Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book


Rate this book
Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he's suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

Mourning the disappearance of Jon and facing the reality he may never return, Chloe tries to navigate the rites of entering young adulthood and "fit in" with the popular crowd, but thoughts of Jon are never far away.

When Jon finally escapes, he discovers he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to protect Chloe and find the answers to his new identity—but he's soon being tracked by a detective who is fascinated by a series of vigilante killings that appear connected.

Whisking us on a journey through New England and crashing these characters' lives together in the most unexpected ways, Kepnes explores the complex relationship between love and identity, unrequited passion and obsession, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two.

367 pages, Hardcover

First published June 19, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Caroline Kepnes

22 books12.5k followers
Caroline Kepnes is the New York Times bestselling author of You, Hidden Bodies, Providence and...

You Love Me. Publishing in the US on Aril 6, 2021

(You know You Netflix? That's based on my Joe Goldberg books! You can read You3 before Season 3)

Her work has been translated into a multitude of languages and inspired a television series adaptation of You, currently on Netflix. Kepnes graduated from Brown University and then worked as a pop culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and a TV writer for 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She grew up on Cape Cod, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,658 (13%)
4 stars
3,604 (30%)
3 stars
4,302 (35%)
2 stars
1,870 (15%)
1 star
530 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,858 reviews
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
June 14, 2018
Le sigh. Maybe I’ve just hit a reading slump, but it seems like my concerns going into this one ended up being valid (for me) after all. I’m very touch and go with the fantasy/science fiction that I enjoy; rarely do I read any type of urban fantasy and I typically only pick up the YA variety. However, going in knowing that the main characters are younger in the beginning of the novel, I was willing to give this one a go. I’m going to chalk this up to a mismatch of reader and book; the book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t right for me. Please don’t pass it over simply because it wasn’t my cup of tea.

I found myself mostly invested in the first part, right up until Jon disappears, but somehow became lost and tuned out after that. It could be the fact that most of the Lovecraft references were lost on me; I have yet to experience his work and have little to no knowledge of anything his fanbase would consider basic facts. I also felt like, while this is being billed as a thriller, it was not. This book much more fits in the category of “slow burning mystery full of character development”. The focus is much more on the emotional healing and working out just how to recapture the intimacy lost in the aftermath of tragedy.

Just in case every other review written so far hasn’t given this fact away, this is very different than previous Kepnes work. If you are expecting anything remotely similar to You and Hidden Bodies, this one won’t be enjoyable on it’s own merit. If, however, you sound intrigued based on the synopsis and enjoy a good paranormal, slow burning, character driven story, give this a try.

*I received a review copy via the publisher.
August 29, 2022

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

My reactions while reading this book can basically be summed up in a single word: Okay! Okay. Okay? Okay...

Spoiler alert: this book was not okay.

Dear people who read this book and gave it five stars - what the hell? Did you get a different book than I did? What is this so-called brilliant homage that you read, because I got a really lame story about this boy in the friend-zone who ends up obsessed with this manic pixie dream girl stereotype who's in love with the bad boy AND a story about this old man whose name is LITERALLY "Eggs" and his relationship with his passive aggressive wife as he struggles to rectify his cringe-worthy resentment towards his severely disabled son and utter denial of his own health problems.

Oh, and there's some supernatural stuff thrown in there and the book tries to pretend it's so meta but it's completely half-assed. Basically, this is a "supernatural" story the way McDonald's new Szechuan sauce is Chinese food.

Also, let me assure you that I did not hate this book because it was not another YOU. I get that authors don't want to write the same story over and over again and I don't just respect that, I love that. Sometimes it pays off. This didn't. This was a major backslide. If I didn't know better, I would have thought that this was Kepnes's debut effort, and not YOU, because it seems so much more undeveloped and unpolished by comparison.

Part of the reason that I loved YOU so much was the smart writing, the cutting insights on society, the smart pop culture references, and the chilling way that she made reality itself seem just as horrifying as the sociopathic main character (in fact, I may have deactivated some of my own social media accounts after reading that book). This book plodded. It didn't really have much of a plot. The characters were about what you'd expect in one of those airport bookstore-type novels aimed at middle-aged women written by someone who knows nothing about women. And the pop culture references were painful. I think there were references to the movie, Big Eyes, and Colleen Hoover? One of those references is already dated and the CH reference just felt like a "Heyyyyy, buddy!"

I'm really disappointed by this book. I don't want to say anything else because I don't want to spoil too much, but yeah, if you're expecting this to be on par with YOU, just save yourself the trouble right now and lower your expectations by about 200%.

P.S. It's not just me. I buddy-read this with my friend Heather, and I just checked out her review, and it looks like we were disappointed for roughly the same reasons. I feel validated.

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!

1.5 stars
Profile Image for James.
Author 20 books3,710 followers
July 30, 2022
When the newest book, Providence, by Caroline Kepnes became available, I excitedly requested and downloaded it on NetGalley. Her first book, You, is one of my favorites, and her second, Hidden Bodies, was very strong. I rushed through Providence this week turning the pages and watching a strange story unfold before my eyes. There are many parts I enjoyed, a few I thought were just okay, and in the end would give it about 3.5 stars.

