Rating: 1 Star
Joe is a stalker who’s currently got his sights set on Beck, a young woman who emails a lot, writes, and is incredibly flaky. Nevertheless, Joe knows they’re meant to be together so he spends months working his way into Beck’s life – and removing anything that might threaten to take Beck’s attention away from him.
Review (A Bit Spoiler-y*)
The concept of this book is actually pretty interesting since it’s told from a psychotic stalker’s point of view. You clearly see how Joe twists everything so he’s able to see whatever it is he wants to see.
But this one fell flat for me. Everyone was raving about the Netflix show so I picked the book up first and I’m not sure I’ll be watching this adaptation anytime soon. I had a lot of issues with the book. First of all, Joe seems to be able to get away with a whole lot – which might have worked in say 1920 when DNA wasn’t a thing but if this book is supposed to be current (which it is obviously is since there’s email and MacBook Airs and all sorts of fun technology) then realistically there’s no way he would have gotten away with anything. So the fact that he did was annoying.
Then we have Beck who is an absolutely vapid, narcissistic, flake who uses people like tissue before tossing them aside. And this wouldn’t have been an issue either, except for the fact that this entire book (with Joe, Beck, Chana, Lynn, Dr. Nikky, Benji, Peach) had not one single character in it that was relatable or nice. The only way this book could have been written well would have been to somehow make the reader sympathize with at least one character (ideally Joe, because he’s our main character and the entire narrative is from his point of view). If Joe had been someone who – despite being evil – the author had managed to make the reader like or at least sympathize with, then this book could have been amazing. If Beck had even been a good character, someone to like, then it might have been a good book.
But every character was basically the same: egotistical, self-centred, neurotic, narcissistic. With perhaps the only exception being Ethan (who plays a very minor role).
I also have an issue with characters using crude or crass language with the only purpose being shock value. And Joe was shocking for the sake of shock which was unnecessary. It didn’t really add to his character in any way so the crude, vulgar language didn’t seem needed. It seemed like overkill.
Apparently there’s a second book, which I don’t think I’ll pick up. I hope others found this book more enjoyable!