Here’s the thing about Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda: I have not had such a deep, visceral reaction to a character in a long, long time. Paul is the main character in this story, and I hated him. Really, truly, absolutely hate him.
But he’s exactly the reason why I loved this book. Paul is the character who made this story move, who made this book so entirely captivating.
Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda Review: Who Is Paul?
Best Day Ever: A Psychological ThrillerAs the story begins, Paul and his wife, Mia, are in the car, riding toward their lake home, beginning what Paul has in his mind dubbed the “best day ever.” Paul has promised Mia a relaxing weekend at their second home sans children, where he’s sure his planning will lead to a romantic and relaxing weekend. At first, Paul’s heart seems to be in the right place, but Paul isn’t telling Mia everything.
Here’s the thing about Paul: He’s an unreliable, repugnant jerk, when it comes to his own inner dialogue, he’s entirely honest about his misogynistic and bigoted feelings. He’s the guy you hate, but at the same time, you can’t stop reading about. He truly believes he deserves the best things in life, and he truly believes that all of his misfortunes are the fault of someone else.
He’s the opposite of how you want your kids to turn out, the opposite of a role model, and the opposite of anyone you would want to spend time with. And yet, as a reader, I couldn’t stop flying through the pages. Paul is the proverbial train wreck, the guy you can’t look away from, the person who makes you drop your jaw in disbelief. He’s horribly fascinating, and I was dumbfounded by the decisions he made en route to what he believed would be the best day ever.
Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda Review: Should You Read?
So I’ve told you that Paul is a horrible person, and that he’s difficult at times to stomach. I’ve also told you that he’s the guy who makes the story go.
You’re probably thinking, “huh, should I really read this book?”
Yes, yes you should. Because here’s the thing: Paul’s appalling character is balanced by someone who is so lovable, so likeable, so smart. He’s balanced by Mia, and while Paul makes the story move and captivates the reader, Mia makes the story enjoyable. She makes it relatable and real; she makes the story worth reading.
In fact, it’s Kaira Rouda’s character development that is the true masterpiece of Best Day Ever. She’s managed to create two wholly opposite yet believable characters to illustrate the two sides of this story.
This is the first book I’ve read by Kaira Rouda, but Amazon shows that she has many available. I think I will be checking out a few more in the future.
If you’d like a sample of Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda, consider taking a look at this free bundle from Graydon House. Perfectly Undone, previously reviewed here on Novel Mom, also is part of the sampler pack.
A few more books by Kaira Rouda (she has a lot!):
All The Difference: Domestic SuspenseThe Goodbye Year: A NovelWeekend with the Tycoon (Indigo Island Book 1)In the MirrorLaguna Nights: (Laguna Beach Book 1)Here, Home, Hope: Women’s FictionA Carolina Christmas
**Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda was provided as an advanced review copy to Kristyn of Novel Mom in exchange for an honest review.