So many people have recommended this to me, and it took me a long time to get around to reading it. But once I picked it up I just couldn’t put it down.
What’s it about: Narcissistic (yet hilarious and clever) boy stalks narcissistic (awful) girl.
What I thought:
Unlike most thrillers, this doesn’t revolve around a mystery, but is more of a character-driven story, and it’s all narrated by the stalker, Joe. And he is a great protagonist.
I was sceptical when I had read other reviews of this book where people said that it’s difficult to not like Joe. I was like “how could you ever sympathise with the stalker? just no.” but despite the fact that he does awful, awful things, he’s also really funny with an excellent sense of humor and the social commentary is excellent. It also doesn’t hurt that the people he’s doing those awful things to are HORRIBLE.
Beck, the stalkee, is just the worst, and it’s really difficult to feel sorry for her. There are so many awful characters in this book, that they almost make Joe look like a nice guy. He’s not., He’s a bad, bad guy, but there’s just something about the way this story is told, which makes it difficult to not enjoy being in his head, and I love books with characters that are able to completely manipulate you into feeling for them.
This book is also extremely bookish, because a lot of it takes place in an independent bookstore (which Joe manages).
“The problem with books is that they end. They seduce you. They spread their legs to you and pull you inside. And you go deep and leave your possessions and your ties to the world at the door and you like it inside and you don’t want for your possessions or your ties and then, the book evaporates.”
If you are someone who doesn’t have issues with characters being completely unlikeable (although Joe is completely likeable, but shouldn’t be), and you need a mystery in your thrillers, then this probably isn’t the book for you. But if unlikable people and amazing social commentary is your thing, then you should pick this one up. Immediately. I just heard that there is a sequel to this book (I didn’t realise it was a series), and I don’t know if I will read it, because I liked where this book ended and it felt complete to me, however, Joe is such a fantastic narrator that I might not be able to resist.
I rate it 5/5 stars.
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