Let's start out with a little bit about the story... two teenagers are best friends in love with one another but unwilling to tell the other. We see why they click and what is appealing in both. Then Jon goes missing. The book jumps several years later and Chloe is now dating the guy who picked on Jon when they were younger. We have no idea what happened to Jon. More time passes and we find out Jon was kidnapped by someone at their school, and when he wakes up, he's been in a medically-induced coma for years. He's physically matured and somehow developed a bit of a supernatural power. This is where I got worried... I'm not a fantasy or sci-fi reader, but I'm trying to branch out, so this was a really great opportunity to check out another genre.

I wasn't disappointed. It was exactly what I thought it would be. I love how the 'other worldly' talents integrate into the story, but I had tons of questions like a two year old: why, how, when, where, what... yet I believe it's important as a reader to hold your own questions at bay and read with an open mind. I never got the answers, but then again, you don't always get them in sci-fi or fantasy (from what I understand). It just happens and you go with the fun aspects of something new or different. That said, I found ways to enjoy the book for what it is. A coming-of-age story where the main character is a bit older than normal because of everything he's gone through. And you end up questioning what is right and wrong. Is one bad or evil action able to be redeemed, or should someone suffer / die because of it.

Throughout the course of the ~400 pages, Jon struggles to balance his love for Chloe and his inability to control the powers when he gets emotional. It's a love story, a suspenseful drama, a mystery chase, and a bit of a reflection on life. Kepnes is fond of (and strong at, too) developing characters with obsessions, social media-frenzied anxiety, and over-indulgence in human emotional needs. I mean this in a positive way, too. She gets right to the core of what makes some people tick or focus on the little details that sit within a person's mind all day long. It helps pull you in to the story and the characters.

Many readers will compare this to You, and if they aren't sci-fi or fantasy genre buffs, they may struggle a little. I am not familiar with HP Lovecraft's books, which are a central theme in this one. Although Kepnes does a good job and explaining what you need to know, it would be better if you had read Lovecraft. I hope readers will see this as something similar yet purposely different to both books, as it stands out as an interesting and quick read where you see a different slice of humanity and psychological rhythm. Character development is spot on. Plots are woven well. Settings are very clear. And there's a subtle page-turning push you feel trying to understand where it's all going.

For me, it's a good book. I'm glad I read it. I'd recommend it only to folks I think would be willing to cross all the different genres and go for a peculiar and crafty ride. Thanks to NetGalley, Kepnes and her publisher for getting me an early copy.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,180 reviews30.5k followers
June 20, 2018
3.5 mishmash stars to Providence! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️.5

I listened to Caroline Kepnes’ YOU on audio this exact same time two years ago. THAT was an experience, and if you enjoy audios and don’t mind disturbing content, it’s the best audio I know. When I saw Kepnes had a new thriller releasing under the new imprint Lenny (by Lena Dunham), I jumped at the chance to read Providence.

Providence is a mishmash of genres- thriller, paranormal, urban fantasy, young adult - and also a bit of a mishmash on how I felt about it. More on that later.

Jon and Chloe grow up as best friends in New Hampshire. Their feelings for each other start to grow, but they never talk about it. Just as Jon is about to confess how he feels, he is kidnapped by his teacher. His teacher has an obsession for H.P. Lovecraft, an author of horror pulp fiction, and by kidnapping Jon, the teacher is planning to save the world.

Chloe is left to mourn Jon and becomes an adult without him there to support her. Jon finally escapes, but does so with an uncontrollable superpower, which can hurt the people he loves most. Of course he runs away to protect Chloe from his power, but all the while, he is being tracked by a detective.

I was on board with Chloe and Jon’s story. Their relationship is sweet, they are likable characters, and I loved that theirs was a girl/boy best friendship. I found the H.P. Lovecraft angle interesting because I did not know much about him or his writing, and at first I even enjoyed when Jon returned with his superpower. I was a fan of the show Heroes when it first aired, and some of the inner turmoil that Jon experienced reminded me of that show.

Where the book lost me a little was when Jon left again to protect Chloe. At that point, many things were going on, and the pacing slid for me.

Providence held much promise, and it did, in fact, hold my interest well, until that last section. Overall, it was enjoyable and original. I was expecting to adore it, and it was more of an affinity. Kepnes is an engaging and strong writer, and I will continue to look for her new releases. I hope her next one will be another demented psychological thriller!

Thank you to Caroline Kepnes, Random House/Ballantine, and Netgalley for the copy. Providence will be published on June 19, 2018.

My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
Profile Image for Jenny.
269 reviews106 followers
August 26, 2018
Unite science fiction, missing person mystery, and love story and you have Providence, a novel by Caroline Kepnes.
Jon, a middle schooler, vanished on his way to school. Four years later, he reappears only now as a bigger, healthier, stronger specimen. There are inexplicable consequences of Jon’s missing four years.
Chloe, Jon’s best friend/soul mate is pleased when Jon reappears but changes have also occurred in her life over the four years.
The interactions of Jon and Chloe are the backbone of this novel. They have a deep symbiotic relationship.
Add in an aging police officer with issues, an ex boyfriend and the abducter and you have a story that keeps you guessing but always hoping for the best.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. This did not effect my review of this book.
#netgalley #providence
Profile Image for Debra .
2,411 reviews35.2k followers
March 2, 2018
Jon and Chloe are best friends who have grown up together in a small town in New Hampshire. Jon is sort of an outcast and is bullied by his peers. Chloe does not care when her friends ridicule her for sitting with Jon at lunch or for hanging out with him after school. Both feel a connection to the other and feel as if he/she has finally found someone who "gets" him/her. Then one day Jon is kidnapped and not seen or heard from in four years.

