Saving Ben by Ashley Farley

April 23rd, 2015 Kimberly Review 64 Comments

23rd Apr
Saving Ben by Ashley Farley
Saving Ben
by Ashley Farley
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Source: Gifted
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

A boy, his sister, and her psychopathic roommate. A New Year’s Eve party, a missing person, and a single set of footprints in the snow. Life is sweet for Katherine Langley, a first-year student at the University of Virginia. She is finally free from the drama of her parents’ dysfunctional marriage and ready to focus on studying to become a nurse. Her brother, Ben, belongs to the hottest fraternity on campus, and her roommate, Emma, is beautiful and charming, a party girl whose answer for a hangover is happy hour. She is also a psychopath. When obsessive-compulsive Ben succumbs to Emma’s charms and falls dangerously off-track, Katherine must save her brother from himself. From the University of Virginia campus to a cozy cottage on Carter’s Creek, Saving Ben is a haunting tale of love and loyalty, anger management, substance abuse, and betrayal.

Saving Ben by Ashley Farley had me curious since we don’t often find mystery in the new adult genre. It offers a slow-building mystery that opens with a missing girl and shares the events leading up to and after her disappearance. While the ending felt a tad rushed and left me wanting I became caught up in the tale.

Five reasons to curl up with Saving Ben

  • Katherine Langley wakes on New Year’s Day to find her brother’s girlfriend Emma missing and a single set of footprints leading to the dock on the lake.  Farley then takes us back to when Katherine “Kitty” and her brother Ben met Emma. We spent most of our time learning about Emma and her impact on them as we move towards the footprints in the snow.
  • The whole time you are reading you will be pondering the question, “Is Emma missing, dead or kidnapped?” It added suspense and every character becomes a possible suspect. Did they do something to Emma? Farley takes us from campus to the Langley’s summer home giving us a glimpse into their lives with delightful detail.
  • Farley weaved in siblings, their friends and family.  We witness the strains Emma puts on these relationships, the manipulation and the lies. All of it was realistic and kept me connected. From Kitty’s strained relationship with her mother to the protectiveness of her brother, Farley fleshed out each character without over the top drama. Emma is a vivid character who will evoke strong feelings from the reader and none of them pleasant. Motive isn’t hard to understand and we quickly assume foul play.
  • We see relationships in many stages and not just of the romantic variety. We do see the siblings develop romances but these are side stories and weave in and out of the main mystery thread. Little side threads dealing with friends and loss had substance and Farley weaved them into the tale in a clever way. She touches on drug use, teenage alcoholism, bullying, parental issues and suicide adding some depth.
  • Twists and turns made the tale exciting leading up to the footprints and disappearance. The second half of the book ended up being more telling than showing, which was disappointing. While Farley wraps things up, I would have liked to see things unfold a little more slowly. However, Saving Ben was a refreshing mystery and something we need more of in the new adult genre.

Saving Ben ended up being a solid read for me, and I was caught up in the mystery and characters. If you are looking for something different, I totally recommend it.

*Disclosure-I currently work as a virtual assistant for this author. This did not influence my opinion. If  you are interested in reviewing Saving Ben or Her Sister’s Shoes by Ashley Farley see Bloggers Wanted in the menu bar. 

About Ashley Farley

Ashley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings. Look for HER SISTER’S SHOES, a women’s novel that proves the healing power of family, scheduled for release on June 24, 2015.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw and Howler. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Find @kimbacaffeinate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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64 Responses to “Saving Ben by Ashley Farley”

  1. Olivia

    I actually have a review copy of this book so I will be reading it soon myself! I like the sound of the suspense and never being able to know what happened and who has done it if anything did happen. I love the cover as well <3

  2. Tyler H Jolley

    I agree, there is definitely a gap in the NA genre with mysteries. I really enjoy the cover, it feels so spooky and it sounds like the story lives up to that.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It begins with the psychopath missing. No one can find her..there may have been fowl play. Then the story take us back to the beginning when they all meet and proceeds towards the event we began with.

  3. Lorna

    This one sounds pretty good to me. I wonder about the telling and not showing in the last part, and that makes me hesitate. I used to read almost nonstop women in jeopardy thrillers or mysteries. Now not as much. I like that it kept you guessing cause there is nothing worse then knowing the who done it part well before the end. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It wasn’t bad and the story held together and was suspenseful but I would have like it drawn out you know what I mean. It was more like that 5 min wrap up on a tv show.

  4. Lark

    Good review! It’s odd that there are so few YA and NA mysteries. I wonder why that is? It’s nice to see the genre easing into the NA market.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Sex sells..LOL No, seriously I don’t know why..but I loved seeing a mystery.

  5. Kay

    This does sound different and I am always looking for new NA books that are different. Thanks for the review!!

  6. Paij Slater

    Always such great reviews. What I love most about this is that she is self published! I love reading self published books some of the time. They are so refreshing sometimes. They say what they want when they want and it’s fabulous.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love that she had it professionally edited and did all the things a traditional house would payed of. This is original and refreshing

  7. Sophia

    You’re right – there’s not a lot of Mystery books in the New Adult genre… YET. In fact, there’s not a lot of genres in the New Adult genre aside from a lot of contemporary romance, which is the biggest reason why I’m so hesitant on reading New Adult books.

