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book review providence Caroline kepnes

Stephen King for the Stranger Things generation: dark, twisted, hilarious and unmissable. 

Providence. In 2008, 13-year-old Jon Bronson disappears on his morning walk to school. After even his parents give him up for dead, only his best friend, Chloe, remains certain that he would come back.
Four years later, Jon returns with no memory of anything after the day he disappeared. But something’s different about him. His presence seems to cause spontaneous nose-bleeds in those around him. When he hugs his father, the older man passes out. The family dog disappears.

Jon’s only clue to his missing four years is the battered book left behind by the man he believes abducted him. And he and Chloe are determined to figure out what happened to Jon… before his presence does more than cause a couple of bloody noses. They’re sure they can solve the mystery and save Jon.

But this is a Caroline Kepnes novel. You know that the worst is yet to come

Duffy’s Review Of Providence By Caroline Kepnes

If you follow my blog you know that I, like most of the bookworms in the world LOVED YOU. YOU was original, dark, extremely smart and with characters so in-depth you felt connected in some way while reading. YOU was a breakout global hit and even the godfather of horror Stephen King rated it highly.

Hypnotic and scary…never read anything quite like it’ –Stephen King on YOU

Hidden Bodies was the strong sequel and Netflix have recently picked up YOU for a TV series. So, if you were Caroline Kepnes, where would you go next? Would you create another Joe Goldberg? That’s simply out of the question. Kepnes hit the jackpot early on, so how would readers feel about a new book and a new path? Tough gig right?

Does Providence Match Up To YOU?

Providence is billed as a thriller, but it isn’t quite that. I’ve also seen it described as a contemporary romance and it isn’t quite that either. Is it a mystery? Yes, but it has something else going on in the background. Is there a paranormal element? Maybe. Is the book hinged on the work of cult status horror and dark fiction author H.P Lovecraft from the 1930’s? YES, a lot.

book review providence
Author H.P Lovecraft and the book featured heavily in Providence

Caroline Kepnes knows how to write in-depth characters. She writes wonderful loving characters with soul and light, then switches and sends a sense of loneliness and isolation out of the pages, creating a feeling of obsession through your fingertips as you turn the pages. I’m a fan of Caroline Kepnes, and a fan of Providence, but in a very different way to YOU and that’s how readers should approach it.

The trick is not to pigeonhole this book, because if you go in expecting one thing, you won’t get enough to satisfy you. Instead, let yourself fall into the twisted love story of Jon and Chloe. Because of the engaging style of Kepnes, I fell easily into the pairs awkward early teen years and the struggles that followed when Jon is kidnapped, thought dead until he returns four years later a very different boy.  It is here that Providence becomes a strange, sad and lonely place, where random, healthy people begin to drop dead.

Who Should Read Providence?

I finished this book in one reading session which hasn’t happened for a long time. There are mixed reviews out there, but most will start by saying how much they loved YOU and were disappointed in this new release. I  think that stems from promoting this as a thriller which immediately sets Kepnes fans up with an expectation which isn’t met in the scare department. If you look past that and embrace Providence without trying to fit it in a specific genre, you’ll have a great time.

Released 1 August published by Simon & Schuster AU

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