Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bookish Thoughts: The Book of You by Claire Kindal

It is you. ~ First Sentence of The Book of You



The Book of You by Claire Kindal
Harper, 2014
Crime Fiction; 368 pgs
A snippet from the publisher's synopsis: 
His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go.
Clarissa is only trying to find her own way after her break-up.  She does not know why Rafe is so fixated on her.  His attentions are unwanted, but he will not listen when she tries to tell him to stay away.  When called to serve as a juror on a seven week trial, she looks forward to a chance to get out from under his prying eyes for awhile.  What she doesn't expect is to find a friend and possible romantic interest in a fellow juror.  Is he too good to be true?

The Book of You is taut with suspense, and a book that had me holding my breath more than once as I read. Rafe is truly a disturbing man, and the author, Claire Kindal, does a good job of putting me right into Clarissa's shoes.  The terror Clarissa feels, the doubts and the helplessness, all felt so real, so raw.  I could completely understand Clarissa's attraction to her fellow juror, the need for normalcy and the need to feel protected.  

The narrative of the story is broken into both first person journal entries and third person. Clarissa has started keeping a journal in order to document Rafe's behavior, hoping to collect enough evidence in order to make the authorities believe she really is being stalked and is in danger.  It took me a moment to adjust to the shifts in narrative, but once I did, I was quite taken with the story and found it difficult to put down.

While the jury trial itself runs independent of Clarissa's own story, Clarissa cannot help but identify with the rape victim.  Clarissa sees her own situation through the lens of the trial and doubts anyone will believe her, knowing Rafe will have a rational explanation for everything, however untrue it may be.  Her desire to build up the evidence intensifies as the trial goes on.  There were moments when I worried that her distraction from the trial at hand was unfair to the entire trial process.  It reminded me a bit of my own jury experience and the self-admitted alcoholic who often came to court reeking of alcohol and whose personal life influenced his feelings of sympathy for the defendant who had committed murder after having too much to drink.  While Clarissa felt anything but sympathy for the perpetrators on trial for rape and kidnapping (I felt the same), it was clear she over-identified with the victim, however rightly or wrongly.

I was both relieved and saddened by the ending.  Much was resolved for both Clarissa and in terms of the trial.  There was also a part that was left open, in which the reader can drawn his or her own conclusions.  It's one of those endings that will satisfy some and drive others crazy.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Book of You.  It was an intense and emotional read.  I haven't found myself looking over my shoulder or double checking my locks like I did after reading Elizabeth Haynes' Into the Darkest Corner, but I am not sure I would read The Book of You before falling asleep at night if you are prone to dreaming about what you've just read.

Rating:  * (Very Good)


To learn more about  Claire Kendal, and her book, please visit the author's Facebook Page.

I hope you will check out what others had to say about Casebook on the TLC Book Tours route!




Many thanks to the TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to be a part of this book tour. E-copy of Casebook provided by publisher.


© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

26 comments:

  1. This sounds good, Wendy! I'll have to check it out.

    Thanks for the wonderful review!

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    1. Melody - I enjoyed it. I hope you will too if you read it. :-)

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  2. This sounds like a book that would have me flipping the pages as fast as I could.

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    1. Kathy - I did find it hard to put down once I really got into it.

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  3. Sounds like a great book though I'm not sure I like part of the ending being open. I'm a no loose ends kind of person! Definitely doesn't sound like a book I need to read when I'm home by myself! Great review - I'll definitely have to keep an eye out for this one!

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    1. Katherine - I don't mind slightly open endings where I can come to my own conclusions about certain aspects of a person's story. I'm still not sure how I felt about the little bit left hanging in this one though. I think I just really wanted complete closure for Clarissa.

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  4. I am glad this one worked out for you. I wasn't drawn to the story at all even though I like dark. I am tiring of woman being stalked by crazies.

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    1. Ti - I understand. Too much of the same wears on a reader after a while. It did take me a little while to get into the book. Once I was able to sit down and devote some solid chunks of time to reading it, I was better able to get involved with the story though.

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  5. The Book of You sounds good and I love it when the author makes a character seem almost real. I'm not sure about the loose ending though, that can irritate me.
    Great post!

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    1. Naida - Yes, I do too. I think there's enough of one here, but, still, I wanted just a little more . . .

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  6. Though drawn to the cover given that this isn't one to be read before falling asleep which is when I do most of my reading I don't think I'll be reading this one any time soon.

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    1. Tracy - You might be okay if you aren't put off by a little creepiness before bedtime. :-)

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  7. Thanks for your great review. I'm glad my own experience on jury duty was uneventful.

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    1. Pat - Jury duty can be an adventure, but I would definitely prefer uneventful the next go around, should there ever be a next time. :-)

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  8. After not long finishing Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn I think this would make for perfected reading, great review. I am going to add this to my wishlist :D

    Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

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    1. Lainy - Gone Girl was so good! I can't wait to see the movie when it comes out. I hope you like this one if you do read it. It's not quite as unpredictable as Gone Girl, but I enjoyed it.

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  9. I recently read someone else rave about this and now I am even more intrigued by this book. It sounds very creepy and hard to put down.

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    1. Athira - It's definitely hard to put down. :-)

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  10. I guess the stalking theme doesn't interest me much, but it does sound chilling. cheers.
    http://www.thecuecard.com/

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    1. Sandra - It is a popular theme these days, although I can see why it wouldn't appeal to everyone, especially those who are tired of "women in peril" type novels.

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  11. For me this is a daytime read, not a nighttime read. I'd never sleep otherwise!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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  12. This sounds like a creepy read... in a good way!

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