Posted in Books, Reviews, Thrillers

Book Review: ‘Her’ by Harriet Lane

Hello, people of the internet. Today’s post will be a book review. There will be no spoilers, so no spoiler alert needed. Anyway, enough about me and my lack of spoilers, I’ll let you lot know what I thought about this book.

This psychological thriller is about two women in their early-forties called Nina and Emma, who lead different lives (Nina is a successful artist with a teenage daughter and Emma is a busy, struggling mother of two young children), but become friends. However, it turns out Nina and Emma has met before and only Nina remembers what Emma did. What follows is a toxic friendship, leading to the revenge Nina has prepared for Emma.

What drew me to this book in the first place were these lines, which were printed on the front cover: “You don’t remember…But she remembers you.” With only a plain, green cover, those words jumped out at me. And so, after reading the blurb, I was hooked and bought it.

There’s only one way I can describe this book, and that’s ‘subtle’. It’s not like any other thriller I have read before. It’s slow-paced and mostly involves dinner parties, family gatherings and looking into the past. So at first, I wouldn’t have describe it as a thriller. However, I was wrong to think that. To me, it is a thriller that needs to be subtle otherwise it wouldn’t have worked. It is the subtlety of Nina’s actions that make it sinister and nasty.

And what makes that subtlety so perfect is Harriet Lane’s writing.

The fact that Harriet Lane decided to have both Emma and Nina are narrators highlights how cleverly subtle and devious Nina is, so much so that Emma is completely unaware of Nina’s true nature. For example, at one point, we read Emma’s perspective when she goes to the park with her two children. Her son gets lost and Emma panics for hours on end trying to find him. Luckily he is eventually found by Nina. However, we learn from Nina’s point of view that Nina led Emma’s son away in the first place to make Emma panic. Emma is thankful for Nina, unaware of the truth. Emma has no idea of Nina’s true nature and that is what makes Nina’s actions so nasty and shocking.

The only problem I had with the book, and this is purely personal for me and not the book itself, is that I found myself not connecting to the characters as much as I had hoped. I wouldn’t say that I was indifferent to them – I still cared enough to carry on reading and there were moments when I felt all sorts of emotions towards the characters. I was curious to see what would happen, however I instead found myself thinking, “What will Nina do next? Will Emma find out what Nina’s up to?” rather than, “I hope Nina stops before she hurts someone! I hope Emma finds out before she gets hurt!” To be perfectly honest, as aforementioned, I feel that because I’m in my early twenties whereas Nina and Emma are older with children. I’m sure not everyone who has read this book had the same problem I had and that they felt a stronger connection to these characters. Besides, it hasn’t ruined the book for me in any way.

Overall, I am glad to have read Her. The writing is perfect for its plot. If the writing hadn’t been as good as it was, I wouldn’t have liked the book as much. It may not be my preferred sort of thriller, but if you like subtle thrillers that keep you guessing, this is the perfect book for you.

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I hope you liked my first book review! If you’ve read Her, I would like to hear what you thought of it. Feel free to leave a comment or let me know on Twitter and/or Facebook!

Thank you for reading!

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Hello, people of the internet. My name's Gemma and this is my book blog! There will be reviews of books of any genre! There will also be book hauls, discussions and much more!

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