. Billie still wants to continue the friendship, and is confused about why Cassie seems to be pushing her away. We follow this crumbling friendship to the night where Billie stands, in an apartment below Cassie's, holding Cassie's baby, while listening to Cassie scream for her missing child. How did a friendship that was once so close, ever come to this?

I absolutely LOVED this book! If you go into this looking for a twisty thriller, you won't find that here. This is more of a domestic suspense, with a few twists thrown in. The majority of this book, however, is focused on toxic female friendship, and what happens when you can't walk away from someone you love, even when you know they are bad for you. Anyone who has ever been in a toxic friendship will feel incredibly seen by this book, and will resonate with the feelings this book brought up. The characters were so well written, and so easy to love, and hate. I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen, and how things would end. I really loved this book, and highly recommend it.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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