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A Simple Favor

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  58,231 ratings  ·  5,845 reviews
She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up he
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Harper
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Mallory I was hoping there'd be one final twist revealed where Stephanie had lifted the ring off of Emily somehow and planted it in the car to frame both Step…moreI was hoping there'd be one final twist revealed where Stephanie had lifted the ring off of Emily somehow and planted it in the car to frame both Stephanie and the husband (blanking on his name) so they'd BOTH be arrested, and she'd start a new life with both boys like she'd mentioned wanting to do earlier in the book. I was disappointed this final turn never happened.(less)

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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  58,231 ratings  ·  5,845 reviews

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j e w e l s
May 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The only nice thing I can say about this convoluted, ridiculous and BORING hella long novel is that the author, Darcey Bell, is one lucky person. How she managed to get this stinker of a book sold for movie rights is beyond me. Maybe to the Lifetime channel, but MAJOR MOTION PICTURE starring Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick and Rupert Friend?


Maybe the movie will be done right, but if this is the story they are working from...I just don't know. Stay tuned in September 2018.

In the meant
Miranda Reads
Jul 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook

You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone—not even to themselves.
Stephanie, a recently widowed mother, spends her life trying to be the absolutely perfect - mommy blog perfect - mother.

She slowly ticking the boxes for perfection and even (finally) found a new friend in this rich, hoity toity neighborhood - Emily.

Sophisticated Emily with the darling little Nicky (just the right age to be friends with Stephanie's little Miles) and the handsome, myste
Michele Jacobsen
Okay....unreliable narrators (three of them, variously 1st POV throughout the novel), faked deaths, crappy marriages, incest, hidden siblings, etc should have made this book better than it actually was. In a nutshell, the story is about two best friends and one (or both?) of them is ala Gone Girl treacherous. It's got a very fast-moving plot and lots of "revelations" in which the reader is constantly presented with new information that is meant to change your mind about who is good and who is ba ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I rlly need to stop drinking that trash book juice and starting reading proper literature
9/12/18: How a book this atrocious managed to get optioned for a film, find a director/cast for the film, and actually be made into a film that's going to be released this week in under a year from its publication date is something that will never cease to amaze me.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

And to further add a cherry to this sundae, the summary for this film (directed by Paul Feig, for crying out loud), is labeling this as a neo-noir.... comedy.

I don't know whether to keel over laughing
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
After the movie ended, I asked Emily, “Do you think real people would ever do things like that?”
Emily laughed. “Sweet Stephanie. You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone - not even to themselves.”

It all begins with a simple favor. You are asked to pick up your best friend's son from school when an emergency at work arises. It all makes sense anyway because your sons are best friends too. It'll be fine because she says she'll need to see her son after such a
Apr 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
1 star.

The only reason I read this was because I wanted to see the movie starring Anna Kendrick, which is coming out this fall, but after reading this I'm not quite sure I want to watch it anymore.

First off, I HATED ALL OF THESE CHARACTERS. Sure, I'm fine with some likeable characters, but with a story that's as big of high stakes as this, you need to be able to root for someone, but I was honestly rooting for the "villain" of the story because I wanted to scream every time Stephanie had page t
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
When I watched the trailer of this movie with a redhead Blake Lively, all shrouded in mystery and intrigue, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. But every time Stephanie went 'Hi moms' on her stupid blog I wanted to kill her. God, she deserved to be the "fish". Her affair with her half brother, their kid, her constant ramblings about how she missed her husband whom she cheated on for the better part of their marriage, her 'captain mom' avatar, everything was so maddening. Most of all, h ...more
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: galley-copy
Enough of a knock-off of "Gone Girl" to be annoying, and with enough additional, bizarre elements (incest? Really?) to also be annoying. Pass. ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I'm bumping this because I ran across the movie last night and despite hating the book, I absolutely loved the trashy good times the film version delivered. While I don't think I was truly a wrongreader of this one due to the fact that the writing style/delivery did not come off as an attempt at dark comedy, there is a chance that if you go into it knowing you need to appreciate all the absurdity your rating could possibly flip from 1
Dec 09, 2018 added it
I Feel I'm Reading Trash ???
Reminded me of Gone Girl, and I hated that book.

Okay before I go into this review, I just wanted to say that when I saw the movie trailer for this I honestly wanted to read the book. I mean my love for Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick definitely intrigued me to dive into this before I go see the movie. However, after reading this.. I'll probably save my money and wait for it to come out on TV. Or Amazon.

A Simple Favor had an interesting concept.. but it was quite boring to listen to. I honestly zo
Nilufer Ozmekik
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
That’s a real first in my life but I’m literally screaming : please skip this book without thinking any further and watch Paul Feig’s snarky, sassy, smart, dark comedy adaptation! Just dive into the movie and forget this book!!!!!! Both Kendrick and Lively were so amazing!
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Mothers, Friends, Secrets....Stephanie and Emily were mothers, ​they were ​friends, and they both had secrets even though they thought they knew each other better than they knew themselves.

A SIMPLE FAVOR begins when Stephanie keeps Emily's son, Nicky, after school because Emily is going to be late. But...after school turns into overnight, then after school turns ​into another day and ​another ​night, and then ​yet ​another day and another ​night with no Emily.

Stephanie didn't know where to turn
Aug 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: hated-it, 2018
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda McGill
May 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017
I'm surprised by my 1 star rating, but reflecting upon the plot this morning, I realized that I didn't like the book at all. It was filled with unlikable characters and the plot was pretty weak if you remove all the fluff surrounding it.

