Hello, fellow readers! I landed on fiction during my last Bookopoly roll. I had planned several other titles for that genre, but I wasn’t feeling anything hard-hitting or emotional, so I decided to read my eARC of The Dilemma by B.A. Paris.
The Dilemma is the newest contemporary fiction novel by B.A. Paris. See how I called it contemporary fiction instead of thriller?
Livia is excited to be celebrating her fortieth birthday with an over-the-top party meant to replace the wedding she never had. But she can’t fully enjoy the day because she needs to tell her husband, Adam, something she’s been hiding from him when the party is over. Livia doesn’t know that Adam also has something to tell Livia after the party. What ensues is a back and forth POV between the two characters, which each chapter taking place during a different hour of the day and night of the party.
I have a real dilemma with this book because it was marketed as a mystery/thriller, but I found it far from thrilling. There really isn’t a mystery either because we find out what secret each spouse is hiding from the other fairly early in the book. I thought Livia was highly unlikable because she was extremely self-centered. I actually sympathized with Adam because I don’t know how I would have handled his situation.
I did like the pacing of The Dilemma because I was able to read it in less than 24 hours, but I will also admit I started skimming longer passages in the second half because the characters’ inner dialogue was becoming repetitive. I didn’t care about Livia’s friends at the party because we didn’t really have time to get to know them, so the parts with small talk at the party got pretty boring too.
Overall, I would only recommend this book if you know going in that it is not going to be a true mystery/thriller book. I would say it would make a great beach or pool read, but you may want to read the conclusion in private because you are sure to shed a few tears.
I was provided an ARC of this title by St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of this title.
What is your most anticipated release of 2020? Let me know in the comments!