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The Dilemma

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  28,045 ratings  ·  4,404 reviews
Knowing the truth will destroy her. Keeping it secret will destroy him.

It’s Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But Livia is secretly glad Marnie won’t be there.

Livia has recently uncovered a secret
...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 23rd 2020 by HQ (first published 2019)
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Daniela It's certainly hard to understand, but I can see why he would hold on to that hope, knowing there was a possibility of her missing that flight. Also, …moreIt's certainly hard to understand, but I can see why he would hold on to that hope, knowing there was a possibility of her missing that flight. Also, Livia's obsession with the party for over a decade made him not want to ruin the whole event, especially since there was a chance Marnie was okay and it would all be for nothing. Had she not been so fixated with this event, it would have been easier for him to share the news. Keeping it to himself was destroying him and yet he bore it so that she could experience what she always dreamed of before her world fell apart like his was beginning to. I think it was quite selfless of him. Livia on the other hand, neither sharing things with her husband nor confronting her daughter, mainly to go ahead with her party, that was more ridiculous to me.(less)
Julia Kilmer I thought the same thing, but I looked back at the last paragraph on page 141 - Livia is thinking back to the day she discovered the truth . . . I dec…moreI thought the same thing, but I looked back at the last paragraph on page 141 - Livia is thinking back to the day she discovered the truth . . . I decided that the paragraph on page 142 is still about that prior day - at least that would make her finding the phone in her purse make sense.

I also noticed that Adam took his bike to "one hundred mph" - wouldn't it be kph there?

This book does not compete with The Breakdown or Behind Closed Doors which are the only other books I have read by B A Paris. Also required more tissues than a Nicholas Sparks.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  28,045 ratings  ·  4,404 reviews


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JanB
1.5 stars
This was a boring short story that was stretched out into a full-length snooze of a book. I basically hate-read it.

Why? Let me count the ways:
• The entire book relies on the tired trope of a couple NOT TALKING TO EACH OTHER!! UGH
• I found it hard to believe a grown ass woman would dream of a 40th birthday party for 20+ years, to make up for the big wedding she never had. The way she obsesses over the party is utterly ridiculous. Grow up already.
• Pages and pages could be skimmed withou
...more
megs_bookrack
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-read
B.A. Paris is my Queen.

The Dilemma, her 2020 release, was one of my most anticipated releases of the year.



Although quite different from her prior works, I still really enjoyed it. The narrative is smaller in scope, yet quite intricate as a character study.

Following husband and wife, Livia and Adam, this story takes place during the course of a single day; that of Livia's much anticipated 40th-birthday party.



Adam and Livia married very young and never had the chance to have the wedding that Livia
...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I should rename this book with my another favorite Led Zeppelin’s song name: “Communication Breakdown” or we may call it “Anatomy of Marriage” and deliver this heart wrenching, soul crusher, touchy story into talented hands of Noah Baumbach to turn this into a tear jerker movie. What do you think if we may have another realistic, memorable movie after Marriage’s Story.

I have to admit, I didn’t expect a dramatic family fiction when I started reading this book. When I saw B. A. Paris’ name, I thou
...more
MarilynW
This is a story about a dilemma that takes place over less than 24 hours but felt like a century, to me. Despite the fact that my reading buddies liked this one a lot more than I did, it was still a fun buddy read. I pretty much griped about the husband Adam, not making a necessary phone call and continually thinking he should do something but not doing it, on and on and on. If I were a violent person, I would have thrown my Kindle across the room, but I'm not a violent person and I like my Kind ...more
Holly  B
Some frustrating characters in this one....

This author has been a little hit and miss with me, I've read all of her books. In my opinion, this one is NOT a thriller, but more of a family/relationship drama.

The entire novel centers around a twenty-four hour period and a married couple- Livia and Adam. The story revolves around Livia's 40th Birthday bash. Her daughter Marnie won't be attending. I was extremely frustrated at both of them to the point of wanting to scream at them. Livia was unbe
...more
Kaceey
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m in a quandary…no, a full-fledged dilemma on how to review this one!💁🏻♀️

The entire read takes place over the course of just one evening.
Told from alternating POV of Adam and Livia. A misguided couple so desperate to please each other yet so dismally confused on how to accomplish it.

A birthday party like no other!

Livia has saved up for years to throw herself the bash of the century for her 40th birthday! And no one’s stopping this epic event! No matter what craziness might be happening aroun
...more
Sue
I found this book hard to put down.
Each chapter alternates between Olivia and her husband with everything in between.

Olivia didn’t have a fabulous wedding. She’s longed and planned for her 40th birthday, what seems like, all her life. She’s saved and invested all her years focused on it.

But does her birthday huge party go off with a bang?

It sure does. But not in the way we think.

Olivia is walking around with a secret. And we get to read what she’s really thinking and feeling.

