Starring: Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard, and Frances McDormand
Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Star Rating: ★★★★☆
So I’ve begun the journey of watching Laura Linney’s filmography since she’s one of those actresses that I’ve always enjoyed and inspired to emulate in my own acting journey and I finally got around to watching Primal Fear.
I realize the film is a popular one, garnering numerous awards, most notoriously for Edward Norton who got a supporting actor nomination for his first ever feature film role. But for some reason or other, I had never really heard about it or knew what it was about.
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!
Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.
When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.
And then she makes a decision she can never take back.
Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?
But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.
From New York Times bestselling author Gilly Macmillan comes this original, chilling and twisty mystery about two shocking murder cases twenty years apart, and the threads that bind them.
Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.
For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.
When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…
In the last day of summer, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Allister Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.
Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New Englandschool she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.
Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.
As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.