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90 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Book of You is tense and chilling
This is one hell of a scary story, the creepiness of Rafe really does seep into the brain whilst reading and I for one, became more than a little jumpy whilst I was reading it. Prepare to find yourself peering around corners and off into the distance, who knows who is following you?

Clarissa is a vulnerable woman. Just out of a very difficult relationship...
Published 2 months ago by Lincs Reader

versus
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A book that can’t decide what it is……..
I was very disappointed with this book for a number of reasons, but my initial disappointment was caused by Amazon. After I paid 4.38 to download the book to my Kindle following a link sent by Amazon, it’s pretty galling to find it selling on the same website for 3.99 the very next day. It’s just 40p difference, but it feels like a rip off and it’s...
Published 2 months ago by Kazzzzz5


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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
Excellent thanks
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4.0 out of 5 stars Poor ending!, 9 July 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
Good read not the best book I have read but ok! Court drama did my head in as was going back & forth all the time!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
Great story line, gripping from the very first page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 12 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
This book was brilliant - I read it in 2 days as I couldn't put it down. It was a real page turner and kept me hooked until the end. Can't wait to read Claire Kendal's next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a million quid of anyone’s money., 3 Jun 2014
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
Clarissa is a young professional, a university secretary in Bath. She is living in the aftermath of unsuccessful IVF and separation from her long term partner, Henry. A few months previously, she had quite violent drunken sex with Rafe, a lecturer at her university, and since then has been systematically stalked by him. Rafe is a smarmy character who constantly claims to be worried about her and that he only wants to help. He also cyber-stalks her oldest friend, Rowena, and ambushes Clarissa when she and Rowena are having lunch together. Clarissa has been summoned as a juror in a rape case that is expected to last seven weeks, the duration of the novel. Carlotta, purported victim of the rape, is a drug addict and prostitute who was dealing to fund her habit. Having used, instead of selling, her supply, he supplier, ‘Sparkle’, abducts her and, according to her, arranged for repeated beatings and gang-rapes to teach her a lesson. Early in the trial, Clarissa forms a friendship with Robert, a fireman who is also serving on the jury.

Wow! What an astounding, epoch-making piece of literature! This is the cleverest handling of rape, cyber-stalking, the criminal justice system you can imagine while remaining, at its heart, Chick Lit. It’s absolutely amazing. It feels so ‘new’. We need a new category.

Essentially the story is told in seven chapters, each representing a week of the trial. Each chapter is named for a fairy tale. Each chapter has a moral quandary and some kind of theme independent of the work as a whole. Each chapter is composed of Clarissa’s first-person diary of current events, with third person segments from some kind of omniscient point of view. These third person sections will turn out to be Clarissa’s ‘recovery log’, written while pregnant and hospitalized. It is intensely cinematographic.

Finding flaws in THE BOOK OF YOU is like finding flaws in an Amish quilt. Of course they are there, but who cares? It is so massive, intense and meaningful that minor editorial irks are irrelevant.

By far the most important aspect of the work is the clever, simplicity of style. If you can read Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella or 50 SHADES, you can read THE STORY OF YOU. There is nothing complicated going on linguistically, stylistically or thematically.

The theme, “you are allowed to be a bit thick and have some fun without being raped, murdered, harassed, burnt at the stake or broken on the wheel”, will appeal to almost anyone, and offend some.

I can honestly see this as one of the books of the year. Worth a million quid of anyone’s money.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Terrifyingly realistic and haunting from the first page, 20 May 2014
By 
Zarina @ Page to Stage reviews (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
The 'you' in the novel's title refers to Rafe, Clarissa's colleague and stalker. Increasingly worried about his obsession with her, she's been advised to keep a journal of all the times she's noticed him watching and following, the threatening things he whispers when he manages to catch her alone and the sinister 'gifts' that he puts through her mail box. Because unless he physically harms Clarissa there is no proof that he is in fact a threat to her and it isn't just all in her head. It is her word against his, and to the outside world he seems harmless, friendly even, which makes it even more scary and impossible for Clarissa. No-one believes her.

