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review 2018-07-13 19:06
Providence by Caroline Kepnes
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

Oh, this book. How on earth does one review such a unique book without ruining the experience for others? This is one of those books that you should experience going in nearly cold.

Strangely enough this book takes place in a town five minutes from my home. Me, being me, was reading every Nashua reference with a squinty eye looking for a nit to pick but I didn’t find anything to bitch about. Nashua is not a very exciting place, if you ask me, and it was fun imagining this weird stuff happening so close to me. I’m going to give any suspicious men about town even more of a wide berth after reading this, however. 

If you bought PROVIDENCE because you loved YOU and HIDDEN BODIES and you expect another crazy Joe you do need to know that this book is not at all like either of them. It starts out when the main characters are children and within pages I was so in love with their friendship and engaged with these two characters that I didn’t want to put it down (curse you real life and your constant interruptions). Kepnes managed to do in mere pages what some books cannot accomplish after hundreds of them. She made me care deeply about these two and put my feelings through the wringer. Now that’s a talent!

Jon and Chloe just click. They would’ve, could’ve, should’ve been that rare couple who fall in love, marry young and stay together through good times and bad because they were meant to be. But that doesn’t happen because who wants to read that book?! Something unexpected happens to one of the kids and it changes them forever. Waking up with vague memories and a copy of The Dunwich Horror by Lovecraft with a strange letter tucked inside, the parents, best friend and the family soon learn that something has forever changed with this kid. I’m not going to tell you what it is or even which kid it is because you need to experience that gut punch yourownselves. I’ll just leave you guessing with this quote.

"I’m starting to get paranoid, starting to think something’s wrong with me… I imagine myself the invisible monster, slaughtering them all."

The remainder of the book features these two kids grown and struggling to connect, longing for each other but unable (for reasons I’m still not divulging) to be together properly. Their story is absolutely wrenching to witness. There is also another character named Eggs who makes it his mission to crack a case involving suspicious deaths of young people. Eggs and his story was also filled with pain and heartbreak and tore me all up inside. Geez, this book. I’m going to spoil it if I keep blathering on. Just read it if you want and I hope you love it as much as I did.

My favorite quote is this one because it’s so damned accurate for me and most everyone I know that I actually laughed out loud like a genuine lunatic. 

"Why are you so dressed up? That should be the state fucking slogan of New Hampshire. "

 

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text 2018-07-10 18:45
June 2018-That's A Wrap!
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah
Hyenas - Michael Sellars
The Tea Party - Charles L. Grant,Matt Godfrey
Lucifer, Book One - Neil Gaiman,Ryan Kelly,James Hodgkins,Dean Ormston,Peter Gross,Chris Weston,Scott Hampton,Mike Carey
The Cabin at the End of the World - Paul Tremblay
Sea of Rust - C. Robert Cargill
They Feed - Jason Parent
The Woman in the Woods - John Connolly
An Exorcism of Angels - Stephanie M. Wytovich,Corinne Gahan

I only read 11 books last month! 

 

 

Graphic Novels

 

 

Lucifer, Book One by Mike Carey 5*

 

Total: 1

 

Novellas

 

Total: 0

 

Audiobooks 

 

Born a Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah 5*

The Tea Party by Charles Grant, narrated by Matt Godfrey 4*

An Exorcism of Angels by Stephanie M. Wytovich, (poetry) narrated by Corinne Gahan 4*

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill, narrated by Eva Kaminski 3.5*

 

Total: 4

 

ARCS/Reads for Review

 

Hyenas by Michael Sellars 4*

Providence by Caroline Kepnes 4.5*

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay 4*

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly 5*

Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets & Outright Lies From a Lifetime of Writing for The Simpsons by Mike Reiss 4*

They Feed by Jason Parent 4*

 

Total: 6

 

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

 

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

3. October by Michael Rowe

4. It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World by Curtis Lawson

5. Bad Pennies by John Leonard

6.Cold in July by Joe Lansdale

7. Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

 

 Running Total: 85

 

 

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text 2018-06-29 19:12
Friday Reads is Finally Here!
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
The Sea Was a Fair Master - Calvin Demmer
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review 2018-06-17 04:45
Providence
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

Let me start by saying that the author clearly has talent. Providence is well-written and the character development is good. My feelings are based solely on my enjoyment, or lack thereof, of the story itself. Actually, it's two stories, loosely connected until they finally merge together in the latter part of the book. The parallel storylines do make sense once it all comes together and both are easy enough to keep up with. 

