Life is sweet for Katherine Langley. A freshman at the University of Virginia, she is 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 new roommate, Emma, is beautiful and charming, a party girl whose answer for a hangover is happy hour. She is also a psychopath. When Katherine's obsessive-compulsive overprotective brother succumbs to Emma's charms and falls dangerously off-track, Katherine must save Ben from himself. Lives are threatened and someone disappears on New Year's Day. The only evidence left: a single set of footprints in the snow.
From the university campus to a cozy cottage on Carter's Creek, Virginia, Saving Ben is a haunting tale of love and loyalty, anger management, substance abuse, and betrayal.
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)|
About the Author
Ashley Farley was born and raised in South Carolina. She currently lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two teenage children. This is her first novel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Saving Ben based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
This book drew me in right away. The characters were relate-able and intriguing. The story was well written and interesting. This is a must read!
First, I saw in this book’s description that the story is set in Virginia. Then, I noticed that the author lives in Richmond, my town, so it was a no brainer—I had to read Saving Ben. After all, if my bookstore was still open, I’d be stocking this book and having Ashley Farley come by for a book signing event. Since I can’t do that, reading and reviewing it was my next best option and I admit to being a little bit biased from the beginning. One of the real pleasures for me was recognizing locations, always a fun perk. Having spent a lot of time in my youth at the University of Virginia (known simply as “Virginia” to us natives), I enjoyed the time the characters spent there but also in Richmond and Carter’s Creek. The characters themselves were interesting and had depth so that I felt I had a pretty good handle on them and their individual behaviors. Kitty appealed to me a lot, especially her willingness to stand up for herself, and so did Ben in the early part of the tale. I always had empathy for Ben until an incident between him and Kitty but, even then, I felt badly about what he had allowed himself to become. Their circle of friends seemed to be likeable kids that most college students would like to hang out with. Emma is probably the most well-drawn personality and certainly is frightening in her obsessions and her completely narcissistic attitude. For me, she was the cause of more than a little anxiety wondering what she would do next and who would suffer because of her actions. She is Ms. Farley’s strongest creation. There were some shortcomings for me. First, I felt the mystery was kind of lightweight and the resolution was predictable along about two thirds or less of the way in. I think just as strong a story could have been done without the distraction of this mystery. Second, the rural cops are made out to be incompetent in the extreme, letting the kids rummage through Emma’s car and not taking charge of her belongings until well after they know she’s dead. I can’t help thinking that’s pretty disrespectful of our Northern Neck police and I’ve never heard or read any factual statements that would make me believe this portrayal of bad police work is accurate. My next issue was that I thought Kitty is way too intelligent to put herself in such an obvious position of danger when she figures out who is responsible for what happened. When you get right down to it, this is a good example of the femjep—female in jeopardy—most mystery readers have begun to tire of. Also, Ben’s fraternity is initially referred to as KO but later the full name is given as Lambda Delta. I could be wrong about this and I apologize if I am but I think KO stands for Kappa Omicron. Finally, the author makes drinking a nearly constant thing with no one, not even any of the adults, raising an eyebrow over all the underage use. I’m not idealistic enough to believe there’s not a lot of drinking among high school and college students (I do live in the real world) but it truly is excessive here. Virginia is a tough school and these students would not last with all this partying. I know Ms. Farley has been active in promoting alcohol and drug awareness so I understand her zeal but the point can be made with a little more reality. Regardless of any failings, Saving Ben ultimately is about the strong bond that can exist between siblings and the harm that can be done to that bond by drugs and alcohol abuse. In that, Ms. Farley has done a fine job and I’ll look forward to reading more by this author.
A Haunting Tale of Love and Redemption Saving Ben is one of those amazing reads where you have no idea what you are reading until you open the book and start to read. If you have a sibling this book will pull at the strings of your heart because it is a story about a sister saving her brother. This is a story full of anger, alcohol and drug use, love, and sister loyalty at it's finest. Katherine is going to the same college as her older brother. Katherine is excited to be a freshmen at The University of Virginia with her older brother Ben who belongs to a fraternity and is the best brother ever. Katherine is excited when she sees where she is going to live and then she meets her roommate and she is really excited because her roommate Emma is beautiful, friendly and everything Katherine wanted in a roommate. As Katherine and Emma start to build a friendship Katherine notices that Emma has eyes fro her brother Ben and he likes Emma as well. Katherine is okay with that at first but then she is not because Emma is acting weird and she does not like how she is bringing her brother down. Ben has done a complete 180 degree change and Katherine and his friends don't like it. He and Emma are going strong even when his friends and sister warn him about Emma but Ben thinks he is in love and he has got to hit rock bottom in order to change. When Emma goes missing on New Years Eve people think it is Ben's fault and that is when Ben realizes that he was wrong about Emma and decides to change his life. But is it to late? Will he be able to survive post Emma? This book is such a rare find that in my mind it is a MUST READ! I know I say that for a lot of books but this is a MUST READ!
loyalty. Katherine, the main character of the story, is happy at college, as is her brother Ben. They are having the times of their lives. Katherine’s roommate, Emma, is a party girl that seems pretty cool, but Katherine finds out that she is nothing by a psychopath. When Emma sinks her claws into Ben, Katherine knows that she will do anything to save him from her. Danger, intrigue, familial love, suspense, betrayals, and twists and turns make this a fast paced thrill ride that will have you racing against time to save Ben. Katherine is fierce and loyal. The reader immediately starts to care for Katherine and Ben, and in a strange way Emma. Make this you next good read! I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Saving Ben made me want to beat people up. Most notably Emma, which I think is probably kind of predictable considering she's a psychopath. She's so damn good at it, she doesn't seem to just be a character in a book. I was paranoid that I would run into a girl like this in real life—although I think I'm safe because I'm not rich enough to have designer clothes for her to steal. Emma was psycho. She was diabolical and evil and a monster and every other word you can come up with. Huge commendation to the author for making all of the characters seem real, including Emma. She was deceitful and manipulating, but of course none of the other characters realized it right away. I have the unfair advantage of being the reader and reading the synopsis. My favorite character was actually Abby. And everything that happened with her made me want to give the poor girl a big hug and take her away from that place. That probably wouldn't be enough to suffice after all the crap she went through but she seemed so real, so tangible I felt this might have been an actual option at some point. She was sweet and a good person and I ached for her. The actual plot line was so amazing. There was that brief bit in the beginning to give us a glimpse into where the story would lead. Everything after that was so well done and the writing flowed perfectly. I'm pretty sure this is an indie author, but there's no evidence to support this. Generally a lot of the writing will be a bit clunky and the dialogue won't be natural. In this case that wasn't an issue. Again, the characters seemed so real that it was almost surreal. The way Emma slowly upped the ante and sabotaged Katherine's life through Ben was fantastically done. She managed to turn Ben and his mother against Katherine, despite her being the only one with any real rationale. The tension was strong. The hostility and animosity Katherine felt for Emma was definitely something I shared with her. I wanted her to pay for what she had done. Especially after everything she said to Abby, which I'm pretty sure had a great deal to do with Abby's deterioration. Emma's character was perfect. Her comments were never overt and were just passable enough for the others to let is slide. She was never over the top, which I think is a huge accomplishment. So many authors try to make an “evil” character and then overdo it, making it kind of comical. That didn't happen here. I can't properly explain how great this book is. I absolutely loved it and I'm so glad I came across it. It's a worthwhile read that is very well done and worth taking a look at.