Reviewed: “The Book of You” by Claire Kendal

The Book of YouClaire Kendal’s THE BOOK OF YOU creeped me out.

Plain and simple, without a doubt, it creeped me out.

I’m addicted to true crime shows (thanks very much, Investigation Discovery) and I’ve read both true crime books and fictional crime books. None of it made me squirm as much as Kendal’s book did, especially in terms of stories about stalking.

What makes this book, a fictional one, so good is that the book is almost entirely dedicated to the stalker and that it is from the very personal, sometimes uncomfortably personal, perspective of the stalkee.

The woman being stalked, Clarissa, knows she should keep track of everything that Rafe does to her. So the woman who once dreamed of being a writer puts those talents to use and writes a journal. It is the “book of you” in that it is the book of Rafe. It’s a book to Rafe.

This allows the reader to be with Clarissa as Rafe leaves pornographic mail with her elderly neighbor. It allows the reader to see Rafe as he hovers in the periphery of her life. She is never without him and the reader is never without him.

Because this book affects the reader so much, it’s impossible not to feel your heart break for her when the single glimmer of hope she has in her life turns out to be a thinly veiled mirage of happiness. It’s ripped away too soon and, in a final act of unfairness for the woman the reader can’t help but identify with, it’s her stalker her rips it away.

It’s almost like he’s doing her a favor.

I looked over my shoulder more during the time I was reading this book. I don’t ever want to find myself in a place where I need to write my own “book of you” and I don’t want any woman to face it. It happens, though, and sometimes it’s the fictional depictions of life’s truths that teach us most about life. I learned from this book and I was entertained by it.

It was perfect.

(I received a copy of THE BOOK OF YOU as part of the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. This review is cross-posted between my blog & my Goodreads account.)

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