When I watched “A Simple Favor” starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick, it was something that I found thrilling and at times funny. When I discovered that it was adapted from a book, I immediately placed it on hold.
“A Simple Favor” by Darcey Bell follows stay-at-home mom and blogger Stephanie as she tries to find out what happened to her missing friend Emily. This is told from the perspective of different characters, as well as the posts from Stephanie’s blog.
If I had not seen the movie, I may not have been as interested in the story as I was when reading it. This is primarily because of how the story begins and the evolution of the characters.
With a focus on the main character’s blog, the beginning of the novel can at times drag due to the shortness of the posts and what information is revealed in the posts. However, once those same blog posts are incorporated with the change in perspective of the different characters, it becomes a good use of the medium.
One of the key premises of the novel is that everyone has secrets. Stephanie repeats this statement almost every time her true thoughts become available for the audience. However, once the basic secrets of the main characters become available, the appeal of the novel is lost.
Again, when paired with the movie, this book is very engaging and interesting because it allows the audience more of an opportunity to see the relationship between Stephanie and Emily, as well as the inner thoughts of the different characters.
However, the movie makes a crucial change to the novel that makes the adaptation the superior choice. Stephanie is a weak character who is only defined by her secret and being a mom. This is addressed in the novel, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is a flaw of the main character.
I will not go into spoilers for either the movie or the book, but this is changed in the movie with one crucial scene and plan. The movie addresses the issues I had with the book, and I found myself enjoying it even more the second time around.
Overall, while I originally gave this book a 4/5, after writing this review and realizing how much my enjoyment of the book comes from the movie, I will give this a 3/5 stars.