This book has a blurb from Gillian Flynn on the cover, so stop reading now if you hated Gone Girl, because as you may know, I didn’t. (Listen, haters, I get it. We can still be friends; we just can’t talk about that book. Honestly, keep reading; there may be something here for you yet.)
This was the first book I won from Goodreads. (three so far, yippee!) Unfortunately, I seemed to have lost this one in my giant TBR pile, so I’m a little late picking it up. I have read so much on my kindle lately, that it’s nice to pick up an actual book again. Aside from the sharp looking cover, there are terrific blurbs from a whole group of my favorite authors on the back. This, to me, is what the kindle is missing – I love a good book jacket. And frankly, I sometimes go back and read parts more than once. (When I read The Glass Castle, I kept going to the author picture to remind myself that Jeannette Walls lived to tell the tale. Flipping to this is not the same as choosing menu, scrolling to Go To, etc. etc. Also, they don’t really include the jacket info in a lot of kindle books. Don’t even get me started on that.
This novel, to me, was a soft-edged version of Gone Girl. The author plays with chronology (does any book go in sequential order anymore?), mysterious lapses in time, and the questionable character of her characters. But the major difference between the two books, I think, is that you will probably like most of these characters, and I might even go so far as to say, care about them. None of them are perfect, and some of them are just annoying, but, at the end of the novel, you won’t have that same torn feeling you may have had after reading Gone Girl. In Gone Girl, I felt the writing was brilliant, but the characters were horrible and unlikable, and the climax was sketchy. (And yes, I loved it nonetheless). The Next Time You See Me is well written, and the plot is engaging. You will be glued to your seat, but you will stop for meals and some sleep. But your sleep will be a little troubled, and you will not be sure who to root for, because even the bad guys here are a little bit kind.
The author does a nice job of playing with your sentiment — my allegiances shifted back and forth between the characters as the story moved along. When I was pretty sure I knew who did it, she made me sympathize with the murderer. So no, I was not shocked at this ending, but I didn’t feel cheated either. I felt that everything had proceeded to its rightful place, and I was satisfied. Plus, it has that really pretty cover; that looks cool on my bookshelf. Bonus.