Chloe has gone on with her life and makes attempts to fit in and be a "normal" teenager even though her best friends is missing. Jon suddenly wakes up from a medically induced coma to learn he has been kidnapped by a substitute teacher who leaves him a note telling him that they did "good work" and "you're welcome." Jon realizes he has powers now and that people are not safe around him. Jon decides to leave town but not before attracting the attention of a detective who becomes obsessed with a series of deaths that appear to be connected.

I know a lot of people are really enjoying this book, but it was not for me. We are not all going to like the same books, this is a book I had high hopes for, but just didn't enjoy. There is a strong emphasis on H.P. Lovecraft here and that is not a bad thing, possibly fans of Lovecraft will enjoy this book more. I believe a lot of the references were lost on me. There are also some elements that just had me scratching my head. I admit, I wanted to learn more about his kidnapping and what occurred while he was kept in the basement. Jon never learns the full truth and I guess that is why the reader never learns the truth either.

This book started out good. I was really enjoying it up until Jon decided to leave town for good. That is where the book went downhill for me and I found myself losing interest in this book fast. I knew that this book was going to be nothing like "YOU" and I was expecting that, but this book just failed to grab me. I'll go so far as to say I was bored while reading this book. I found myself skimming through parts that were just dragging on and on and on.... Sadly, this book was just not for me.

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,024 reviews15.7k followers
June 19, 2018
4 Wild Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Wow! This book was nothing and I mean nothing like Caroline Kepnes’s previous books.... this book was a mixture of young adult, crime fiction, the supernatural, and much more! It was a genre potpourri... and it worked... because the thing this had in common with Caroline’s previous books is it was very well written with some interesting characters.... I just don’t want you to enter this book thinking it is a dark demented twisted psychological thriller, it is far from that... although there are some disturbing and demented parts....

The book is told from multiple points of view including John and Chloe.... we met these two when they were still pretty young and I enjoyed the young adult aspect of this book... John is kidnapped when he is young and comes back with a superpower of sorts.... now here is the part that I might not have appreciated as much as I could have.... because I know absolutely nothing about H.P. Lovecraft... so if you are better acquainted with him perhaps this part will resonate with you much more than it did with me....

Our third point of view came from Eggs A detective... and that is not my autocorrect that is his actual name! Eggs has some demons of his own and is consumed with a case of young healthy people dying from heartattacks... he was an interesting character as well and I really liked the growth in him throughout the book.... how do all these characters tied together? Well you’re going to need to read the book to find out!

Recommend you read this book with an open mind, it is unlike anything you’ve read before, guaranteed!

*** many thanks to the publisher for my copy of this most interesting book ***
Profile Image for Michelle .
910 reviews1,403 followers
February 12, 2018
Firstly, I need to mention how very different this book is to Ms. Kepnes' previous books You and Hidden Bodies. So much so that I think peoples reactions to this are going to be all over the place. Where do I stand? I LOVED IT!!!!

Where You and Hidden Bodies were dysfunctional (putting it mildly) love stories this is a more of a classic love story. There is never a doubt that Jon and Chloe are in love and what they will do or won't do to preserve that love. Here's the thing....I don't do love stories. I don't do romance. However, sometimes a book just moves your soul and you can't help rooting for the characters. Jon, Chloe, Eggs, & Lo - I loved all of you. I wanted nothing more than for your happiness.

There is a strong Lovecraftian theme in this story but I don't think you need to be a Lovecraft fan to enjoy this. I've read some of his short stories years and years ago so truly my knowledge of him is quite limited but still I had no problem following along to this. I'm also not one for supernatural elements but Kepnes made it work for me here. Her writing is so evocative, so lovely....perfection. I commend her for going in such a different direction and making it work. Well done, indeed!

Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Char.
1,679 reviews1,549 followers
June 11, 2018
4.5/5 stars!

PROVIDENCE is a tale of love and heartbreak, (literally and figuratively), infused throughout with a powerful longing for something that's just out of reach. I. LOVED. IT. !!

Young Jon Bronson is stolen away from his life and his first love, Chloe. He wakes up in a body he doesn't recognize because it's been 4 years since he was taken. The only clue he has as to what happened is a copy of Lovecraft's THE DUNWICH HORROR which contains a short note to him inside. He soon discovers this book is not the only reminder he has of his experience. What is the other reminder? Will Jon be able to resume his life at school, with his parents, with Chloe? You'll have to read this to find out!

I'm not going to lie, at first I was disappointed to discover this wasn't a book about Joe Goldberg. Then when I heard this tale was somehow related to Lovecraft I was excited again. Turns out, this tale is actually only tangentially related to Lovecraft, so those unfamiliar with his work need not worry. It also turns out that Jon Bronson is a much better person than Joe Goldberg EVER could have been. That is the fact that made this book so difficult to put down. Look, I'm the type of person that loves it when everybody dies at the end of a story. The fact that I was rooting so hard for Jon surprised even me!

There is a whole other subplot going on here, involving Eggs, (a police officer) and Lo, his wife. While the story of Jon and Chloe involves young love with more than the normal obstacles in the way, Eggs and Lo showcase an entirely different tale of love-the long term marriage kind; the marriage facing major obstacles kind. Somehow, Eggs and Lo sneaked in through the back door of the main plot and stole my heart. I just wanted so badly for them to make it through.

