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101 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 4 months ago by Lincs Reader

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the second half the novel is falling apart
Middle-aged woman Clarissa Bourne parted with longtime lover after unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant. Shortly after broke-up Clarissa meets at a book launch party with the author of the book Rafe Solms. Rafe asks to walk Clarissa home, she agrees and wakes in the morning in bed with Rafe, but with no memory of the events of the previous night. The protagonist of the...
Published 4 months ago by Ray Garraty


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 23 May 2014
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
I was drawn to this book by the unique way it was written. I love the way Claire Kendal portrays Clarissa. When I began I felt the book was perhaps going nowhere and then it takes off and you cannot stop. It's a gripping if disturbing read. The hellish days of a woman being stalked. You literally feel her tension, her fear, and her apprehension all through the book. It builds to such tightrope suspense and fear and is written so well that you feel you are Clarissa.
I loved it. Really loved it. Sadly left it on the coach when travelling to London and they have no record of it being handed in. It's a book you don't want to lose.
Fabulous.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 22 May 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
Couldn't put it down from start to finish, best book I've read in a while. The plot flows well and keeps you gripped.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As other have said....gripping, 29 April 2014
By 
Mr. Nadim Bakhshov "Nadim Bakhshov" (Bloomsbury, London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
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I have just started this so will post a more lengthy review later but the opening has got me gripped!!

This is one of those books that you ought not to read in the middle of the week, in the middle of really boring paperwork to do and looking for excuses not to do it.......

It's pure escapism
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable read., 20 April 2014
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This review is from: The Book of You (Kindle Edition)
Looked forward to reading this book after seeing the reviews. Definitely not disappointed.. a recommended read. If you enjoyed Gone Girl you should enjoy this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripped from the first chapter, 16 April 2014
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
I really became immersed quickly in this gripping novel. I found it unsettling and creepy but I had to keep reading. I would have like the Clarissa character to fight back a bit more perhaps let Rafe have a touch of his own medicine and subject him to some frightening treatment . At times I got annoyed and wanted her to tell someone what was going on that seemed quite implausible. I hated the end it just left me feeling rather sad. Having said all that would definitely recommend.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brutal and gripping, 17 Feb 2014
By 
Love Books "Jessie" (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
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Clarissa is being stalked by a colleague at Bath University called Rafe. At the beginning of the story we are told that they once slept together and since then he has got it into his head that they are in a relationship and no matter how often Clarissa tells him to leave her alone, he won't.

As she becomes increasingly unsettled by Rafe's constant harassment, Clarissa is relieved when she's called for jury service. However the case she's judging on is a hugely unsettling one involving a young female drug user. Rafe's behaviour becomes increasingly creepy and Clarissa likes the look of co-juror Robert, a hunky fireman.

The three strands of the story are gradually pulled tighter and tighter and the tension is ramped up until it all comes together in a violent - although not gratuitous ending.

This is a good book and it's sheer coincidence I read it immediately after the brilliant and slightly more sophisticated Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty which covers some similar themes about the disgraceful way women are treated in the court system in cases where sex is involved. Having said that, this is a thrilling read and one that's hard to put down.

I particularly liked the first half of this book when Rafe's behaviour is disturbing, but very recognisable to anyone who's ever been at the receiving end of unwanted attention. The description of the feeling of frustration, helplessness and the desire not to be unkind to someone who's socially hopeless is spot on and brilliant.

It lost a star because I felt the story would have been more gripping and compelling if it had been unravelled in a more controlled way. (MINOR SPOILER) Raft turned from a believable weirdo in an out and out psycho too early on in the book at which point it lost me. It's still a gripping read though!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not overly original but adequately compelling, 31 Jan 2014
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
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THE BOOK OF YOU is the debut novel by Claire Kendal. Although it is not exactly original - the idea behind this book has been done before, a few times - it is a compelling read. You almost cannot help but carry on reading, despite the claustrophobic atmosphere that Randal has created.

The novel follows Clarissa, a young woman who is being stalked by her colleague, Rafe. When Clarissa is called for jury service, she sees this as an opportunity to escape his scrutiny. The novel is written partly in the first person, as Clarissa's diary entries, cataloguing the harassment she suffers from Rafe. It is also written in the third person, in the present day, focusing on the development of the trial. As Clarissa soon finds out, far from being a complete escape, the trial actually serves as a reminder of her own problems and how she may be viewed, if she were to report Rafe to the authorities.

