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Bye, Baby Reviewed by Ekta R. Garg of Bookpleasures.com
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Saturday, March 9, 2024


Ekta R. Garg

Reviewer Ekta Garg: Ektahas actively written and edited since 2005 for publications like: ThePortland Physician Scribe; the Portland Home BuildersAssociation home show magazines; ABCDlady; and TheBollywood Ticket. With an MSJ in magazine publishing fromNorthwestern University Ekta also maintains TheWrite Edge- a professional blog for her writing. In additionto her writing and editing, Ekta maintains her position as a“domestic engineer”—housewife—and enjoys being a mother totwo beautiful kids.

View all articles by Ekta R. Garg

Author: Carola Lovering

Publisher: St. Martin’sPress

ISBN: 9781250289360

Estranged best friends arereunited by a terrifying event. It seems like a friendship reset,except one doesn’t know the other is responsible for her horror.Author Carola Lovering builds characters and her plot with nuance anddeft in her latest thriller, Bye, Baby.

Billie West knows thatmost people would probably envy her life. As an employee at aboutique luxury travel agency, she zooms around the world with herboss and good friend, Jane. They live and work in New York City, butBillie has seen enough Instagram-worthy sites to make any influencerdrool.

Except the influencer whomatters most to her: her one-time best friend, Cassie Adler. Eversince Cassie married her hedge fund-manager husband, Grant, shedropped her maiden name and Billie as a friend too. Now Cassie has agorgeous husband and home and a brand new baby to boot. She’s alsoa lifestyle influencer with nearly 50,000 followers, and Billie isone of them. It’s the only way Billie can stay current on Cassie’slife, because Cassie is the type of person to share everything withthe internet: how many times she had to get up with her baby; thebrands she wears and, therefore, endorses; and updates on her chicboutique where it costs $600 to buy a blouse. 

Cassie is well aware ofBillie’s desire to reboot their friendship, but she’s over it.Why doesn’t Billie get the hint? Cassie has ignored enough textsand calls that anyone would have figured it out. But Billie keepscalling, keeps texting, keeps asking to get together. 

That includes for herbirthday, and Cassie doesn’t want to deal with the secondhandembarrassment she feels in front of her friends when Billie’saround. So she lies when Billie asks if she has anything planned andthen goes ahead with the birthday bash Grant wants to throw her.Except she gets so involved in the party that she forgets that Billiewill see her constant updates on Instagram. 

By one of life’scruelest coincidences, Billie ends up in Cassie’s swanky buildingon the night of her birthday. She discovers there’s a huge party infull swing and is furious. She’s also in a position to changeCassie’s entire life with a single impulsive move: Billie takesCassie’s baby right from her balcony. 

When Cassie gets word thather baby is missing, she’s frantic and reaches out to the oneperson who she knows will be there for her the way she needs: Billie.She needs the one person who knew her before she was Cassie Adler,before she had all this money and this rich life. Because Cassieknows that, thanks to the secret they share from when they wereteenagers, Billie will be the one person to fight the hardest to gether child back—never guessing Billie might be responsible for hergreatest pain.

Author Carola Loveringbalances chapters between the friends with ease, giving readers theopportunity to get to know both of them. As the story unfolds in realtime along with how the women became friends in their tween years,Lovering will keep readers engaged as to what happens after Cassie’sbaby goes missing. Unlike some books, Lovering surprises readers withthe choices both Billie and Cassie make. 

Although Billie is theclear protagonist, at times it’s hard not to wince at herneediness. Lovering carefully puts Billie in a position where evenreaders will roll their eyes at her and occasionally sympathize withCassie. Despite Cassie’s shallowness, there’s no doubt she lovesher child and wants to take care of her. The element of groundednessis a masterstroke on Lovering’s behalf, leaving readers wonderingwhether Billie really does deserve sympathy all the way through thestory.

If the book can be faultedanywhere, it’s for the slight lack of backstory development onCassie. Readers will learn firsthand what binds the two friends toone another with Billie’s experiences taking the lead. Cassie’sbackstory is shared but needed more in order to feel as lived in asBillie’s story does.

Still, for the most partthe book is an immensely satisfying read both as an analysis offriendship and as a sometimes-thriller. Readers who enjoy cleverback-and-forth between characters, particularly those in forcedproximity will enjoy this one. I recommend readers Bookmark Bye, Babyby Carola Lovering. 

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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