Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I chose to read this book based on a YouTube recommendation. Ultimately, the book wasn’t for me. I enjoy a good thriller from time to time. I enjoyed “Gone Girl”, but this is not “Gone Girl”. It’s not even the UK version of “Gone Girl” in my opinion.
Hannah is presented as this strong, independent woman, living in New York until she meets and marries Mark. Then, she becomes this paranoid, jealous, needy woman all of the sudden. She can’t get a job, she doesn’t think ahead, and she jumps to pretty outlandish conclusions. Chapter after chapter, I just got really annoyed with her character. Even if everything turns out worse than she thought (which I won’t spoil it for you, don’t worry), by the middle of the book, I just stopped carrying. She does go through some character transformation, uncovering things about herself and her husband’s family, but she whined and worried through all of it.
The writing, at times, was very repetitive. She comes across some information about another one of the characters and reads stories about what this character has done. This was two whole chapters of newspaper excerpts about this particular situation. I got the gist of the issue after the first story, and I didn’t feel like new things were being revealed in the following stories.
The plot, probably because of the writing, was slow and chaotic. The build is very slow, and the reveal is kind of abrupt. There are a few plot twists to the book, but by the time we uncover them, I stopped really caring. I found myself almost skimming the last few chapters.
I don’t think there was a lot of profanity if any. But there were violent and sexual themes in the book. There is a rape scene included, though it was done in the past. And there was a murder that is uncovered (a few actually) as well.
To me, the book wasn’t really all that creepy. It wasn’t the thriller I was hoping to read this year for October, and it took me so much longer to read it because I simply didn’t want to pick up the book. I think part of the problem was the advertised “it’s the Gone Girl UK version” that really wrecked my expectations. It’s not a book I think I’ll be keeping on my shelf.
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