So I picked this one up at the “Staff Recommended” shelf at The Strand in NYC, with such blurbs that said things as:
“Absolutely chilling. I can recall very few times in recent memory I’ve been so physically unnerved by a novel.”
And the fact that this was a “thriller”, I was like, “what the hell” and I bought it.
So, they say the best way to go into this novel is not knowing anything, but I’m just going to tell you up front that, in the end, I didn’t like it.
Like, at all.
And I’m going to list the reasons, but, since I do agree that, if you’re going to read it, you need to go in blind. So, I would consider the rest of this review filled with spoilers. So stop now if you don’t want to know anything about it.
So, the basic premise behind this novel is that a girl is dating this man named Jake, and they’re going to visit his parents. But, she’s thinking of ending things with him, with herself, you don’t really know. You just know she’s “Thinking of ending things” (don’t worry if you forget it, because the author makes sure to tell you about 20 times, not to mention it’s the title of the book.) But, anyway, minor thing.
So, my main issue with this is that I don’t really like books when the author is clearly trying too hard. This was one of those cases, in my opinion. To me it felt as if the author sat down in front of his computer and was like “hmmm, let’s see…what’s a plot twist I can think of that, in the end, the reader is going to have to re-read the entire novel (or at least the ending) to maybe, vaguely understand what was going on…or even better…leave what happened open to interpretation!”
I think I have learned my lesson now when the cover promises an “ending that you’ll never see coming”, because I now know that just means an ending that makes no f-ing sense or is confusing as hell.
The writing, overall, is pretty good. I liked the style, at times. Whenever the girlfriend was describing things, it was good. But, once I read the ending, I just found it extremely pretentious, to be honest.
Another major problem I had was that this “girlfriend”, or the main narrator, is never given a name. Once you find out the ending, it all makes sense, though…kind of. But, it’s still annoying and just adds on the the pretentiousness.
So, now I’m going to talk about the ending. So, if you’ve made it this far and don’t want to know, then turn away.
So, once you reach the end, the “girlfriend” is in the middle of a school being chased by a lunatic. Oh, wait, the lunatic is Jake. Oh, wait, Jake is the girlfriend. What?
So, turns out Jake made up this whole “girlfriend” character in his head, because he was deciding whether or not someone would date him and he would commit suicide or something something something…I looked up at the explanation on GoodReads, because I honestly had no ambition to re-read the entire freaking book (especially after it turned into this whole “we” perspective).
But, all in all, Jake is crazy and has just been imagining this all in his head. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Throughout the novel, the way the “girlfriend” was describing Jake just seemed unlikely with someone with a multiple personality, though I can’t really say, just the way it was presented I don’t think works with the novel. There were just descriptions of intimate relationships that I don’t think would have worked the same.
The one thing I will give it props for is that, before the “big reveal”, the scenes where the girlfriend is running around the school were a little creepy, when the notion of having three characters was still an option (the girlfriend, the person chasing them in the school, and Jake).
All in all, this book started off interesting and turned into something too pretentious for my taste, but I was entertained at times, so that’s good (and why it will get an extra star).
I mean, why would you write a book forcing your reader to re-read the work in order to get the ending completly? It just doesn’t make sense and is not something I have time to deal with when there are so many other books on my TBR.
Skip this one.
If you ant to give this mess a go, here’s the link to buy it.