Today I have a review of the recent release Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda!
Publication Date: September 2017
Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.
But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?
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I get the sense that this book will either be a major hit with some or an absolute miss with others!
The story is told entirely from Paul’s perspective in a very conversational manner. He talks to you like an old friend, but what you begin to learn about him makes for an uncomfortable relationship and a completely dissonant experience. You would never want to be such good friends with someone like this, but he keeps bringing you in closer and closer. It’s incredibly creepy, but oddly entertaining. Paul is definitely one of those characters that you’ll hate to love. He’s so over the top and campy that you can’t help but want to watch this train wreck of a guy fly off the rails! I was such a fan of how even within his own narrative he would let slip a few details that gave you just enough of the truth to know that whatever story he was trying to sell existed only his unstable mind.
As you follow the Stroms over the course of 24 hours, you become privy to all the lies, deceptions, and betrayals that this couple has experienced with one another as Paul attempts to give his wife the “best day ever.” While that may be what he is trying to do, you know from very early on that it just isn’t going to work out that way.
This is such an addictive and fast-paced read that I was able to finish it within a few sittings. Paul’s unreliable narration sucks you in from the very beginning, but as Mia’s voice begins to add more complex and shocking layers, the story becomes compulsively readable and hard to put down! This is a great character study that derives its tension from the interactions between characters and their inner thoughts. Ultimately, I would have liked to see a wholly different ending given how the shocks continued to ratchet up, but even Paul learns that we don’t always get what we want.
I hear the audio book version is quite good, so this might be something to consider on your next road trip, as Paul includes his “perfect” playlist to go right along on your drive.
I can’t wait to check out the author’s other works while I wait for her next book!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Her previous novels include The Goodbye Year, All the Difference, Here, Home, Hope, and In the Mirror.
She lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel.