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“I want to look like a different person because I am a different person. And when we hug, I’ll be that person that feels like home again, that person I was with him, that person I can’t seem to be without him.”

Published: June 19, 2018

Number of Pages:  384

My Copy Came From: NetGalley & Lenny Books

Read Via: Kindle, but I also received a really cool paperbound Advanced Copy from Lenny Books

 My Like Level: 2 out 5

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Book Synopsis from Amazon:

“A dark beauty of a book, Providence kept me up at night with characters that made my heart a little bigger.”—Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive

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.

My Thoughts:

OK. Deep breath. Let me start by saying how much I love Caroline Kepnes. Her previous books You and Hidden Bodies are hands down two of my favorite books of all time. I am DYING to see Lifetimes TV adaptation of You by Caroline Kepnes Starring Penn Badgley coming this September.

With that being said, I was really let down by Providence. I wanted to like it so badly, but unfortunately this was a miss for me. Some books are hard to read, digest and review and this is one of those books. I have literally been pondering how to write this review since I finished it March 5. (I am writing this review today, April 24, but it won’t be published until the books release date in June.) So it is now over a month since I read the book, and my gut feeling on it is that I just didn’t like it.  I am having a hard time remembering its details, and I don’t get any feelings of joy thinking about it. I didn’t love the characters and thought that their lack of communication was what the entire story relied on to keep them apart. While it would have been weird for Jon to just say to his family and Chloe “Hey, when I was kidnapped I was turned into some weird monster/human that kills people by giving them heart attacks.”, at least he could have given them a reason for his disappearance. Everyone in his life was left to believe they weren’t enough for him, or that he didn’t want them. Half of the tragedy was how simple it would have been to resolve had the characters just spoken to each other.I realize we wouldn’t have had a story without that lack of communication, but it still annoyed me.

I really enjoyed the detective Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus in the story. I thought his self deprecating need to solve the mysterious deadly heart attacks was a great way to add another element to the story. I liked Caroline’s writing of his character and was rooting for him. I was rooting for Jon too. I wanted him to find the answers he so desperately needed. I wanted him to be reunited with his love and to be happy. The tragedy he faced in his life between being bullied in school to then being kidnapped and released back in to the world only to have to leave everyone he loved behind to protect them from himself was heartbreaking! But these elements I liked weren’t enough to save the story for me.

I have to be honest, when I first read the synopsis long before I read the book, I was already concerned. There were too many themes and plots within Providence so I had a feeling this wouldn’t be a favorite of mine. But, I gave it a chance due to my love of the author.I also gave it a chance because in the past, I have had great experiences picking up books that sound a little “out there” and enjoying them much to my surprise. Unfortunately, I can’t add this one to my list of surprise hits.

I love Caroline and will continue to support her in whatever her future projects are. You can count on this loyal reader picking up every book she writes. I wish her nothing but success! 🙂

Thank you to NetGalley, Lenny Publishing and Caroline Kepnes for the Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for an honest review.

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