And a dark cloud
...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
2 stars because I made it to the end

This is a case where the more I thought about this book, the more I turned to the dark side where the words "god I so dislike this story" entered my mind.. So what words describe a book like this...lackluster, boring, nonsensical, immature, egotistical are a few that come to mind. Of course none of them indicate a book that I would recommend.

First the premise of a woman who missed out on a big fairy tale wedding and now has scrimped and saved for countless yea
...more
Suzy
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars! ⭐️⭐️

Watch out...I’m annoyed and it’s about to show!

This will definitely go down as one of the worst books I have ever read. Without a doubt the worst by this author. Y’all. The 4 and 5 star reviews are baffling to me. B.A.F.F.L.I.N.G. For the love of God, someone please explain what I must have missed here!

The Dilemma is basically a short story that is drawn out into 260 pages of nothing. Literally nothing. This book is the furthest from a psychological thriller that you can get. Fa
...more
Susanne  Strong
4 Stars.

Most spouses keep a few secrets from each other, am I right? Everyone does it and it’s the reason why this novel will getcha.

Livia and Adam have been married for over 20 years and have two children, Josh, 22 and Marnie, 19. Having had a small wedding ceremony way back when, Livia has been scrimping and saving for 20 years to have a huge 40th Birthday Party to make up for what she has always dreamed of.

Livia’s party would almost be perfect, if only..

Livia never planned to keep this secr
...more
Debra
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A husband and wife with secrets. Livia and Adam are protecting their secret from each other. One believes his/her secret is damaging. The other knows his/her secret is heartbreaking. Both are keeping his/her secret from the other as it is the day of Livia’s 40th Birthday party. A party she has been waiting to have for a long, long, time. Both intend to tell the other his/her secret after the party. But how? How does one keep it together? Who does one keep on a happy face when his/her world has b ...more
Frank Phillips
My goodness, what a HUGE disappointment this novel was! Two whopping stars for a $30 book, solely based on the fact that Paris is a capable writer. With that being said, this could have been so much shorter, even a short story, yet it dragged on for 340 LONG pages! I don't understand how this book was published as the characters were completely unrealistic and unlikable for the most part, and this was not a thriller or suspense as I expected. It was more of a family drama than anything, and that ...more
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Whew, that was one frustrating, suspenseful race to the finish for me. I found myself in a dilemma with wanting to give up on this one or control my frustration with how dragged out the story felt at times. The suspense won out and I kept turning the pages as fast as I could and ended up enjoying this one.

I loved the idea of the dilemmas here our main characters Adam and Livia face that left me in a dilemma with my thoughts on their dilemma. Did that make sense? lol I loved all the questions it
...more
Deanna
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks, 2020

I have read and enjoyed all of this author's previous novels so I was very excited to read "The Dilemma" too. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out very well for me. I was waiting and waiting for something that never happened.

Although this novel wasn't a hit with me, I’m still a big fan of B. A Paris, and I'm really looking forward to the author’s next novel.
...more
Sumit RK
Jul 22, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sumit-s-shelf
Knowing the truth will destroy her. Keeping it secret will destroy him.

First things first, this book is NOT a thriller or a mystery but more of a Family Drama. The entire novel unfolds in a 24 hour period and revolves around a married couple- Livia and Adam.

It is Livia’s 40th birthday, and her husband Adam is throwing her the party of a lifetime to make up for the grand wedding they never had. Everyone she loves will be there, except her daughter Marnie, who’s studying abroad. But throughout th
...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars!

Wow - this isn’t AT ALL what I anticipated. This book had me bawling like a baby! I have read all of this authors work and this is completely different than her usual psychological thriller vibe. This was an intense, suspenseful family drama.

The entire novel takes place over the course of two days broken down by the hour. The dual perspectives within each chapter switch between Livia and Adam who are married and about to celebrate Livia’s fortieth birthday with their close friends and
...more
Amanda
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to have a new B.A Paris book I settled down knowing I wouldn’t be moving anytime soon. I was right as soon as I had read the first page I was completely hooked and unable to put the book down.

Adam and Livia are married with two children, Josh 22 and Marnie 19. Livia has been planning her 40th birthday party for twenty years to make up for her small wedding. She has been secretly saving so that she can have a party no one will forget.

All her friends will be there apart from her
...more
Tan Markovic
Mar 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1.5 maybe? If I'm being very generous...

I would actually consider BA Paris to be one of my favourite authors, I absolutely loved her first three books this one however I could barely stand.

Both the plot and characters were boring, one dimensional and predictable. On top of that I found both Livia and Adam to be incredibly self centred characters despite everything that had happened.

I guess a positive is it was easy to flick through, but a lot of it was incredibly repetitive and the dialogue fel
...more
Joey R.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie B
When I find out B.A. Paris has a new book coming out, I get giddy. When I actually get the book in my hands and sit down to read it, I'm like a kid on Christmas morning. I just have so much fun reading her books, and this one was no exception. I wouldn't say any of her books are perfect and I realize she is not everyone's cup of tea, but an amazing reading experience always counts for something and that's why I'm placing this in the 5 star category. When you can set aside your everyday life prob ...more
Julie (JuJu)
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
”An angel walking to the Devil’s beat.”