An element of the novel which I particularly liked was the focus on fairy tales. Rafe is an academic who has an interest in the subject. Although not an academic herself, Clarissa also enjoys the genre and has an in-depth knowledge on the subject. It was interesting to read the parts which dealt with fairy tales, drawing attention to the fact that despite their romantic image, they really are dark stories with more than magic at their true heart.

So, overall, I did enjoy this novel. Although there were times when I felt frustrated at Clarissa, I also felt concern for her and her safety. I did feel that, to an extent, the climax of the book was rushed but having said that, I liked the fact that the ending did not tie up all the loose ends. Endings rarely provide us with a perfect resolution, and THE BOOK OF YOU demonstrates this.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Book of You, 31 Jan 2014
By 
JM (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
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This is a frightening story about a woman being stalked. It grips from the beginning and keeps the reader racing to turn the pages.
Clarissa works at a University as an administrator. Recently parted from her boyfriend she is led into a one night stand by a colleague, but is unable to remember most of what happened. All she knows is that it was a huge mistake. Unfortunately Rafe is not a man to take no for an answer, and in spite of Clarissa's increasingly clear rejections, he continues to hound her.
Clarissa is aware that the police will not act upon a casual complaint and begins to collect evidence against him. In the meantime she has been called to jury service and we hear the details of the trial she sits on, the kidnap and brutal rape of a young woman by a group of men.
It's a very claustrophobic tale, and a very uneasy one, the threat of stalking such as this is so frightening, and could happen to anyone, but it makes for an interesting and compelling read and I would recommend.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary as anything and brilliantly written., 12 April 2014
By 
Liz Wilkins "Lizzy11268" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
Publication Date: 24th April 2014

Thank you to Harper Collins for the delightfully creepy hints and then the review copy.

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.

Oh. Scary. I mean REALLY. And compulsive. And strangely fascinating that such men (and women, lets be clear) exist. And they DO exist. In a lot of ways this novel comes with a healthy dose of realism. It is not a unique story by any means but it is a beautifully constructed, intelligent and genuinely disturbing example of its kind.

Clarissa trusted too easily. One night with Rafe and her life is turned upside down. As she becomes increasingly isolated in her attempts to avoid him, she finds herself on jury duty – and begins to realise that if she is to escape a terrible fate she must take control.

This book creeps up on you. Rafe is superbly terrifying, straight out of your nightmares and onto the page, you may find yourself half expecting to see him lurking on the corner as you head out for a walk. And yet for all that he is absolutely real – with a job and a life and people that respect him. Clarissa feels she has no recourse, that no-one will believe her and that she is on her own. What resonated most with me is how she comes to hate her own name. Rafe uses it in every sentence, in every letter, in an almost caressing way, a twisted love that darkens with every new bump in the road, every new turn of the tale and leaves you wondering if Clarissa can survive this.

Told in both diary format and real time, we watch aghast as one woman has her life ripped away from her, in a kind of car crash can’t bear to look but can’t turn away experience that will haunt you long after you have finished reading it. I’m not sure I want to know what my dreams are going to look like for the next little while!

Intense, utterly compelling, horrifying yet enthralling, it was difficult to leave behind. Having gone through the trauma alongside Clarissa with every breathtaking moment, I almost can’t bear to let her go. A realistic portrayal of stalking, this is one to look out for in 2014.

Happy Reading Folks!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to kill him!, 18 Feb 2014
By 
Zola fan "Nana" (Hants, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Book of You (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The tale begins with Clarissa’s diary entry describing her first social encounter with her work colleague, Rafe – the ‘You’ of the book title.
From the very start, Clarissa is not comfortable with Rafe’s attentions and soon the ‘relationship’ changes; from having a pesky, unwanted admirer, it’s soon clear that she has attracted a cunning and determined stalker.

I really liked the author’s style of writing, it was taut and fast-paced. Each chapter left me desperate to find out ‘what next?’ The writer has obviously done her research well; we are given insight into how a situation that begins with subtle little coincidences escalates into relentless and terrifying obsession. Clarissa’s feelings of futility and despair as a result of Rafe’s scheming persecution were described so well and had my heart racing.

If you want to read a good, fast-paced thriller and at the same time learn the techniques/traits of a stalker/obsessive, I recommend this book. I am not a violent person but at the end of every chapter, I found myself thinking of the best way to kill this devious and deranged monster.
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