My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 6 hours
Publisher - Harper
Pages - 362
Blurb from Goodreads
What a great wee debut novel!
For Clarissa, being called to do jury duty is a relief. It means she can leave work for a couple of weeks and avoid the unwanted attentions of her university colleague, Rafe. An intense man who is an expert on grisly folk tales, Rafe has always unnerved her, and Clarissa still cannot understand how she could have let herself have a drunken one-night stand with him.
As the trial unfolds, Clarissa begins to see the parallels between the violent tale related by the young woman whose attackers she is judging and her own situation. But with no crime to report and only her gut feeling to guide her, she is powerless. What can you do when the lines between fantasy and reality, love and fixation become dangerously blurred? How do you protect yourself from an enemy that no one else can see?
With an original structure and a heroine whose voice is equal parts unsettling and unforgettable, The Book of You is tinged with the darkness of a macabre fairy tale, yet is terrifyingly close to reality, a story that will haunt readers long after the last page is turned.
The book opens in diary form, Monday, 2 February, 7.45 a.m. from Clarissa in first person form. The book goes with this theme as well as 3rd person narrative. The diary entries are well signposted and flip back to when she first really encounters Rafe and things go down hill from there, it does it really well and you can follow the time shift easily. Rafe is obsessed with Clarissa, stalks her, believes they are in a relationship and won't take no for an answer. We follow their encounters both in present day as Clarissa keeps a diary of "evidence" of their interactions and going back to how they got to where they are now.
This is a really creepy, thought provoking story about just how easy it can be to fall into the clutches of an unhinged human being. I have read many crime and thriller books, even a few psychological thrillers but this is my first stalker type one and it is really haunting. Some of it is graphic, sexual and makes for really really uncomfortable reading. However, busy as I am with coursework, I couldn't put it down. The author has done an amazing job of creating a tale filled with fear & horror for the main character which you are dragged right into. I have never been stalked however after reading this book, I felt like I had experienced the trauma of it, such is the vividness of Clarissa's world she paints.
There were one or two issues I had with the book however it was more to do with unanswered questions and a few stickler points that are a personal preference when reading. I honestly think, if you like a good book that will freak you out and have you looking over your shoulder, you really must give this a read. 4/5 for me this time and I look forward to more from this lady and hope she is in the process of writing her next! Thanks so much to Harper for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review and highlighting a debut novel to me.!