Ben and Bella appear to be the perfect couple. Ben is nursing a broken heart after getting out of a long term relationship, and then flirty, sexy Bella pops up in his life and things just seem to click. At least on paper. In reality the red flags start to pop up and Ben finds his life spiralling and his family being torn apart. But it’s just a coincidence. Right?
There are elements of She by HC Warner which really merit a gripping thriller. The complexities of domestic violence committed against men and the hard time people around them have accepting it for instance warranted a more in depth look at the patriarchal constructs that prevent men accessing support and the terror that can arise from unexpected places. But honestly that’s trying to wring something out of what is essentially a competent but ultimately fairly boring thriller.
She is a colour by numbers tale drowning under adjectives and misogynistic clichés. Women are continually compared and pitted against each other. Bella’s psychosis is not really depicted as anything other than over the top vengeance, and despite nearly two thirds of the book being written from a woman’s point of view, the female characters never felt like anything more than 2 dimensional characters fighting over some men. One of whom really wasn’t worth fighting over.
The story is broken into three parts, the first told from Ben’s point of view, and the second a repeat from Bella’s point of view, the third is told from a more omniprescent point of view but at least goes beyond the plot points of the first two chapters. While the shifting viewpoints provides some interest, you’ll likely spot the bulk of the twist coming by the end of the first section and from that point it does get very repetitive, and increasingly desperate to try and throw some sort of scandal in, to the point that it jumps the shark somewhat.
A decent read, but not one I’d rush to recommend.
3 thoughts on “She by HC Warner”
I had a completely different experience reading She; I really liked it and loved Bella’s manipulation and determination. I had my own criticisms of the book too, however, and will be posting my own review later this month 🙂
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That’s the thing isn’t it, reading is sooooo subjective. I find that makes reviewing really challenging as I know not my opinion doesn’t cover everyone, and I don’t want to put people off abook they might love!
Excited to seewhat you made of it!
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Absolutely! I find reading reviews of books I’ve also read or reviewed really interesting. It’s fun to see what other people thought, whether they agree / disagree, and why 🙂