It’s a perfect summer in Nantucket, which means it’s the perfect time for a wedding.
Weddings are the perfect opportunity for the 1% to show off their over-decorated vacation homes, exuberant boat purchases, and couture sundresses. The marriage of Celeste and Benjamin should be the event of the season, with hundreds of thousands of dollars showered on the affair.
Until a body washes up on the shore, the body of the maid of honor, Merritt, and throws the entire small island into a tizzy.
Wow, this book was… a lot to process to say the least. YOU is about a bookstore manager named Joe who falls desperately, madly, and scarily in love with Guinevere Beck. A young Brown student who finds herself in his crosshairs after passing through his shop. What makes YOU unique is that the entirety of the story is told through Joe’s point-of-view. His very scary, violent, and downright filthy POV.
** Spoilers ahead. **
If this book were written by a man I doubt I would have even picked it up to begin with. As it stands, I already felt disgusting and dirty reading parts of it. Kepnes is excellent at creating a sense of foreboding, a sense of utter disgust with what her centric character is doing. Seriously, once I finished this book I felt like I needed to jump in the shower immediately. (Partly because Kepnes made me read the phrase “pussy juice” about ten times). I have to give her credit for not writing Joe in a sympathetic light. I never felt as if she wanted asking her readers to like Joe, just to understand his motives and his delusions.
Before I get into this review I just want to preface it with two points:
SPOILERS ahead! Please do not read this review if you intend to read the book and would like to do so spoiler-free.
I really ended up hating a lot of things about this book so if you loved it you might want to pass.
I’ll begin with a few of the novel’s strengths before I delve into why I gave this book a one-star review. This book is a highly compelling read. Liv Constantine knows how to write in a way that draws the reader in. I devoured the entirety of The Last Mrs. Parrish in a day, I just wish it hadn’t left such an awful taste in my mouth. I was intrigued by the plot, although I have heard it is very similar to another book I own but haven’t yet read, The Wife Between Us, and I did get sucked into the novel enough that I wanted to see it through even though I had worked out each plot twist before they came to fruition. I knew that Jack was going to be abusive from the moment Daphne panicked when Amber spilled her coffee on the floor, and the moment perspectives shifted from Amber to Daphne, I knew that Daphne would have had a hand in setting Amber up with him. I think that the writing hid these truths enough to be shocking but I’ve read enough books and seen enough television to know plot devices when I see them.
Apparently, this book was at the centerpiece of a lot of controversy upon its release. I never heard about it but I wasn’t big in the book review circle at the time. By reading the few hundred pages I did, I can see why. The racial allegories in this are ham-fisted at best and offensive at worst, and it’s at its worst for a majority of the book.
Needless to say, I couldn’t finish this one – 600 pages of an MC that was constantly victimized/bullied, it was extremely repetitive and all the world building fell by the wayside and suffered for it, I wasn’t immersed enough to want to wade through all that angst and based on many of the other reviews I read, I really didn’t miss much.
I did finish this book but, I found it mediocre at best. It’s a great read if you’re hankering for a mystery and don’t have anything more pressing to read but I didn’t find it anything special and it doesn’t offer anything new to an already overstuffed genre.
The storyline was not engrossing to me but the pacing was snappy and quick (except the middle which was a bit of a slog). I didn’t find the characters super appealing, or the dialogue for that matter, and the ending seemed to come out of left field. Yet, I still found myself mostly entertained. It’s a very easy, readable story that you could easily consume on a lazy Sunday.
Thank you to NetGalley for these ARC’s in exchange for my honest opinions!
When 11 year-old Sally Horner steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s, she has no way of knowing that 52 year-old Frank LaSalle, fresh out of prison, is watching her, preparing to make his move. Accosting her outside the store, Frank convinces Sally that he’s an FBI agent who can have her arrested in a minute—unless she does as he says.
This chilling novel traces the next two harrowing years as Frank mentally and physically assaults Sally while the two of them travel westward from Camden to San Jose, forever altering not only her life, but the lives of her family, friends, and those she meets along the way.