All of this proves to me how powerful and capable of a writer Caroline Kepnes really is. These are not my types of stories, YOU, HIDDEN BODIES and now PROVIDENCE. I am not a romance reader, but somehow I became wholly invested in the fates of Jon and Chloe, of Eggs and Lo. I hope that that all of their stories will captivate you as well. If any of what I've written sounds appealing to you, go and get this book and find out what happens. Come seek me out when you're done and we'll shed our tears together.

My highest recommendation!

Available June 19th everywhere, available for preorder now here: https://www.amazon.com/Providence-Nov...

*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,221 reviews1,557 followers
June 4, 2018
Anyone who has followed my reviews may have heard me mention Caroline Kepnes first book YOU and how much I loved that story so of course I was going to grab anything else that she had written. Picking up Providence I was well aware that it was nothing like YOU and that was perfectly fine with me as I don’t want to read the same story over and over again and love mixing things up and branching out. However, after reading Providence I can’t lie and say I really enjoyed this one.

The story started off rather well and I could immediately tell I was diving into a Kepnes story. Readers are first introduced to Jon, one of those awkward kids that often end up the target of bullies. Jon has one really good friend in Chloe and on one excited morning Jon heads out to school excited to see Chloe and takes his normal out of the path of bullies obscure root to school only to be attacked and kidnapped.

With Jon missing Chloe of course spirals into despair when searches turn up no sign of Jon but eventually time moves on without Jon. Four years later however Jon turns up from seemingly out of nowhere a completely changed man now. Much larger and stronger than when missing Jon quickly starts to realize his kidnapper had done something to him making those around Jon no longer safe.

Up to and after Jon’s return I really thought this one was going to end up very highly rated for me. The whole science fiction fantasy side was really appealing although I’m sure some will be turned off by such an aspect in a thriller I was really loving it. But where things fell apart was when Eggs was introduced to the story, I just never connected to his character or really cared to at all.

At that point Jon’s story kind of takes a direction that seemed to dull my excitement too so from then on out it was just pushing myself to turn the pages and finish. While the little twist at the end wasn’t too bad it was just a matter of too little too late to excite me with this one. While this one wasn’t my cup of tea Caroline Kepnes is still a very talented author and I’m sure some may enjoy this one more than I did.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more review please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Tammy.
522 reviews438 followers
April 17, 2018
To be published by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s imprint Lenny, Providence is a book targeted at millennials. I am not a millennial and quite far from it. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of You (Kepnes first book) I thought a different publisher, a different editor and a departure from form would make for a different reading experience. It is that but it isn’t for me. Heavily reliant upon Lovecraft, which I haven’t read since high school, this book doesn’t seem to know what it is. I wouldn’t call it horror. I wouldn’t call it coming of age. I wouldn’t call it a love story. I wouldn’t call it a novel about abduction. I wouldn’t call it a providential read for me perhaps millennials will like it.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,004 reviews10.6k followers
March 28, 2018
When Jon Bronson disappears on the way to school one day, he leaves his best friend Chloe wondering what happened to him. Four years later, he wakes up in a basement, jacked up and with no memory of the past four years, only a copy of The Dunwich Horror with some notes written inside. Will Jon and Chloe be able to pick up where they left off?

This was a Netgalley pick. Edward Lorn and some other trusted reviewers have sung the praises of Caroline Kepnes in the past so I decided to take a chance.

Overall, I liked my first Caroline Kepnes experience. The shifting viewpoints between Jon, Chloe, and Eggs held my interest and a main character that gives people heart attacks is a pretty interesting hook in a story of unrequited love.

The book is promoted as a thriller but it's really about relationships and intimacy. Eggs and his wife, Jon and Chloe, Chloe and Carrig, all very different relationships between very different characters. Also, fuck Carrig! Since I've read a few hundred detective novels, I had a soft spot for Eggs and his obsession with The Beard.

And here's the part that I hated: fully 80% of the book could have been avoided if Jon had just emailed Chloe and said "I give people heart attacks. That's why I'm being a douche nozzle." Considering Jon mostly communicates by text and email anyway, this makes a lot more sense than torturing himself for the better part of a decade.

And now we're back at the other piece of bread in this complement sandwich of a review. While their situation was outlandish, I think Kepnes did a great job with the various characters. I had no trouble believing in Eggs, Chloe, or Jon. They were all very fleshed out acted like real people would in the situation, aside from the lack of communication I mentioned earlier. The Lovecraft connection was also well done. I've read the Dunwich Horror a couple times but I think someone could infer what they need to and not feel lost.

And here we are at the end of the review. I enjoyed Providence but it wasn't a game changer or something I felt like neglecting my health and/or personal hygiene to read. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Profile Image for Steven.
1,088 reviews394 followers
June 25, 2018
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was a massive fan of Caroline Kepnes' book YOU. It was intense, intriguing, captivating, and terrifying (in an "OMG am I rooting for this psychopath?" kinda way). I've yet to read Hidden Bodies, the sequel, but it's on my plan for this year. When I saw this new standalone from her on Netgalley, I had to request it. YOU was just so compelling that I knew this one would have to be awesome.

Unfortunately, this one felt like a let down after such a great first read from her. The characters were all pretty unlikeable (I only cared for one character, a minor character, Eggs' wife Lo), and not at all easy to root for. There was very little action over all, and the plot felt like a slow trudge through a field of molasses and peanut butter in loose boots that you're not allowed to leave behind. Overall, just meh.

