Firstly all I can say is wow!! It has been quite a while since I rated a book 5 stars on good-reads. I also haven’t written a book review since I was probably in school but this novel felt like the perfect opportunity to change that.
I would recommend this book whole heartedly as it is fantastically written and is extremely inspiring as well as simultaneously horrifying and scary. However, approach this book with caution as it is definitely not for the faint hearted. I won’t give too much away but at certain points of the book, it is violent to a very detailed degree to say the least.
I have read many stalker/obsession novels and wasn’t expecting to be shocked. However, this book shocked me to the core! To the point I found myself staring into space trying to mentally recover after reading certain passages. Both filled with sadness and anger as well as a need for the main character to fight back. I found myself swearing out loud more than once and imagining what I would do.
The book is written with 2 separate narratives based in 2 separate time frames flowing parallel to each other. I found this one of the most intriguing aspects of the book and definitely added a huge amount of quality to the storyline overall.
The first narrative shows the main character Cathy, a young, carefree, flamboyant young girl who is loving life. She meets the ideal guy or so she thinks he is. This narrative descends into chaos and horror as it explores how love can go very very wrong. The extent to how domestic abuse can be so manipulative, controlling and masked in the real world. This narrative had me crying, swearing and shocked to the core as well as gripped to know what happens next. I have always wondered how women end up in these relationships and why the hell they don’t get out the first time a partner crosses the line. I can now honestly say for the first time I kind of get it.
The second narrative that is written parallel to the first in a chapter format headed with dates to avoid confusion is the aftermath of Catherine’s horrendous experience. The detailed account of her OCD focused on staying safe and extreme anxiety disorder that controls her every step. I found this fascinating as I have never explored to this level of detail about what it is like to live with these problems. Her identity having changed dramatically to the point of being anything but the Cathy described in the first narrative. She is reserved, constantly scared, timid, anxious and sad. I found myself wanting to protect her, hug her and shake her back to reality at the same time. This narrative, in stark contrast to the first also explores how love can heal you. I don’t want to go into too much detail to spoil things but this part of the narrative had me smiling from ear to ear.
Overall this was a brilliant book that I would read again. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good dark thriller/romance/real world issues kind of novel.