Maybe this is a series in the making, maybe this is just me making an excuse for an exceptionally short post. I have been away for a while because of some hell-brain issues and family/work stuff, and haven’t had much time to read a lot as I try to prioritize working on my own novel around all the aforementioned issues. But when your best friend reads a book, has such a visceral reaction, and shoves it upon you threatening bodily harm if you don’t read it yourself, you make the time. And when it fucks you up the way your best friend said it would, you have to share with a Keep It Simple Stupid review on your mostly dead blog.
I have never been so utterly, completely thrown off by an ending before. I am literally always able to guess how a book or movie plays out, but I was not even close to being right about Behind Her Eyes. (Side note: in looking up that link, for some reason it seems to list the subtitle on several distributor webpages as “Behind Her Eyes: A Suspensful Psychological Thriller.” Please delete everything behind the colon, any webpage god that is listening! That sounds really dumb! I’m sorry but it’s not necessary).
This book was not perfect: the writing was simplistic sometimes bordering on dull or monotonous, for one. For another, while we were clearly intended to root for Louise throughout the novel it is very hard to sympathize or not want to throttle her as the novel goes on for being just…stupid. At the end I’ll even say it seemed like she was acting out for the sake of the plot moving forward instead of making logical decisions in line with the character we’ve seen thus far. What I will say, because I know I raked Hold Me Closer, Necormancer over the coals for this same thing, is that this novel coincidentally also shifts from first person to third person and it’s actually done very well. The narrative structure here really adds to the plot instead of distracting from it, and even if it doesn’t make up for other flaws the book has I did want to mention it seeing as how I had ragged on another book before for the same thing.
I think I would recommend this book for the experience of reading it — for living through that damn ending. It isn’t a new favorite book, I have issues with it, but it is definitely one that will stick with me whenever I pick up another suspenseful or “thriller” read; I imagine this will be the ruler I measure plot twists by for a while to come yet. If you want a moody, thematic read that’s still not too difficult to parse though and really want to have the shit shocked out of you, I think it’s worth giving this a read.
I hope all of you are doing well! I’ve got another post in the works for later this week to try and ease back into posting more regularly now that my hell-brain issues seem to be getting under control. (Knock on wood!)