I didn't hate it completely, and the story concept was a good one, so I ended up settling on two stars as a final rating. I will say this, if you've not read a Caroline Kepnes book before, either read this one before you pick up YOU, or just go straight to YOU.
Review to come, but initial thoughts:

Slow trudge of a plot
Very little action
Highly unlikeable characters (Lo is only one I liked)
Overall meh-ness lol

Disappointing because YOU was amazing!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,478 reviews7,773 followers
February 9, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

So many thoughts. Please bear with me . . . .

The basics of Providence is that it is about a boy who disappeared and returned four years later . . . different than he was before. It becomes his mission over the years to “fix” himself of this change in order to be with the girl he has always loved. In addition to that story is one that runs parallel about a detective trying to figure out what really caused a series of death by heart attack in various young/healthy people and the wife who is trying her best to keep their marriage intact.

First things first, it goes without saying that I read this wrong. A handful of reviewers received copies before Providence even went on NetGalley and they all creamed their collective jeans over it. Maybe some of my fellow wrong-readers will be joining me in short order, but for now I will occupy the corner of shame all by my lonesome.

I’d like to say my “meh” reaction had nothing to do with The Books of Joe, but that would be bullshit. I mean, if I hadn’t fallen head-over-heels in love with Joe and instead had thought he was uggo and 1-Starred his stories I obviously would not have been running people over in order to obtain an advanced copy of this book. I also wouldn’t have had such high (or perhaps unrealistic) expectations for this book.

I’d love to be able to say that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not being a Lovecraft superfan, but that would also be total bullshit. Part of Kepnes’ charm is that she is willing to go balls out with pop culture references and clearly gives not one rip if these contributions will date her books in the future. My knowledge of all things Lenny Feder . . .

Familiarity with a little more than just the basics regarding Jon’s dilemma . . . .

And an obsession with The Boss so extreme as soon as a mere song title was mentioned his voice started singing oh so relevant lyrics in my head . . .

♪♫♪“Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul . . .” ♪♫♪

Definitely added to my reading experience. But it was because of my brain’s complete worthlessness except when it comes to trivia questions that I felt a glaring hole of stupidity and inability to truly “get it” when it came to references regarding I Am Providence and all the secrets that may be (are probably) contained within the pages of The Dunwich Horror - a book I have never read.

And worst of all was that I was really into this story at the beginning. I was smitten with little Jon, the outsider, and was enthralled with both his disappearance and reappearance. I was completely ready to fall in love with him as a man and form some freaky polygamist cult with him and Joe (and Eggs) as my brother husbands. The writing (which unfortunately I can’t quote because rules are rules when it comes to ARCs) was BRILLIANT – simply painted onto the page. But then??????

It got so boooooooooooooooooooooring. The knife-blade writing style that defines Kepnes’ voice became dull and nothing happened and there were still like nearly 300 pages left of the book and Chloe was a cardboard cutout of even more nothingness (and maybe she was supposed to be nothing, but she can’t have a voice and occupy so much narration time and be NOTHING FFS) and Eggs who was basically the amalgamation of every Bruce Willis playing the “old man” character you could ever imagine even lost his charm and I was like . . . .

I don’t have the genetic makeup that allows me to “DNF” a book, so I can’t say that thought ever crossed my mind. I will say that this should never have taken me more than one sitting to read if I had liked it as much as Kepnes’ prior two novels and I definitely shouldn’t have found my mind wandering to other selections on my TBR and wondering if I should have read them before this. I have no choice but to be honest. I didn’t love this. I am very appreciative for the opportunity to read an advanced copy, I’m even more appreciative that Kepnes and/or her publisher is so generous and appear to be willing to offer copies to nearly everyone who requests them, I’ll absolutely read the next thing she comes up with, but unfortunately for me Providence missed the mark.

2.5 Stars and I’m rounding up because I can’t in clear conscience round down. I can’t wait to see what my friends think. (As long as they leave their pitchforks and torches at home.)

Advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews690 followers
May 18, 2018
Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.



A connection lost, then found again.  Providence, fate, the hand of God.  Spontaneous nosebleeds, instant healing, imagined things becoming real.  

I loved this author's You and Hidden Bodies.  This one, not so much, although I suspect aficionados of all things Lovecraftian will dig on it.  I have never read The Dunwich Horror and although I was more or less successful at cobbling things together from the context, the overall read probably suffered for my unfamiliarity with the book. 
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
794 reviews2,809 followers
July 3, 2019
Have you ever read a book that you couldn't put down, but you had no idea why? Do you love it? Is it just like a trainwreck you can't look away from? You can't stop thinking about it, but you aren't sure if it's because the story was amazing or you're unfulfilled? Well, that is exactly how I felt about Providence. I was conflicted in more ways than one, and I had no idea how to rate it for weeks.

Thankfully, I finally settled on a 4. I'm still not sure if that's right, but upon reflection, I realized that I enjoyed the story a lot. Though the book was weird, it's one I feel will stick with me in ways...maybe for that reason. Idk. I'm still having trouble sorting out my feelings enough to write a complete review. All I know is I'm really glad I read it. Caroline Kepnes has me for good. Whether what she writes is about my man, Joe, or some strange scifi shit. 😂

I adore her writing style, and I definitely think that contributed to my enjoyment of the novel. Honestly, I could probably be entertained by her shopping list. She is so fucking talented that it astounds me. Her writing style isn't the only thing that makes me a fan her work though. Her brilliant storytelling blows me away in every book she writes. The characters are interesting and flawed, and her creative, dark, complex stories make my heart happy.

