The Night Before by Wendy Walker, 3 Stars

I loved Emma in the Night, which I reviewed about a year ago. I think I’ve also read, All Is Not Forgotten by Walker as well. Although I either read it before I started blogging or read it when it was older so I wasn’t compelled to blog about it.

News on the street is that the movie rights to All Is Not Forgotten
were purchased by Reese Witherspoon. Which fills me with all kinds of nerdy literary excitement as I imagine a movie or show in the vein of Big Little Lies. I tried to Google it and no new news there since the purchase in 2015, but these things take time! I’ll keep hope alive.

And in the mean time, Walker has given us two more books to enjoy.

From the Publisher:

Rosie and Laura are as different as two sisters can be. One is stable and has the perfect family. The other struggles to break free from her troubled past. When Laura disappears after going on a blind date, Rosie takes matters into her own hands.

But as Rosie begins to search for her sister, her greatest fears come to the surface. Could Laura be more of a danger than the stranger she meets or is the night before her last night alive?

Told in dual timelines—the night before and the day after—The Night Before is a riveting thriller about family loyalty, obsession, and what happens when the desire for love spins out of control.

My Review:

When the book begins, Laura is in her late twenties and has recently moved into her sister’s suburban house leaving her career and an apartment in the city. Rosie, the sister, has been dating the same guy since high school, who is now her husband and the father of their son.

Rosie is also the “pretty” one and while I get the impression that Laura is also attractive, from her perspective all that mattered growing up was that Rosie was seen as more attractive and desirable. Together with Rosie’s husband their friend, Gabe, they form a tight-knit group of friends who have had each other’s backs for the past fifteen years.

Sounds pretty normal, right? Well, I didn’t mention everything. Years ago, in high school, something pretty traumatic happened to Laura. And trouble has seemed to follow her since then. Having failed at her last relationship, she is trying internet dating. But of course, things are not always as they seem there.

I wanted to love this one. But it felt a little thin to me. I think maybe I needed more development of the backstory throughout the book? I think Walker alluded to it throughout and tried to release the story slowly, but it just didn’t quite work for me. I felt like my lack of knowledge just made me dislike Laura and fail to have a deep connection to her story.

I did finish the book and the end felt a little forced, or seemed to come out of nowhere. I like a good twist, but this one felt more like a scooby-doo ending.

Wendy Walker is an amazing writer, I just didn’t love this one. But, special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced e-galley of the book in exchange for my honest review.

This one is out May 14, 2018. Pre-order your copy:


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