Bring Me Back by B.A.Paris
Reviewed by: Jennifer Chretien, Reference Librarian
Rating: 3 stars
Twelve years ago, Finn’s girlfriend Layla disappeared while they were at a rest stop. No trace of her was ever found. Finn has moved on and is about to marry Layla's sister, Ellen. Just when Finn thinks he has gotten over Layla' disappearance, signs in the form of Layla's beloved Russian dolls begin to appear and Finn is no longer sure Layla is dead.
The story flips between the past and present. The reader learns more about the circumstances surrounding Layla's disappearance and that Finn hasn't been entirely truthful. As the book continues on, the reader realizes that everyone is more than slightly suspect in Layla's disappearance.
Overall, this was my least favorite of B.A. Paris' novels. She is a spectacular writer but her characters this time around felt flat and uninteresting. It's a big ask to have a reader suspend disbelief when the characters aren't worth caring about and there was a high level of disbelief suspension required here. The Russian dolls as a plot device was original but yet felt a bit cheesy and the villain here felt more like s/he belonged in a comic book.
Yet, despite the problems with the characters and parts of the plot, Bring Me Back works as a summer beach read. If you don't take it seriously, that is. The minute I stopped caring about how ridiculously cartoonish some aspects of the plot were, the more I enjoyed myself. Bring Me Back is fun on the level of a Lifetime Movie offering, a V.C. Andrew thriller, or a Final Destination movie. You aren't going to be checking your locks at night but you will keep turning the page to see what happens next.