That being said, this book definitely won't be for everyone. First, if you're looking for another book like You, you should just wait for the third book to come out. Second, this isn't really a thriller. It's scifi with some mystery and romance (but not of the romance novel variety if that makes sense.) The overall feel of the story is slightly dark and kind of melancholy, so if you don't appreciate those type of books, don't bother picking this one up.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but I know some people need a happy one to be satisfied. This ending isn't 100 percent happy, but it isn't completely sad either. There are some good parts, and there's a clear sliver of hope there, too. It's actually why I wish the author would give us another book. I don't really think that will happen though, so I guess I will just have to be happy with what I got for now. Lol
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 21 books4,788 followers
August 8, 2018
4.5 stars!
After reading YOU and Hidden Bodies earlier this year and falling madly in love with Caroline Kepnes' writing style, you can imagine how eager I was to read Providence by Caroline Kepnes. Now, Providence is not a 'Joe & Beck' story, let's just clarify that straight away. YOU and Hidden Bodies are the Joe & Beck stories and if you haven't read those two books, I highly recommend them (You is my favorite of the two-I have Goodreads reviews for both)
Providence is a 'Jon & Chloe' story.
The magical things that Kepnes does so well as an author are the best things about this book. Caroline has this casual, accessible, and compelling way of storytelling that is immediately captivating. The pages fly by as the "movie" begins to play in your mind.
She also builds characters that are like flesh and blood people and she stages the interactions between them with so much realism, I forget that I'm reading a piece of fiction. Dialog exchanges sound like real life conversations-the way people really talk and the characters open up like flowers to the reader with their steady streams of inner mind-chat.
The story here was so totally original, I found myself not finding an easy place to drop the bookmark at bedtime...each chapter was an invitation to keep reading.
This story is equal parts love story/romance, supernatural sci-fi and maybe even some mystery/hardboiled detective threads. I would not say this is horror at all, as some were suggesting.
But genre aside, this book is entertaining on so many levels and Caroline's writing is so engaging, I can't imagine a reader that wouldn't be interested in this book. Seriously, there's something for everyone here.
My only real complaint would be that this book checked all the boxes for me except one: Teeth.
I felt myself hoping that the story would eventually leap off the page and land in some really dark territory--there was some opportunity with the antagonist where I felt like I needed a little bit more from that part of the story. I wanted more motive there. But that's my only real complaint, the edge of the knife was a bit dull but other than that--everything about this story was speaking my language.
Mad love for Caroline Kepnes. She an insta-buy author.

Profile Image for Charlotte May.
719 reviews1,112 followers
May 26, 2023
A bit of a weird one. Definitely nothing like Kepnes’ other books.

Age 12, John is kidnapped then returned 4 years later but with powers he cannot understand. His best friend Chloe tried to reconnect but to no avail.

We watch them for years pine for one another but never meet. Meanwhile a police officer notices a string of deaths that seem to him much more than just a coincidence.

It was ok, the infatuation between Chloe and John was a bit much at times but I enjoyed the parts with Egg the police officer.

Glad I gave it a go at least.

library copy available for pick up

Interested to try something else by Kepnes.

Profile Image for Jane.
385 reviews605 followers
July 23, 2019
Oh Lord how I've tried to finish this book! Unfortunately, it's just not going to happen. I think I've attempted it no fewer than 6 times at this point (always thinking I was just in the wrong frame of mind for this type of story), but I'm never able to get further than 40% of the way through. Maybe it's about to get better just after that point, but I don't have any more tries left in me.

This book starts out with the same compelling writing style that made Caroline Kepnes's You so very unputdownable. But after the first part, things get all supernatural and kinda weird and I lose interest. It doesn't help that the story starts in what seems to be the present, then there is a rather significant time jump (years), but never any clarification about exactly when things are happening. I end up so distracted trying to sort that out that I'm yoinked out of the magic of the story.

Different sections are told from the perspective of different characters, and in some cases that also adds to the disjointed feeling of the story. At the 40% mark, at least, it's not even clear who these people really are or why their perspective matters.

Perhaps I have always quit this just a few pages before it's about to start making sense, but I have my doubts. If you enjoy Lovecraftian elements, then there's a really good chance you'll like this more than I did. If you are not a fan of Lovecraft, then I recommend you give this one a pass.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing me with a DRC of this book.
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,295 reviews27.9k followers
March 28, 2018
What the fuck is this book? This book was my most anticipated book of the year, because You is one of my favorite books of all time. I read this books description and I thought it sounded so cool and I couldn't wait to read it and now I'm just like..... what??? This book was strange. Probably one of the strangest books I've ever read. This book was trying to be so many things at once and failing at all of them. This was part mystery, part romance, part supernatural, part detective story, part thriller?? It was absolutely nothing like You, which is fine, I like it when authors try something different but this was so different and strange to the point where it felt like a different author.

It follows this boy named Jon who is best friends with this girl named Chloe. Jon gets kidnapped by his substitute teacher Richard Blair randomly one day and goes missing for four years. Four years later he wakes up and has no memory of anything that happened in the last four years. He's horrified to discover he has this strange supernatural ability now that harms people he acres about. This description sounded really cool and it's what drew me in in the first place, but from the moment Jon comes back after four years - this book really drags.

It becomes this obnoxious love story about Jon just wanting to be with Chloe but he can't because he's afraid he'll hurt her. Chloe was such a bland character, and all of her chapters talk about how much she misses Jon, or she's trying to hunt him down, and she's waiting on his call - like she literally doesn't do anything but talk about Jon. We follows this detective named Eggs as he tries to track down "the bearded man" which is Jon literally the entire fucking book and I couldn't care less about his chapters and his problems in his marriage and I don't understand why he was even included in this story.

