The Book of You by Claire Kendal
This novel has been touted as a psychological thriller for fans of Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep. I found the former disappointing (I was in the one star camp) and I read the latter in one afternoon; it kept me intrigued but I had some issues with the diary format. How will The Book of You fit into this continuum?
Clarissa’s colleague Rafe is making her feel uncomfortable. He appears everywhere she goes and is quite insistent on why the two of them need to spend time together. To an outsider it looks good-natured and harmless so Clarissa keeps a diary of all contact with Rafe. Clarissia is conveniently called for jury duty and relishes an environment where Rafe can’t approach her. However, she begins to realise that the victim in the case has a story that bears similarities with her own. The story alternates between the present day and diary entries until it reaches crisis point…
First Impressions: A very readable novel. The author has a good writing style and I found myself quickly turning the pages.
Highlights: Mystery is created throughout this novel. Can Clarissa trust the members of the jury? Is her romantic interest hiding something? How will the case finally intersect with her own situation? Both the stalking storyline and court case are believable; I never like having to suspend my disbelief! Most importantly, it is definitely a page turner you want to finish in one sitting if you can.
If I was an editor: I would make two suggestions. Firstly, the last part of the novel could have perhaps been more dramatic. Half the novel is Clarissa’s journal and it reads exactly like that: events continue along and complete the story but I personally would have liked more twists and exciting revelations. Secondly, I would have liked the two narrative threads to come together more at the end. This could have made for a more shocking ending. However, the story reads well and I think I am making these comments only because I started reading the novel without knowing much about it and expected something slightly different to what Claire Kendal created.
Overall: This novel will be a great summer read and will be incredibly popular. It is much more believable and enjoyable than Gone Girl, and similar in style but different in content to Before I Go to Sleep. An imaginatively creepy first novel!
The Book of You: 3 Stars
Thank you to Harper Collins for a proof copy to review.