Book Review: “I Found You” by Lisa Jewell

If you listen to audiobooks, when do you most often listen to them? For me, I typically listen to them in my car during my commute to work. However, since starting to work from home in the spring, my consumption of audiobooks has drastically decreased. I realized that I really missed this effortless way to read (especially as I hit a slump in my reading of physical books as well), and so I’ve been trying to find a way to get into listening to books again that works with my new quarantine lifestyle. I’ve discovered that it’s a great way to make chores more pleasant! Not only that, but it actually motivates me to clean, do laundry, dishes, etc. because it gives me an excuse to keep listening to my audiobook! My apartment is the cleanest it’s been in months now. I chose “I Found You” by Lisa Jewell as my most recent listen because I listened to another book of hers earlier this year and loved it. And I’m so glad I did; it sucked me in right away and way very hard to “put down” (I guess you can’t really put an audiobook down, is there an equivalent expression?).

Spoiler-Free Review: “I Found You” is an intriguing and suspenseful novel that will hold your attention all the way to the end. Following three seemingly unrelated narratives, the tension builds as the stories slowly begin to overlap. While the characters are unique and interesting to read about, they are a little difficult to connect with, leading the resolution to be a little lackluster. Also, though entertaining, some of the plot twists rely on irrational decisions and the unrealistic plot device of memory loss. Overall, it is an intense, dark, highly entertaining, character-driven novel that’ll have you on the edge of your seat, desperate to know what happens next.

Below you will find a more thorough review containing my thoughts about the book. There aren’t really any spoilers ahead, but you are welcome to jump to the TL;DR summary at the bottom of the page if you’d prefer!

“I Found You” by Lisa Jewell
I Found You: A Novel: Jewell, Lisa: 9781501154591: Amazon.com: Books
  • Year of Publication: 2017
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Summary:

“‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’

East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.

Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can’t remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s brilliant new novel.


Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault. Rape. Teen use of drugs and alcohol. Violence. Stalking. Death of loved ones.

Format: Audiobook

Themes: Family is everything. Trust your instincts. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Character Development: While this was definitely a character-driven novel, the characters didn’t actually seem to grow much throughout the story. I thought the characters were well-developed in the sense that we get to know them really well, but I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see them grow more. Lily probably grows the most of any character as she adjusts to life in the UK and eventually accepts the truth of her marriage and her husband’s disappearance. She was the only character who really seemed to learn a lesson, which makes the themes in this book kind of weak. That being said, the characters were quirky and interesting and I enjoyed reading about them.

Plot/Pacing: The plot of this story was planned really well. It starts out kind of light and hooks you right away, but then slowly gets darker and more sinister as the mysteries are carefully revealed. At first, each of the three narratives seem really separate, but then they begin to overlap little by little, causing you to make theories about what’s really going on and how everything is connected. And it’s not immediately apparent, which I really appreciated. The chapters also start ending on cliffhangers when you get toward the middle of the book, which makes it really hard to put down! My only issue with the pacing was that the resolution was a little too drawn out in the final section. I wish the big reveal (the climax) had happened a little closer to the end so that it could end on a slightly more exciting note.

Writing Style:  I really enjoyed the writing style in this book. The separate narratives kept me engaged since there was so much going on (and it was really exciting when they all converged). I also really liked how it was written from a third-person omniscient point of view. You get to know what a lot of the characters are thinking, but even then it doesn’t give too much away.

“Bingeability”: High. Once the narratives really started overlapping it was nearly impossible to put down!

Emotional Investment: Moderate. I was really invested in finding out what had happened all those years ago, but then when I got to the resolution (and was a little bored), I realized I didn’t have much of a connection with any of the characters. I was happy to see where they ended up, but I didn’t feel that interested in reading too many details about it.

Windows and Mirrors: English destinations, food, and culture. First love/relationships. Whirlwind romance/marriage. Memory loss/fugue state. Loss of loved ones.

Overall Thoughts: I don’t really have too much to add here! Overall, I thought this book was thoroughly entertaining, but not anything that will stick with me. About 3/4 of the way through the book, I told my husband about how much I was enjoying my audiobook. He asked me what I was listening to, and I couldn’t even remember the title! Therefore, it was an entertaining and enjoyable read, but not anything too memorable. It wasn’t quite as good as “Then She Was Gone” (a Lisa Jewell book I read earlier this year), but a solid thriller nonetheless. Lisa Jewell is becoming one of my go-to authors for thrillers.

Recommendation: Yes, I absolutely recommend this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
 

TL;DR:
Year of Publication: 2017
Genre: Thriller
Summary: “East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.

Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can’t remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s brilliant new novel.
Themes: Family. Revenge. Trust your instincts.
Character Development:
Characters are unique and well-developed, but don’t experience much growth.
Plot/Pacing:
Story is plotted really well, mystery is slowly revealed, resolution is a little too drawn out.
Writing Style:
Three separate narratives, cliffhangers at the ends of chapters, third person omniscient point of view.
“Bingeability”:
High.
Emotional Investment:
Moderate.
Windows and Mirrors:
English destinations, food, and culture. First love/relationships. Whirlwind romance/marriage. Memory loss/fugue state. Loss of loved ones.
Overall Thoughts:
Enjoyable and entertaining, but not very memorable.
Recommendation: Yes, absolutely.
Rating: 4/5

Thank you for reading my review! Leave a comment letting me know if you’ve read this one or have any questions about it, and keep an eye out for my next review on Friday of next week!

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