Stephanie and Emily are best friends. Emily asked Stephanie one day to pick up her son after school, but then Stephanie doesn't hear anything else from Emily. A search is underway, but Emily is found to be dead. What could of made Emily go missing? Does Stephani
You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone—not even to themselves.”
― Darcey Bell, A Simple Favor

It’s interesting. I found the Movie to be Quite superior to the book and it’s usually the other way around.

The book started out with promise and I can’t really say I did not enjoy parts of it. But I just found that it ultimately became ludicrous and quite difficult to believe any aspect of the story at all particularly in reference to Stephanie and the changes her char
This book is messed up and everyone was an idiot. I hope they changed some things to make the movie worth seeing.
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
How can a simple favour of picking up your best friend’s son from school go so terribly wrong? This is the scenario debut novelist Darcey Bell explores in her pulse pounding psychological suspense novel, A Simple Favour.

Touted as a Gone Girl/Girl on the Train offshoot, A Simple Favour stands out on its own. A Simple Favour is a dark and twisted psychological suspense tale. This one reeled me in from the very start and it did not release its strong hold over
Loooool what a mess.

(view spoiler)

And that ending. 😶

Movie Emily, tho.....
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May 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really need to not read books that are described as good for fans of Gone Girl, since I was not a fan of Gone Girl.
A nasty woman disappears after asking her weak-willed "best friend" to take care of her child after school. A body is later found, the nasty woman is declared and thought by all to be dead, but then the friend starts to have her suspicions.
I was so annoyed with Stephanie- the way she talked about moms and to moms like if you are a mother you are a different species. Her blog was
Thriller A Thon: A recommended read

This book is bad.

But its bad in a fun way.

A Simple Favor reminded me of a Lifetime movie or possibly a daytime soap opera. It was cheesy, melodramatic and over the top.

In order to fully enjoy A Simple Favor you need to suspend your disbelief, sit back and just let the BATSHIT CRAZY plot unfold.

My sister watched the movie, hated/loved it and told me I had to read the book.

So I did.

Every character in this book is unlikable and Imma just say it....

They crazy a
This is by far one of the worst books I've read. The characters are horrible - either evil and vile or such ridiculous doormats, I want to slam their faces into something. I read the book because I saw the trailer for the movie, and I can say, with conviction, I will never watch the movie. Ever. I don't want to waste any more time elaborating on this steaming pile of horseshit. ...more
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the outset I should mention that I’m a big Anna Kendrick fan, so when I first saw the trailer for the movie I instantly wanted to see it.
I felt that once you know all the surprises in this mystery thriller it would impact the reading experience, so quickly ordered a copy of the book first.

The story opens with Stephanie a blogger who is asked by her friend Emily the simple favour of picking her son up from school.
Having not heard from her for days Stephanie starts to panic and uses her blog
"Here's to moms and good friends."
A Simple Favor has a whole lot going on and the writing directs your attention in various directions that quite confused me when all was said and done. No, I wasn't confused by the truth but I was confused why I was led astray in Part I. (view spoiler)
Dec 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Stephanie and Emily are best friends. Emily asks a favor of Stephanie - to watch her son one afternoon and she'll pick him up that evening... but Emily never comes back.

Stephanie is a widow and mommy blogger with a young son. Emily is a working mom with a young son. They don't seem to have much in common, other than their sons are friends, but soon they also become friends. They also both have secrets in their past that they don't want to get out.

Told with alternating points of view - Stephanie,
Jun 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: incomplete
I wouldn't recommend this book to a flea, if a flea could read. I hated the blog chapters. They came across as phony and like Stephanie was talking to herself instead of her supposedly loyal followers, and if she had said moms one more time...

The other chapters featuring Stephanie were a little better but not much. I thought a lot of the material was tacky and not something I wanted to continue reading.

Updated 02/26/2019: I still hate the book but I did force myself to watch the movie last night
Love Fool
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She’s your best friend.

She knows all your secrets.

That’s why she’s so dangerous.

A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-o
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
This was honestly as terrible as the overall rating and reviews make it out to be. The characters are horrendous, whiny, and annoying. The writing it appalling. The plot is SO Gone Girl that this book should honestly just be called Gone Girl, since very little is different.

The only reason I'm giving this an added star is because legit I couldn't stop reading, until I realized I wanted to be reading anything else instead. Still gonna watch the movie though because Blake Lively is bae and also it
Frank Phillips
Apr 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I would say this book is closer to four stars even though I rated it three stars. Probably 3.8 stars is more accurate. The only reason I did not give it a complete four stars is simply because the entire book I was so incredibly annoyed by one of the main characters, Stephanie, I absolutely hated her she had no redeeming qualities whatsoever in my opinion. Maybe that is a sign of excellent writing?! This book had a few triggers for those that are sensitive. I was not surprised by the ending at a ...more
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Darcey Bell was born in 1981 and raised on a dairy farm in western Iowa. She is a preschool teacher in Chicago. A Simple Favor is her first novel.

Articles featuring this book

Your neighbors are hiding a body. The woman who just bumped into you is a stalker. Your husband is definitely poisoning you. (The...
69 likes · 21 comments
“You’d be amazed by what people will do. Things they’d never admit to anyone—not even to themselves.” 17 likes
“Some men lash out and leave marks, the black eyes and broken noses that send women to the emergency rooms and from there to the kindly social worker and the battered women’s shelter. But the real devils are the ones who hide the traces, who practice constant psychological abuse until the woman is all but destroyed.” 10 likes
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