Title: Best Day Ever
Author: Kaira Rouda
Published: September 19, 2017
Obtained: Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: Paul and Mia Strom seem like the perfect couple. He is a successful businessman and she is a stay-at-home mother to their two beautiful sons. As they drive out to their second home, a lake house, for a weekend getaway, they both know it will be the best day ever. Unfortunately, just because it looks like everything is perfect doesn’t mean it is. How well do you know your spouse? What kinds of secrets are they hiding from you? What kind of person are they really? We can never be too sure.
Just to be clear, this book can be a bit disturbing for some readers. It has a lot of uncomfortable circumstances that could turn people away. I just want to warn future readers without giving any spoilers! That being said, onto my review!
First things first, I did predict some of the instances in Best Day Ever
. It was clearly going in a certain direction, and I did pick up on those subtle signs. Although that can be disappointing for most, I didn’t suspect the complete conclusion of the novel. I was very surprised by the actions of certain characters and thoroughly enjoyed the satisfying ending.
Paul Strom is too perfect for me, and so is his wife. The novel is written in Paul’s perspective over a 24 hour period, which made for an interesting point of view. I don’t want to give too much away, but just know it really made me question my own relationship, although there’s no obvious reason to. People can be hiding the most insane things from you and you would never know it in the end. I think that’s what made me the most uncomfortable from reading Best Day Ever.
The cover through me for a loop. I didn’t understand why it was chosen, but once I finished the book that made perfect sense, and the entire theme of the best day ever came full circle for all the characters.
What I Didn’t Like
Now, this is just me being nitpicky, but I couldn’t help but bring it up. It doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of writing, but one of the characters gets away with some serious crimes. There is evidence to prove what this character has done, but no one decides to press charges. Therefore, a dangerous criminal is still loose after the conclusion of the novel.
I’m a huge fan of Law & Order: SVU, so it goes without saying that taking a dangerous criminal off the street is very important in my opinion. I do understand the reasons for steering clear of pressing charges, but this dangerous character is allowed to go on ruining other people’s lives, despite the severity of his crimes. Like I said, nothing to do with the quality of the novel. Just me being picky!
Just A Few Things To Add
I noticed throughout the book that the concept of time was really played out a lot. Each chapter starts with the time within the one day, but as we see Paul going through his day, he’s always checking the time and making comments about it. He was obviously excited for something (if you want to know, READ IT!) and his excitement is so palpable I can feel it through the pages.
The last cool thing I noticed was Paul’s choice in music. He has very specific tastes, and for the drive to their lake house for the best day ever, he has curated a playlist of his wife’s favorite music. Throughout the novel we read bits and pieces of his playlist, and at the end, Rouda included the music on that playlist for the reader. I LOVE this! Music plays an important part in my own life, so getting to see this playlist helps get me into Nate’s frame of mind. I sort of wish it was listed in the beginning so I could play it as I read a bit. That would have added a nice touch!
This was a great read for me! It gave me an inside look into a seemingly perfect but imperfect marriage, and although we see it through the eyes of the husband, the wife manages to make a splash as well. Overall, I was really impressed with Best Day Ever and will be looking out for more novels by Kaira Rouda!
An overall good thriller!
Memorable Quote: “I wonder if she is asking me for something, for some understanding. Some type of compassion or empathy. I’m not good at those emotions, or, if we’re being honest, any emotion except anger.”