Providence by Caroline Kepnes #bookreview #thriller

Title: Providence

Author:  Caroline Kepnes

Publisher: Lenny

Publication Date: June 19, 2018

Page Count: 359

My rating: 2 stars

About the book:

A propulsive novel that’s part love story, part detective story, and part supernatural thriller—from the acclaimed author of You, whose work Stephen King describes as “hypnotic and totally original”

Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.

Four years later, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off . . . until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.

Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.

In this dazzling new novel—and with an intense, mesmerizing voice—Caroline Kepnes makes keen and powerful observations about human connection and how love and identity can dangerously blur together.

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Anyone who has followed my reviews may have heard me mention Caroline Kepnes first book YOU and how much I loved that story so of course I was going to grab anything else that she had written. Picking up Providence I was well aware that it was nothing like YOU and that was perfectly fine with me as I don’t want to read the same story over and over again and love mixing things up and branching out. However, after reading Providence I can’t lie and say I really enjoyed this one.

The story started off rather well and I could immediately tell I was diving into a Kepnes story. Readers are first introduced to Jon, one of those awkward  kids that often end up the target of bullies. Jon has one really good friend in Chloe and on one excited morning Jon heads out to school excited to see Chloe and takes his normal out of the path of bullies obscure root to school only to be attacked and kidnapped.

With Jon missing Chloe of course spirals into despair when searches turn up no sign of Jon but eventually time moves on without Jon. Four years later however Jon turns up from seemingly out of nowhere a completely changed man now. Much larger and stronger than when missing Jon quickly starts to realize his kidnapper had done something to him making those around Jon no longer safe.

Up to and after Jon’s return I really thought this one was going to end up very highly rated for me. The whole science fiction fantasy side was really appealing although I’m sure some will be turned off by such an aspect in a thriller I was really loving it. But where things fell apart was when Eggs was introduced to the story, I just never connected to his character or really cared to at all.

At that point Jon’s story kind of takes a direction that seemed to dull my excitement too so from then on out it was just pushing myself to turn the pages and finish. While the little twist at the end wasn’t too bad it was just a matter of too little too late to excite me with this one. While this one wasn’t my cup of tea Caroline Kepnes is still a very talented author and I’m sure some may enjoy this one more than I did.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Caroline Kepnes is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her first novel YOU was shortlisted for a CWA New Blood Award. Stephen King calls her writing “hypnotic…never read anything like it”. Her second novel HIDDEN BODIES is a sequel that Booklist describes as “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman”. Caroline earned a BA in American Civilization at Brown University and worked as a pop culture journalist–Entertainment Weekly–and a TV writer–7th Heaven. She now writes full-time and lives in Los Angeles.

A Lifetime series based on YOU is currently in production with Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble producing. Penn Badgley will play the lead.

Caroline’s newest novel, PROVIDENCE, will be released in June 2018.


Categories: Uncategorized

12 replies

    • Well, I love supernatural and scifi so mixing with a thriller should have been right up my alley but yet I still wanted to toss it to the side. There was just something not there after that next time jump that I lost all interest in the story.


    • Thank you. I do hope you are one of the ones that enjoy it more than I did myself. It really does seem to be kind of one of those hit or miss books and I was hoping I’d love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You really could end up liking it more. It was just one of those things I couldn’t put my fingers on but once it got to adding Eggs into the story I got really bored with it and had to push to even finish. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very good and honest review Carrie. Too bad this was not a winner for you. I am not a big fan of this author, I think I was one of the few that did not like You. Better luck with your next read.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really enjoyed You and Hidden Bodies so I had my eye on this title. Not so sure that the sci-fi aspect will be for me though. Hopefully, her next book will have some of that You magic though.Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even more glad I gave this one a mix after reading your review. It is so frustrating when a story has the potential but somehow just doesn’t draw you in – hope your next reads are much more enjoyable for you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I’m not even sure if it just didn’t go the direction I thought it should or if the character that was brought in just rubbed me the wrong way. Either way something just fizzled there in the middle.


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