book review

Netgalley Review: The Favorite Daughter

I received this free ebook in exchange for this review, however all opinions are 100% my own.


Publisher: Graydon House

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Pages: 368

Genre: Psychological thriller

Rating: 3/5

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda

This book really puts you into the mind of a narcissistic mother, Jane, who is coming out of the fog of grief when she lost her oldest, Mary, (and favorite) daughter a year ago. Things are not going well for her in her life and she is trying everything she can to hold on to the life she used to have. Her husband, David, is never home and her youngest daughter, Betsy,  is about to graduate and is leading a secret life that her mother knows nothing about.

This is a fun read in the way that it takes you into the mind of a disturbed woman. She is talking directly to the reader which makes you (the reader) feel like you a part of the story.  It was amusing to hear the way she justifies her actions and thoughts about the outlandish things she was doing and thinking. The book really shines when you see Jane implementing her schemes. Jane also has a fascination with all the ways someone can accidentally die. The story is peppered with random facts about how someone has died in the most bizarre way.

One of the downfalls of the book for me is how much takes place off the page. We go into the book with Jane already knowing 90% of what she needs to know. So the reader goes in blind and there is a big disconnect when certain reveals are happening because the book is told with us in Jane’s head. It just started to feel like a cheap trick when it happened but that may be because the ending was very predictable so I don’t think trying to trick the reader was necessary. I also want to make clear that I’m not talking about the big reveal because that wouldn’t make sense for the readers to know any earlier but some of the other reveals could have been mentioned before they were.

I also want to mention that I unfortunately know someone who is narcissistic and totally out of touch with how their behavior effects people so that may have influenced my feelings of this book. Thankfully, that person is no longer in my life but the whole time I was reading it I kept getting flashbacks of her. If you are lucky enough not to know someone like Jane then I think you will find her character much more enjoyable than I did.

I’m sure you have already figured it out, but this book is pretty similar to You by Caroline Kepnes. The are both creepy people who are doing not great things but you still find something likable about them. I also want to recommend The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton. I read and reviewed this book earlier this year and it is another fun book with a more likable character (to me) where she does the most unbelievable stuff.



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