Overall, this book had so much potential to be great, I thought the premise sounded so cool but this story dropped the ball on pretty much everything. The ending is so cliche and cringe-y and just made the whole thing feel like a huge waste of time. The only reason this gets two stars instead of one is because I really do like Caroline Kepnes's writing style, and because this book kept me curious enough to finish it all in one sitting, which is a good thing for me because lately I've been DNF'ing anything I'm not liking, but this book kept me interested until the end, even though the ending wasn't very good unfortunately.

Thank you to Random House Publishing for approving me for an ARC on Netgalley!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,743 reviews6,670 followers
April 13, 2018
There is a lot going on in this book, and I really, really wish the author Caroline Kepnes had an interview already released somewhere that reveals her inspiration or intended message. Is this a reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft's short story: The Dunwich Horror? It is the creation of a character meant to reflect H.P. Lovecraft's own personal demons? Or is it simply an involved thriller that originated from the very imaginative mind of its author? Very likely, it's a mixture of all three things.

Providence follows three characters who each have their own alternating POV's: Jon, Chloe, and Eggs. Jon is our focal character who is kidnapped as a child and returns years later changed to his core. Chloe is his childhood best friend who knows him better than anyone. Eggs is a detective who is borderline OCD, and his current target of rumination is finding the connection in a string of heart attacks that have been occurring to seemingly healthy people. That connection is Jon. Jon was indeed changed...down to his core...down to his very life force.

Full of necessary isolation, unrequited love, and intense guilt, Jon was my favorite character as I'm sure he was intended to be. Emotionally speaking, his character is the epitome of all the tragedy that creates superheros...and villains. Chloe's storyline becomes quite involved as she finds a place among all the grief and confusion, and Eggs comes out of the blue and pretty much has his own separate book in this novel. All this plus the H.P. Lovecraft element that is all over this story (literally) and I'll say it again, there's a lot going on. Did it work? I'd have to say yes, but in a small doses kinda way. I read this novel slowly, consuming between five to ten percent a day. Sometimes it was mysterious and engaging, sometimes it was boring, sometimes I was sure I was missing the key to the universe for never having read The Dunwich Horror... so I paused to read it. In my opinion, reading it isn't entirely necessary because Kepnes made sure all the key components are laid out for readers. If interested, I would recommend glancing over random biographical information about H.P. Lovecraft, as I saw some similarities between him and Jon. Is it a coincidence that Lovecraft lived his life from birth to death in Providence, Rhode Island? I think not. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about though. Only Caroline Kepnes truly knows what this book is about and I will be eagerly awaiting her first interview.

You might love it, you might hate it, you might be like me and feel a bit meh about it. It's Caroline Kepnes so you know you're going to read it regardless. Check it out!

Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of Providence. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing.
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Lenny
Genres: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date: June 19, 2018
Profile Image for Terrie's Just Another Book B*tch.
160 reviews142 followers
June 3, 2018


Caroline Kepnes is one of the best wordsmiths of our generation. Plain and simple.

This highly intelligent suspenseful read is nothing short of breathtaking... You may or may not have read You. (*whispers if you haven't YOU have to!!!) If you have, trust me when I say Kepnes blew it out of the water with Providence. I'm still left hypnotized by her words. The beauty, the pain, the human insight... I almost feel like I'm in a trace. I can't form the words to truly express how remarkable this book is. Nothing can or ever will do it justice. The only thing you can do is READ THE BOOK Read it ... Breathe it... and let it consume you.

"it's almost as if the tentacles on the book are holding me, as if they've grown out of the cover and onto my hands, snaking up my arms, into my ears"

The author's words of course, but exactly how I feel. This is a book that will stay with you. It can haunt you one moment, and inspire you the next. A book that will stay with you to be read and reread.

"Being alive is nothing without being able to live"

Providence is a brilliantly insightful love story. While observing the characters during their self-discovery you get a glimpse into the human nature. In all its ugliness and all it's beauty. The front row seat we're given into the mystery that is the human heart, with its false truths and its ever-present hunger for its mate. The inevitable damage it ensues. The cracks and the bruises it suffers when we hand it over to others, or when we hold on to it too tightly... Kepnes's words are nothing more than mystifying and humbling. I'm in utter awe of her.

There are so many reviews you'll see... Some great, some not so great. I try and write a spoiler free review because I think to live the book is the only true way to read. There are tons of "book report" type reviews out there and if that's your thing go for it! But take a chance. Go in blind. You need to read Providence with no expectations... Let Kepnes' words encompass you and transform you. Providence will move you.

Big thanks to author Caroline Kepnes for an early paperback copy and to Random House and Lenny Books. Thank you all for the opportunity to review.

Providence will be available June 19, 2018

Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA

Find/follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & My Blog Page
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,982 followers
April 8, 2020
2.5 to 3 stars

Sigh . . . this is the second Kepnes book in a row for me with lackluster returns. I guess starting with You was a mistake because it has been tough finding a decent follow-up from her. For me, the two biggest complaints are that it is too drawn out and didn’t deliver.

First for some positive:

The premise and build up of this story were unique and interesting. It starts right off by providing a lot of suspense and mystery. After the first few chapters there were so many unanswered questions, I was ready to go! I wanted to find out what was going on! There had to be some pretty convoluted and shocking developments to be revealed!

