Overview (No Spoilers): There are very few books that I ever find the movie version more enjoyable. Honestly, I can only come up with one title off the top of my head that I firmly place in the aforementioned rare category, Shutter Island. That being said, I’m sure there are others that I’m failing to recall as I type this review. A Simple Favor not only obtains this atypical distinction, but also is a read where I was thankful I watched the movie a head of time instead of reading the book first, which is a huge deviation from my typical operation procedures. I watched A Simple Favor while on one of my long runs on the treadmill while training for my half marathon. It wasn’t a great movie, but I enjoyed it for what it was meant to be, and it helped pass the time on my 11 mile run. Stumbling across the book that had inspired the movie several weeks later I was intrigued to see how this over the top story played out in print. Without giving away any spoilers until the next section, let me say that all the characters were immensely more likable in the movie, especially Stephanie, who was more clever and stronger than the mindless pawn in the book! I do have to say that my favorite aspect of this book was actually being granted access to viewpoints other than Stephanie’s, who the movie solely revolved around. In the books, we actually get insight into both Emily and Sean’s inner thoughts and motives, not that it made them any more likable. Additionally, in stark contrast to the movie, the book left so many loose ends at large, failing to give the closure that the movie left viewers with at the rolling of the credits. That being said, I didn’t hate the ending of the book, it was just different than the movie, although I’m curious to find out what the outcome of the mess would have been. Overall, A Simple Favor can quite simply be cast aside in lieu of all of the other fantastic literature available, however if you’re looking for a cheap thrill this might be right up your alley. Although save yourself the time and watch the movie instead.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- What happens? Does Stephanie go to jail over her involvement? Will Emily get caught? These people are seriously all crazy!
- I loved in the movie that Stephanie grew a backbone and stood up to Emily, ending up outsmarting her, however in the book she becomes Emily’s mindless minion. Movie did it better!
- The poor kids! All of their parents could end up in jail over this mess. And how is it going to impact Nicky having his Mom dead and then alive?
- Emily is portrayed as so very clever. How would she have not realized her ring had been left in the car where she was disposing of a dead body?