Book Review: A Simple Favor


She’s your best friend.

She knows all your secrets.

That’s why she’s so dangerous.

A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. 

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. 

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems. 


From the outset I should mention that I’m a big Anna Kendrick fan, so when I first saw the trailer for the movie I instantly wanted to see it.

The story opens with Stephanie a blogger who is asked by her friend Emily the simple favour of picking her son up from school.

Having not heard from her for days Stephanie starts to panic and uses her blog to help find her missing friend.

It might be because I know that Stephanie is being played by Kendrick, but I liked her character. Telling the story initially through her blog and thoughts was a great way to draw the reader in.

I liked how her online persona was completely different.

However at the same time the simpleness of seeing the trailer made me think how silly can you be – since knowing the plot for trusting someone. So I had some mixed feelings from seeing the trailer, reading reviews as well as reading the novel. 

The second half of the novel produces some shock twists, it has to be said that they started to get more unbelievable as the story unravels.

Another frustrating aspect of the novel is how incredibly silly Emily’s husband Sean. His actions are so incredibly stupid that it almost took me out of the story.

I was glad that all the elements tied up in the end though.

I found it to be a fun page turner, it’s no Patricia Highsmith (which the book kept referencing) but I was interested enough to know the conclusion.

I’m more interested to see Kendrick’s and Lively’s take on these characters. 

2/5 Stars

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