Beautiful saying for a tattoo!

Dilemma is the perfect title for this book...well maybe Dilemmas would have been more appropriate! It’s an emotional tear-jerker that touches on sensitive subjects and pulls at your heartstrings.

4 💔 ⭐️’s for this family drama—with more than one dilemma—that is told through alternating chapters by Liv and Adam. Parents of Marnie and Josh. They pour out their deepest feelings and private struggles to us...but not each other. Once
...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
Where do you start with a book like The ? BA Paris is a wonderful writer, and this books give you all the feels. It is an emotional rollercoaster so have those tissues ready. It is also a tough book to review without giving the plot away. And trust me, you don't want this book to be spoilt before you read it. It was also another book that is hard to put down once you start, the story will have you staying up way too late to find out what happens.

Livia is about to turn 40. She has been planning
...more
ScrappyMags
Dive down deep into marriage...

Shortest summary ever: Livia has waited 20 years for her 40th birthday party - sort of the wedding she never had since she married so young. But on the cusp of the party, she’s keeping a secret. Her husband is keeping a secret. Secrets are going to collide...

Thoughts: This book has stayed with me since I finished it - in fact I’d label it more psychological than mystery because it delves into a marriage and how secrets are handled - massive secrets, the whys, whats
...more
Mark
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

I have one!
A dilemma
( apart from constantly spelling it with 1 m )
My dilemma is what to say about and what to mark this book
Firstly I am not going to give away any of the plot except to say ‘Dilemma’ is 352 pages of focused dilemma (s)
Words to describe it would be:
Claustrophobic, irritating, suspenseful, aggravating, wonderful, dark and upsetting!
Also at times repetitive
But boy did it drag you in, coax you to stay, involve you and make you tense at the same time as frustrating you
At times I wan
...more
Nefeli
Aug 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
WARNING: Spoilers ahead.


⚫ You are a grown-ass woman about to become 40 years old. Do you:
A) Have a normal birthday party, maybe even a bit over the top because why the hell not?
B) Throw the biggest party in the history of parties, which you have been fantasising about and saving money for since you were 20 years old, for some godforsaken reason?

⚫ Your friend (who you neither like nor particularly trust) tells you that your wife has been saving money and hiding it in a box under her bed becau
...more
Barbara

Livia grew up in London with rather distant parents, but has good memories of the hours she and her mother spent perusing bridal magazines. Livia and her mother would look at the dresses and cakes and flower arrangements, and mom would talk about the wonderful wedding she and her husband would make Livia one day.



Livia dreamed about this wedding all through adolescence, making plans for the wonderful celebration.



Then Livia got pregnant at seventeen, and not only was there no big wedding, but Liv
...more
Linda
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, net-galley
Seriously sayin'........

I am a big fan of the talented B.A. Paris. I have read all her books. From all indications, The Dilemma certainly was just that. A fork in the road in which one must decide whether or not to proceed. It felt like this one was from the early years of trial and error and put away in a drawer. Certainly not from the pen of B.A. Paris.

We find ourselves in the presence of Livia who is soaking in a luxurious bath along with her adult dream of conducting a lavish 40th birthday p
...more
Carolyn
The Dilemma is a little different to B.A Paris' previous novels, in that it's more of a family drama than a psychological thriller. Livia, who is about to turn 40 has been looking forward to and planning a big birthday party for a long time. The celebration with all her friends is important to her as she feels that she missed out on the big wedding to her husband Adam that she had planned when she became pregnant. With Adam and son Josh helping, everything has been perfectly organised, except fo ...more
Oscar
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases, 2020
First of all, I am completely baffled all these high ratings. It heavily pains me, as a B.A. Paris’s fan, to give this book a 3. It was almost 2 stars but the writing style saved it. I was frustratingly invested all through out because deep down I was waiting something monumental to happen. This is anything but a mystery or thriller! It felt like a Colleen Hoover book. And I don’t even like her books well except for Verity. This is just sad, depressing and annoying at times. My huge problem is t ...more
Nadia
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I loved Behind Closed Doors, I liked The Breakdown and was curious to read  B.A. Paris' latest novel. As with her previous books, Dilemma is gripping and well written. I quickly became absorbed in the lives of Livia, Adam and their two kids Marnie and Josh and wanted to know what happened to them. Livia is turning 40 and organising a grand party to celebrate her big birthday. On the day, her husband Adam is faced with a dilemma of whether to tell her something which would ruin the party or wait ...more
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11,378 followers
B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, Bring Me Back and The Dilemma. Having sold over a million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a Sunday Times bestseller. Her books have been translated into 40 languages. Having lived in France for many years, she and her husband recently moved back to the UK.
Her fifth nove
...more

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