My Thoughts:

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 mishmash stars to Providence! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

I listened to Caroline Kepnes’ YOU on audio this exact same time two years ago. THAT was an experience, and if you enjoy audios and don’t mind disturbing content, it’s the best audio I know. When I saw Kepnes had a new thriller releasing under the new imprint Lenny (by Lena Dunham), I jumped at the chance to read Providence.

Providence is a mishmash of genres- thriller, paranormal, urban fantasy, young adult – and also a bit of a mishmash on how I felt about it. More on that later.

Jon and Chloe grow up as best friends in New Hampshire. Their feelings for each other start to grow, but they never talk about it. Just as Jon is about to confess how he feels, he is kidnapped by his teacher. His teacher has an obsession for H.P. Lovecraft, an author of horror pulp fiction, and by kidnapping Jon, the teacher is planning to save the world.

Chloe is left to mourn Jon and becomes an adult without him there to support her. Jon finally escapes, but does so with an uncontrollable superpower, which can hurt the people he loves most. Of course he runs away to protect Chloe from his power, but all the while, he is being tracked by a detective.

I was on board with Chloe and Jon’s story. Their relationship is sweet, they are likable characters, and I loved that theirs was a girl/boy best friendship. I found the J.P. Lovecraft angle interesting because I did not know much about him or his writing, and at first I even enjoyed when Jon returned with his superpower. I was a fan of the show Heroes when it first aired, and some of the inner turmoil that Jon experienced reminded me of that show.

Where the book lost me a little was when Jon left again to protect Chloe. At that point, many things were going on, and the pacing slid for me.

Providence held much promise, and it did, in fact, hold my interest well, until that last section. Overall, it was enjoyable and original. I was expecting to adore it, and it was more of an affinity. Kepnes is an engaging and strong writer, and I will continue to look for her new releases. I hope her next one will be another demented psychological thriller!

Thank you to Caroline Kepnes, Random House/Ballantine, and Netgalley for the copy. Providence will be published on June 19, 2018.
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A propulsive new thriller about the obsessive nature of love when an intensifying relationship between best friends is disrupted by a kidnapping.

Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he’s suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

Mourning the disappearance of Jon and facing the reality he may never return, Chloe tries to navigate the rites of entering young adulthood and “fit in” with the popular crowd, but thoughts of Jon are never far away.

When Jon finally escapes, he discovers he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to protect Chloe and find the answers to his new identity–but he’s soon being tracked by a detective who is fascinated by a series of vigilante killings that appear connected.

Whisking us on a journey through New England and crashing these characters’ lives together in the most unexpected ways, Kepnes explores the complex relationship between love and identity, unrequited passion and obsession, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two.

Have you read Providence or any other book by Caroline Kepnes, and if so, what did you think? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR