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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Bye, Baby


Narrators: Helen Laser, Karissa Vacker Macmillan Audio

ISBN:9781250289360

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 03/05/2024

Format: e-book and audio

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC) (ALC)



Best friends don't always have the best intentions.


On a brisk fall night in a New York apartment, 35-year-old Billie West hears terrified screams. It's her lifelong best friend Cassie Barnwell, one floor above, and she's just realized her infant daughter has gone missing. Billie is shaken as she looks down into her own arms to see the baby, remembering—with a jolt of fear—that she is responsible for the kidnapping that has instantly shattered Cassie’s world.


Once fiercely bonded by their secrets, Cassie and Billie have drifted apart in adulthood, no longer the inseparable pair they used to be in their small Hudson Valley hometown. Cassie is married to a wealthy man, has recently become a mother, and is building a following as a lifestyle influencer. She is desperate to leave her past behind—including Billie, who is single and childless, and no longer fits into her world. But Billie knows the worst thing Cassie has ever done, and she will do anything to restore their friendship…


Told in alternating perspectives in Lovering’s signature suspenseful style, Bye, Baby confronts the myriad ways friendships change and evolve over time, the lingering echoes of childhood trauma, and the impact of women’s choices on their lifelong relationships.








My Review


Carola Lovering's latest, BYE, BABY, is a knockout, a gripping domestic thriller of dark secrets, toxic friendships, childhood traumas, social media, and choices.


Brilliantly crafted, character-driven, powerful, suspenseful, and highly relatable- BYE, BABY is unputdownable. I loved it! My first book by the author, and I cannot wait for more.


AUDIOBOOK: I read the digital copy and listened to the audiobook. I highly recommend the audiobook, which was well done by the talented narrators Karissa Vacker (favorite) and Helen Laser. Addictive!


Billie and Cassie were long-time BFFs. They met 23 years earlier in a small Hudson Valley town when in the 7th grade. They were very close and had each other's back from childhood. They dreamed, had desires, planned their weddings, and longed for the day they could make those dreams come true and escape their hometown.


There was a devastating and traumatic event and an event that bonded them with a dark shared secret. They would take it to their grave. But as they grew older, the women grew apart.


Cassie married a society man from a wealthy family, now a fashion and lifestyle influencer on Instagram. She is a snob and no longer associates with people like Billie. She also has a new baby; all her posts are picture-perfect IG swoon-worthy.


Billie, on the other hand, is single, childless, and grew up with a traumatic childhood. However she is smart, a world traveler with a great job, but she still misses her close bond with her childhood friend, Cassie. She stalks Cassie's IG account to glimpse her former friend's world.


They meet, but things are strained with them around her new wealthy friends. She wants nothing to do with her old friend, Billie.


It is Cassie's 35th birthday party (Billie is not invited), and things get crazy; the baby is left unattended on the patio during the party.


When Cassie's baby is mysteriously abducted (later returned) unharmed, Cassie reaches out to her friend, Billie, and they seem to be back where they were on great terms. Cassie needs Billie. This makes Billie happy. Cassie was devastated and realized her life was not about social media but her baby.


However, how long will this feeling last? Will she go back to her old ways and ditch Billie again?


But Billie is hiding a secret and knows it will ruin their friendship if she comes forward. However, they both still share a dark secret from the past that will keep them bonded.


The author cleverly explores toxic female friendships, motherhood, childhood traumas, and the dangers of social media influencers in BYE, BABY.


I loved the cover, the writing, and the story—highly relatable, thought-provoking, compelling, and suspenseful. I felt for Billie and her mother, and you could not help but root for her and despise her disgusting stepdad. I liked Cassie better when she was afraid of an abductor.


For fans of Mary Kubica, Wendy Walker, and Sarah Pekkanen.


Bye, Baby by Carola Lovering will be available on March 5, 2024. Thanks a million to St. Martin's Press, Macmillan Audio, and NetGalley for a gifted ARC and ALC and the intro to this talented author.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars













Praise


"Carola Lovering has hit the ball out of the park, again. Her latest is a gripping novel of suspense that explores the complexities of a female friendship, bound by childhood secrets, that is simultaneously life affirming and toxic. I could not put it down."

––Greer Hendricks, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Golden Couple


"Powerful, relatable and crazily addictive, Bye, Baby takes an unflinching look at the battling forces of toxicity and love which define so many female friendships. I couldn't put it down."

––Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of Ghosted and The Love of My Life


"A shocking, emotionally-charged look at a dysfunctional friendship and the aftereffects of a split second decision that had me on the edge of my seat. Completely immersive with writing that is propulsive, vivid and rich, Bye, Baby is all-consuming. Once you start reading, you won't be able to stop. I'm a fan!"

––Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Local Woman Missing


"Bye, Baby is a searing, intense thriller about friendship, relationships, and motherhood. Lovering has a unique ability to create such realistic characters, it’s hard to let go of them. And every twist packs a wallop."

––Samantha Downing, international bestselling author of A Twisted Love Story


"Compulsively readable and highly relatable, Bye, Baby will have you on the edge of your seat. Lovering’s best book yet explores the dark space that can open up when close friendships grow, change, and fracture. This novel is both suspenseful and indelible―I devoured it in a day and am still savoring its themes months later."

––Avery Carpenter Forrey, author of Social Engagement


"A twisty novel about the dark side of love and the reverberating effects of childhood trauma, Carola Lovering’s Bye, Baby is tense and suspenseful with secrets and surprises at every turn."

––Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost


"Lovering unspools a taut, twisty, humdinger of a plot that encompasses the vagaries of true friendship as well as those of true love."

––Kirkus (starred review)


"Lovering’s nuanced characterizations and interweaving of different voices and timelines add depth to her story of obsession. Fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins will enjoy this one." —Publishers Weekly


"The suspense is a shapeshifter until the very last page."

––Booklist





About the Author



Carola Lovering is the author of the novels Tell Me Lies, Too Good to Be True, Can’t Look Away, and the forthcoming Bye, Baby (2024). She is a graduate of Colorado College, and her work has appeared in The Cut, Vogue, Marie Claire, W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. Her novel, Tell Me Lies, has been adapted into a television series for Hulu. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two young children. WEBSITE


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