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Audiobook Review Bye Baby by Carola Lovering {living outside the stacks} Follow @DaenelT on Instagram #AudiobookReview #BookReview #PsychologicalThriller #WomensFriendships #FamilyRelationships #Mystery

Thank you to NetGalley for the audio version of this book for review. 

I chose to review this book because the book blurb caught my attention. I’m a big fan of psychological thrillers and I thought this might be an interesting story to listen to while driving between campuses. I wasn’t wrong.


Title: Bye, Baby

Author: Carola Lovering

Narrator: Helen Laser, Karissa Vacker

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Publication Date: 5 March 2024

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Format: Audiobook

Listening Time: 11 hours and 24 minutes

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ABOUT THE BOOK (from the book)

Every friendship has its shadow…

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 whatever it takes 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website)

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.

Keep up with Carola Lovering on Facebook, Instagram, and X.


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Three-Star Read

I really enjoyed this book, as it was an easy listen that I could put down and pick up again without getting lost. Because of the way the book is written, there’s very little mystery in who kidnaps the baby or why the baby is returned. The drama comes in delving into the pasts of these two women and finding out the secret that connects them.

This story also serves as a commentary on influencers and their reliance on social media for validation and the lack of boundaries when it comes to sharing intimate moments of their lives. There’s a lot of name dropping and product shilling, but it fit the character and the storyline, so I don’t view it as a negative so much as a hat tip to the reality that is social media platforms like Instagram.

In some ways, this story reminded me of some of the vintage chick lit books that I like to read. You know, the ones that gush over motherhood and click their tongues at women who choose not to have children. In fact, that’s probably the biggest issue I had with this book… All of the pressure that Billie felt to have children even though she was leading a fulfilling life gave heavy trad wife vibes.

Neither of the main characters were particularly likeable. Given their pasts, both could’ve benefitted from therapy to sort out their attachment {or lack thereof} issues. Cassie was self absorbed and basically used her baby as a prop for her online feel goods, while Billie was manipulative. I kept hoping that there would be some character growth by the end of the book, but there wasn’t. Furthermore, I was a little disappointed that no one seemed to suffer any consequences for their actions. Again, a result of their being absolutely no character growth. Still, I enjoyed listening to this book.

I’d recommend this audiobook for book groups as there are so many topics to discuss: influencer culture, women’s friendships, marital relationships, familial ties, and so much more.


This audiobook was narrated by two voice artists: Helen Laser and Karissa Vacker. Both women did an exceptional job of narrating their characters — there was enough distinction between the multiple side characters that there wasn’t any aural conflict {by aural conflict, I mean, I wasn’t trying to guess which character was speaking or getting confused when I had to leave off midsection and return later.

It’s helpful that the story is written from Cassie’s and Billie’s alternating points of view. Getting inside of the character’s heads and finding out their motivation made the story much more interesting.

I would listen to books narrated by these voice actors again.

Trigger Warnings

Sexual assault, murder, kidnapping


Have you listened to this book? What are your thoughts? Let’s discuss in the comments below. If you haven’t, feel free to purchase the book using the link below.


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