Clarissa's fear radiates from the pages of the novel as it becomes clear that the authorities will be of little help until she's gathered extensive evidence. And even then there's no guarantee that they can do anything meaningful other than slap a restraining order on Rafe, which really doesn't prevent him from going after her again. To make matters worse, Clarissa is called for jury duty and in the case she's working on the female victim has a lot of evidence and witnesses testifying that what she says is true yet despite all this she's harassed and treated like a lowly criminal. All this only re-enforces what Clarissa knew all along: she's alone in her fight against Rafe.

Stalking is not a subject I've given much thought in the past and even when I did, I assumed that the victim could fairly easily get rid of the nuisance by going to the police and getting a restraining order. This novel has forcefully opened my eyes and made me realise it's not as easy as that and that 'just' stalking can have much more severe consequences too. It seems that you have to get physically harmed first, before your voice gets heard, and that is a very frightening thought.

The Book of You was terrifyingly realistic and haunting from the first page. The fast-paced story made this a real page-turner, as with each chapter finished the tension increases until the reader is on the edge of his or her seat for the final third of the novel. Highly engrossing, this is a worthy contender to become the next big thing in the increasingly popular psychological thriller sub-genre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut, 14 May 2014
By 
Luanne Ollivier - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
The Book of You is British author Claire Kendal's debut novel.

You know that delicious tingle you get when you've read the first few pages of a book and absolutely know you're in for an addictive read? One that will consume you until you finish it? Well, The Book of You is one of those reads.

"It is you. Of course it is you. Always it is you."

A polite drink one evening. A morning with no recollection of what happened. Three months later, he's everywhere that Clarissa turns, outside her home, her work, watching, leaving notes and presents, approaching her, always polite, but never leaving her be. He hasn't truly done anything that the police can deal with. "The advice in the leaflets doesn't work in real life. I doubt anything will work with you."

But what Clarissa does do is start documenting it all - everything Rafe says, does, dates, times, places, saving everything he has left for her. "Perhaps the leaflets are not completely useless after all. They have taught me that a time will come when the story matters a lot. And I already know that every story has a true name. I wish this story's name could be different, but nothing will change it. This story is The Book of You."

Clarissa is called to serve on a jury. Although the case is a difficult one - a woman who has been held captive and abused, the courtroom is a place where Clarissa believes she can feel safe for seven weeks. But, she doesn't count on the emotional trauma that the case brings into her own life. Much of the testimony mirrors her own situation.

Rafe's stalking of Clarissa is insidious and truly, truly frightening. He manipulates and twists things about, so that Clarissa looks like she is the crazy one. His conciliatory tone, his politeness, his belief that Clarissa is his, is more chilling than overt acts of violence. But for me, it was the watching, the constant surveillance that had me creeped out.

I don't know if I could have been as polite in some of the interactions as Clarissa was. I found myself urging her to not dismiss her own concerns, to not try to build a case against Rafe before seeking help from the authorities. To run.

Kendal does a fantastic job of slowly and deliciously building the tension. She adds in plot twists that I didn't see coming and an ending I didn't expect. There are situations and descriptions that may not be for gentle readers. For though this is an imagined tale, stalking is an all too real danger for many.

The Book of You is a fantastic debut and has put Kendal on my 'must read' authors list. Thriller and suspense fans - this one's for you
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5.0 out of 5 stars gripping thriller, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
At first i didn't like the book as the writer adapted different writing styles and constantly switched from them. It's a gripping story where Clarissia is getting stalked by a colleguge. Great debut novel from this author and look forward to reading more from her in the future
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compared to gone girl, 11 May 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn so was excited to find a book compared to hers.
This book I couldn't put down it was brilliant as a thriller but I was expecting a big finish only to be disappointed.
I would recommend this book with a warning that the ending is a little lacking.
I will look out for the authors next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 May 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
Loved this book, read it on bank holiday Monday, great way to relax and chill. Very addictive and scary in parts, waiting for the next one from this author.
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