Caroline Kepnes was new to me, so I went into this one without any expectations or comparisons. The book is listed in the mystery/thriller genre and the blurb sounded intriguing, so I dove in. And then I dove back out - several times. Either I completely missed it or it just wasn't there, but I found absolutely nothing in the book that mysterious or thrilling. The only mystery for me was what happened to Jon while he was kidnapped. What did Roger Blair do to him? No spoiler here, we're told who the kidnapper is from the time it happens. We also know that whatever he did to Jon caused some major changes. Changes that have dire consequences. But, we're never given the details. So, I suppose that aspect is more an unanswered question than a mystery. 

All of that, while relevant to my feelings about the book, still isn't what clinched it for me. As I said, I didn't find anything that would make me think this story is a thriller. What I did find is one of the most depressing stories that I've read in some time. We have Jon, who is forced into a lonely existence because of the effects he has on those around him. Effects which cause no small amount of guilt. Then we have Chloe, who can't let go of her feelings for Jon and attempts to move on with a manipulative jerk. And let's not forget Eggs and Lo. We only get Lo's story through Eggs, and while that info leads me to believe she's a bit of an optimist, his view on everything is anything but. I won't go into details, but my opinion of him was clouded almost from the time he comes into the story. Not by his gut instinct that the deaths of so many people must be connected, but by his personal life and how he deals with it. What it boils down to is from the time Jon is kidnapped to the last page, I just felt bogged down and sad. Sad for these characters and their circumstances. 

It should be mentioned that there is a good deal of reference to Lovecraft and his work throughout the story, especially one book in particular. Quite possibly, if I were more familiar with Lovecraft's work, I may have had different feelings, but I'm not and I didn't. 

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review 2018-06-11 18:45
PROVIDENCE by Caroline Kepnes
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

 

PROVIDENCE is a tale of love and heartbreak, (literally and figuratively), infused throughout with a powerful longing for something that's just out of reach. I. LOVED. IT. !!

 

Young Jon Bronson is stolen away from his life and his first love, Chloe. He wakes up in a body he doesn't recognize because it's been 4 years since he was taken. The only clue he has as to what happened is a copy of Lovecraft's THE DUNWICH HORROR which contains a short note to him inside. He soon discovers this book is not the only reminder he has of his experience. What is the other reminder? Will Jon be able to resume his life at school, with his parents, with Chloe? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I'm not going to lie, at first I was disappointed to discover this wasn't a book about Joe Goldberg. Then when I heard this tale was somehow related to Lovecraft I was excited again. Turns out, this tale is actually only tangentially related to Lovecraft, so those unfamiliar with his work need not worry. It also turns out that Jon Bronson is a much better person than Joe Goldberg EVER could have been. That is the fact that made this book so difficult to put down. Look, I'm the type of person that loves it when everybody dies at the end of a story. The fact that I was rooting so hard for Jon surprised even me!

 

There is a whole other subplot going on here, involving Eggs, (a police officer) and Lo, his wife. While the story of Jon and Chloe involves young love with more than the normal obstacles in the way, Eggs and Lo showcase an entirely different tale of love-the long term marriage kind; the marriage facing major obstacles kind. Somehow, Eggs and Lo sneaked in through the back door of the main plot and stole my heart. I just wanted so badly for them to make it through.

 

All of this proves to me how powerful and capable of a writer Caroline Kepnes really is. These are not my types of stories: YOU, HIDDEN BODIES and now PROVIDENCE. I am not a romance reader, but somehow I became wholly invested in the fates of Jon and Chloe, of Eggs and Lo. I hope that that all of their stories will captivate you as well. If any of what I've written sounds appealing to you, go and get this book and find out what happens. Come seek me out when you're done and we'll shed our tears together.

 

My highest recommendation!

 

Available June 19th everywhere, available for preorder now here: PROVIDENCE

 

*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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