Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda– 384 pages
ARC courtesy of Graydon House and Netgalley
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?
My Review: 3.5 stars
Best Day Ever is a domestic thriller that kept me up into the wee hours to finish it. I am new to this author’s work and was introduced to her at Book Expo this past May. Her last book, The Goodbye Year, was a fan favorite about that last year of high school as you prepare for an empty nest. Being a fairly new empty nester, I thought I’d definitely like this author and was excited to be given an ARC of her upcoming book to read and review. Now I’ve got to get the earlier one too.
Based on what her last book was about, I was not prepared for this one to be a thriller. I usually go into books with little or no information so this was a huge surprise, especially due to the title. I read no more than a two handfuls of thrillers per year. Why? First, there are so many out, I’d need a break from them. Two, they all start to blend together with similar plots and twists from one book to the next. Three, I’m a scaredy-cat.
This book had an unlikable, egotistical and unreliable narcissist as a main character. He was so easy to hate. But I did enjoy getting inside the head of a true narcissist, as it’s truly unimaginable to live like this. I get frustrated with this type of book because I wanted to slap his wife, many times, for being so dumb for so many years. So yes, I invested myself into the characters, but the storyline felt slightly predictable. The twists were foreseeable but still I was on the edge of my seat. Without giving a spoiler, I was hoping for a bigger smack down of an ending, however this worked for those who like a pretty conclusion.
I’ve seen some readers comment that Paul Strom is similar to Joe from YOU by Caroline Kepnes. I couldn’t disagree more. Paul is despicable, through and through while Joe does despicable things but it highly likable. I’ll definitely read her earlier book soon.