Release date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Random House
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.
This may be one of THE most anticipated new releases this summer, I know it was high on my list of must haves and I know many others feel the same, but if you’re looking for a book that is similar to You then you better adjust your expectations because while there are a few aspects of Kepnes’ trademark style Providence takes a completely different turn than her earlier books did. For me this was not a bad thing at all, but I think it’s crucial for future readers to be prepared to avoid disappointment.
Kepnes has one of the most unique voices out there and that’s just as apparent here as it was in You. Her writing is top notch, she really blows me away with the brand of prose she creates, parts of this were pretty out there and I honestly wasn’t totally sure what was going on yet I was still hanging ontonher every word. If that isn’t the sign of an outstanding writer, I don’t know what is then, the woman can captivate me like no other. I did get glimpses of the same obsession and complexities of male/female relationships as in You but it’s SO much different from that, saying it was similar would be like comparing apples to oranges.
This is a little out there, a major plot point deals with the paranormal/supernatural and I know not everyone enjoys that type of thing, but I think the blurb hints at enough that I wasn’t surprised by it and hence, was unbothered. This explores the relationship between Chloe and Jon over the course of several years and alternates between their points of view and a detective named Eggs. The time jumps are frequent and a little extreme but I felt that it propelled the plot forward in an exciting way and timeline changes never tend to bother me anyway. If you’re expecting an edge of your seat thriller you’re going to wind up disappointed because I would say this is more of a deep exploration of the relationship between two people with a side of odd and a handful of suspenseful moments instead of a standard thriller. Yes, it’s mysterious but more in an otherworldly way that leaves you with questions in the end, nothing is straightforward or easily wrapped up in the end so don’t expect a neat and tidy resolution.
Bottom line? This will be a decisive book, I think people will either love it because it’s so different or they’ll hate it for the same reasons, but if you’ve been waiting for it then I say give it a try for yourself and let me know what you think!
Providence in three words: Unique, Complex and Captivating.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.