This had potential. However, I’ve come to realize that true talent in writing is hard to come by these days. This was the suggested read for my bookclub. The suggester had not read the book before and so I don’t blame them for my lost time.
I will not spoil it for anyone who wants to take the time to read all…. SIXTY-NINE chapters plus epilogue (yeah… and somehow I still finished it in 2.5 days). But I will give an honest opinion:
The writing style played into what I feel is predictable for this generation’s readers. Young twenty-something’s whose internal monologue reads like that of a college professor.
You’ve got 28 year old Jess, a starving make-up artist trying to make it in the big city. She’s low on cash like usual because she’s got to pay for her rent, helping with her handicapped sister’s medical bills (which her parents aren’t aware of) and to take care of her only true companion, Leo… her adopted rescue pup.
Jess makes a rash decision to enter a psychological survey that’s guaranteed to make her $500 just for answering some random questions for 4 hours. Seems easy right?
Enter Dr. Shields… Dr. Shields is written like a modern Hannibal Lector wannabe. The narrative is from Jess’ point of view however as the story gains momentum Dr. Shields starts have a narrative as well but not one of a person recounting their experiences or even walking you through current events. It’s written like a carefully planned letter directed at our main character, Jess, who the Doctor refers to as Jessica. The doctor has taken on an almost obsessive relationship with Jess, where Jess’ every move is cataloged and used as a form of control that Dr. Shields starts to wield over her.
I said no spoilers and I meant that. – There are twists (if you call the predictable outcomes twists) and Jess, a regular girl from Philly who has no insight into the twisted agenda behind the Doctor’s motives somehow is able to pinpoint and reveal the inner workings of the Doctors mind… even though Dr. Shields is referred to as basically a intellectual genius always being one step ahead of the game.
The them of the book is Morality. What does it mean to each person and how important is self preservation over what’s right and wrong. The plot comes down to, we all think we are making good choices when it come to moral codes but in the end, we are imperfect people using imperfect judgement thinking it will lead to a perfect outcome.