Review: Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS: Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets. – via Goodreads

This. Fucking. Book. Ugh. Seriously. What a damn chore to read. I hated pretty much every second of it. I honestly thought there would be more to this, but there really wasn’t. And the fact that this crazy twist was heralded as something, and let me tell you, it’s something alright. Something super grating and infinitely annoying and beyond stupid, that’s one.

Okay, so there is the opening. I guess you can tell from that that I was not really a fan of this. Goodness, I disliked this. The biggest failing here is the useless, unlikable characters. While this is usually a shortcoming in a book, this can be worked around if the story is good. Behind Her Eyes was not, my friends. I say again, a chore to read. Louise, let’s start there, is an insipid, whiny, border alcoholic nuisance that takes up too much of the book. Every single time the book turned back to her perspective I wanted to throw my Kindle. But I love it so much I refrained – though only just. David is a full on alcoholic cheater. Then there is crazy Adele, and that first twist is let out of the bag so early that the “tension” falls flat and the book tries so desperately to rebuild but fails at miserably because come on, we know.

Another major issue I had with this is that it started as one type of novel/story, and devolved into something else altogether messy, crude, and that did not gel with anything that came before it. That made me bristle, because seriously. It’s like The Boy, totally unsure of its identity, and this is the final nail in the coffin lid of this tedious read. Then there is this sordid, alcoholic relationship between Louise and David, and I hated reading about that, and her insecurities and her excuses and explanations for the things she was doing. Shut the fuck up!

All in all, I could go on at length about this, but I will leave it at I deeply disliked Behind Her Eyes, and regret having wasted my time on it. I could not with a clear conscience recommend something so messy, time wasting, and just overall meh. Yes, strong words and all that, but this book? Ugh.

13 thoughts on “Review: Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough

  1. Oh man, I hate suffering through a bad book, but I loooooove when someone rips into a bad book and doesn’t hold back!

    Are you one of those people that when you start a book you have to finish it? Or are you willing to toss something aside if it really isn’t connecting with you? I read this awful book earlier this year but I had to see it through because that’s the kind of reader I am. And the things that made it so terrible sound like your complaints here. Annoying, flat characters with basic and boring perspectives that can’t make the tension or drama you expect come to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the pits, but it is also really cathartic to rip it apart when all is said and done.

      I am the same type of reader – just need to soldier through it once I have started. Ugh, books like that are absolutely awful. What was it, if you recall? I would like to avoid it in the event I stumble upon it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This fantastic pile of garbage was called “Never Knowing” by chevy stevens. Literally every time the husband and wife had dialogue it was like “oh hi baby” “how was your day baby?” “it was so good baby, how was your day baby?” And it made me soooo angry. Like how did this even get published kind of angry

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh dear. It’s such a pity you disliked this book.
    I enjoyed it very much. I loved the writing, the points of view, and was surprised by the paranormal twist, reminding me of the film The Skeleton Key. I agree the denouement was a little far fetched, but I thought it was believably presented and it’s a wirk of fiction.
    I suggest, as with any book, the reader should read the ‘look inside’ pages and decide. There are obviously people, like me, who enjoyed it, but a reader’s reaction to a novel is unique and intransferable.
    It’s a real pity when you start reading a book and dislike it, but it happens, and when it does I stop reading and move on. Life’s too shott to read a book you dislike, and there are so many books you’ll enjoy waiting to be read 🙂
    By the way, I read the audio version, which was fabulously read.


    1. I truly wanted to like it more 😦 I know it is fiction, but it is so confused about what it wants to be – starts off totally normal and then there is this whole supernatural element shoehorned in and I felt cheated by the overall experience.

      Glad to hear you liked it a lot, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

      Liked by 1 person

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