    This does sound like something I would definitely like to curl up with – the cover and the synopsis sounds so ominous (especially the cover)!

    Fab review, Kimba! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am hoping we see more. I know sex sells but I love mysteries, paranormal, UF and fantasy too.

  8. Kathy

    Oh, this one looks right up my alley. The blurb had me at psychopath. Geeze, what does that say about me? Oops!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Bwahaha..I am the same way ..I love twisted characters Kathy!

  9. Sophia Rose

    You’re right! One doesn’t see much mystery element in the NA genre. I love it so I’ll have to give it a peek.

  10. Katherine

    I haven’t read much NA but this does sound interesting. I like the intrigue and mystery of this one. I’m very much looking forward to Her Sister’s Shoes and will have to add this to my TBR as well.

  11. Lanie

    The cover looks spooky, so it’s kinda surprising the story doesn’t seem to read that way! Great review;)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It has suspenseful moments since you are never sure who or what happen to Emma till the end.

  12. Bookworm Brandee

    Sounds like a pretty good read, Kimba. I don’t often read mystery but I’m intrigued. I like that the story kept you invested despite the few hiccups. And I like that she wove in little side threads and touched on some heavy topics. I’ll put this one on my wish list. Great review, Kimba!

  13. Heidi

    I always enjoy a good thriller type mystery with psychological angles. I might have to check this one out if I ever get caught up.

  14. Candace

    I do love mysteries and this one definitely sparks my interest! I want to know what happened to her!

  15. Ramona

    Interesting, and evidently, a very personal project. It’s a new book for me, but I’m eager to read it, Kimba. From my experience, I know that the best stories are those rooted in personal experiences, so this one has a lot of promise. Beautiful & thoughtful review – thank you!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks Ramona. I loved seeing something fresh in this genre

  16. Stormi

    Okay so I admit I am a cover judge and this cover really didn’t speak to me nor did the title but after reading your review I am more likely to give this one a try. I don’t read a lot of NA because like you said there is not a lot of mystery or anything other than romance really in that genre, but I could try this one. 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is so not your typical NA..refreshing and even the romance was light and realistic.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes dig it out..I would love to hear your thoughts

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Glad to hear it Debbie. You might like her newest book Her Sister’s Shoes.

  17. kindlemom1

    I agree that we definitely need more mystery in the NA genre! It sounds like this was so well done until the last half and then wasn’t quite as strong. It does sound like the author knows how to weave a tale though and I love that.
    Wonderful review Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes..totally worth the read but I wanted more. It wrapped up but it could have been drawn out and the suspense aspect notched up.

  18. Nick

    A NA mystery? Wow! I don’t think I’ve read one before. I like the sound of this one and you’ve got me very curious about what’s up with Emma! I also like that the book is heavy on the relationships other than romance. That’s always a plus in my book!
    Great review, Kim!!

    P.S THANK YOU so much for the lovely surprise in my mailbox yesterday! You didn’t have to do it, but I just wanted you to know that you made my day. I was having a rough day yesterday, and your thoughtful present made me so happy! <3
    I'll be reading it this summer and getting back to you on my thoughts!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      First you are welcome. We all need surprises once in a while and I love giving them. Yes..this book was good and so different and refreshing in NA.

  19. Faye

    Kimberly, you immediately sold me on this one. I mean, seriously, first we get concerned about Emma and the more we know about her the more we find out that there’s actually more to her than what meets the eye? You’re right, I’d love the mystery aspect of this one. I don’t even care if this is NA 🙂 I want that premise, stat!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes, I love characters like this who evoke such strong thoughts. So not your typical NA at all Faye.

  20. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I follow Ashley’s blog and this looks like an interesting read! I went to UVA and am familiar with Carter’s Creek, so that’s enticing for me. Plus, the psychopathic angle and the fact that it’s based maybe on some kernel of real life (at least it sounds like)?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh so cool you are so familiar with the setting..yep that would have me curious too

  21. Braine

    I’m reading your bullets and I’m going like “this is my kind of twisted”. I get a vibe that some things were rushed towards the end instead of a slow torturous onion-peeling reveal?

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It was kind of Yes I would have liked an additional 50 pages of detail and drawn out ending.

  22. Grace

    I like me a good mystery but I don’t think I have ever read a NA mystery, so that sounds interesting. Thanks for the review!

  23. Benish

    Wow this thriller is something I would enjoy, thank you for putting this under my radar. I added it to my TBR – I like this is a more of a family orientated story than romance.

  24. alreem

    sound like a good read, happy to see you enjoyed it .. I’m not really a huge fan of Mystery, Suspense books but I do need to change that soon 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I enjoy the genre Alreem, and this is a nice mix of character stories and you may enjoy it.

  25. Melliane

    That’s true you’re right, we don’t have a lot of mystery NA book so it’s quite intriguing to discover one like that mainly as it sounds good! thanks for the discovery!