Which leads to my first complaint – too drawn out:

After the buildup I described above, I was about 10% into the book. Not much new happens or is revealed for the next 80%. It is mainly just rehashing of known facts and some other new side story info that I think was meant to build out the characters and atmosphere but ended up feeling like filler. The best way I can describe it was when I got done, I asked myself “Why was this not a short story?”

My next complaint – it didn’t deliver:

So, now at this point – I am 90% of the way through the book and ready for the big, shocking resolution! Suddenly, what do I see? Epilogue! So, wait, what? We are in the epilogue and I am still waiting for a resolution . . . something that makes sense to bring this story to a close. But, nope, not really. The big mysteries I was seeing at 10% remain pretty much just as mysterious at 100%. Sometimes, stories are okay with the reader left wondering a little, but if I am left wondering just as much as I did near the start, I kind of feel like I wasted my time.

In summary, I cannot really recommend this one. Most of my 2.5 to 3 stars is because the premise and the mystery are pretty cool. But, since it doesn’t deliver the full package, I don’t think it is worth the time to get into a whole book!
Profile Image for Julie.
70 reviews47 followers
October 7, 2020
My, oh my is Caroline Kepnes a unique creature... she needs to be in a genre of her own! Although I’m a romantic, I don’t typically read love stories. Although I’m a fan of shows such as Stranger Things and X-Files, I tend to stray away from novels in the fantasy genre as well. But, I’m seriously convinced I would read anything created from the mind of Caroline Kepnes. This is unlike the YOU series so I encourage you to begin this read with an open mind and without the expectation of Joe. Jon is a whole different beast and I fell for him in a completely different manner than I did for Joe.

Caroline has a way of making you feel, and oh boy did I FEEL throughout the journey that is PROVIDENCE. Although the words are in black and white, they were so colorful., and this I feel is one of Caroline's biggest strong suits in her writing. It’s impossible not to feel for her characters. Feel their pain, the crack of their voice, feel their happiness, their passions.  I'm a sucker for a good character driven novel and Caroline know just how to serve this up for her readers. My heart soured, my heart exploded, my heart sang, and my heart broke.

“Life makes you better after it makes you worse.”
Another thing that I absolutely loved was the choice in setting. If a book even captured New England living, this is that book. Being born and raised in Rhode Island, and now a New Hampshire resident for the past five-years, it was really cool having familiarity in locations and establishments that were mentioned. This gave me the feeling of home, which was captured perfectly within both states.

I am all about Providence! Seriously ladies and gents this book is a must read this summer. Caroline writing is something I can always get lost in, want to get lost in. Give me a one-way ticket to the fictional world Caroline creates anytime... I’ll be the first person in line to board the trip!

Many thanks to Caroline Kepnes and Lenny for a gifted advance readers copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Laurie  (barksbooks).
1,751 reviews695 followers
July 13, 2018
Oh, this book. How on earth does one review such a unique book without ruining the experience for others? This is one of those books that you should experience going in nearly cold.

Strangely enough this book takes place in a town five minutes from my home. Me, being me, was reading every Nashua reference with a squinty eye looking for a nit to pick but I didn’t find anything to bitch about. Nashua is not a very exciting place, if you ask me, and it was fun imagining this weird stuff happening so close to me. I’m going to give any suspicious men about town even more of a wide berth after reading this, however.

If you bought PROVIDENCE because you loved YOU and HIDDEN BODIES and you expect another crazy Joe you do need to know that this book is not at all like either of them. It starts out when the main characters are children and within pages I was so in love with their friendship and engaged with these two characters that I didn’t want to put it down (curse you real life and your constant interruptions). Kepnes managed to do in mere pages what some books cannot accomplish after hundreds of them. She made me care deeply about these two and put my feelings through the wringer. Now that’s a talent!

Jon and Chloe just click. They would’ve, could’ve, should’ve been that rare couple who fall in love, marry young and stay together through good times and bad because they were meant to be. But that doesn’t happen because who wants to read that book?! Something unexpected happens to one of the kids and it changes them forever. Waking up with vague memories and a copy of The Dunwich Horror by Lovecraft with a strange letter tucked inside, the parents, best friend and the family soon learn that something has forever changed with this kid. I’m not going to tell you what it is or even which kid it is because you need to experience that gut punch yourownselves. I’ll just leave you guessing with this quote.

"I’m starting to get paranoid, starting to think something’s wrong with me… I imagine myself the invisible monster, slaughtering them all."

The remainder of the book features these two kids grown and struggling to connect, longing for each other but unable (for reasons I’m still not divulging) to be together properly. Their story is absolutely wrenching to witness. There is also another character named Eggs who makes it his mission to crack a case involving suspicious deaths of young people. Eggs and his story was also filled with pain and heartbreak and tore me all up inside. Geez, this book. I’m going to spoil it if I keep blathering on. Just read it if you want and I hope you love it as much as I did.

My favorite quote is this one because it’s so damned accurate for me and most everyone I know that I actually laughed out loud like a genuine lunatic.

"Why are you so dressed up? That should be the state fucking slogan of New Hampshire. "

Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,803 reviews793 followers
January 23, 2020
My first book by Kepnes was You and I was skeptical that anything else she wrote could be as good. I’m glad to say that I was wrong, this book is absolutely BRILLIANT and blew You out of the water in my humble opinion. I love the little dip into the supernatural that Kepnes takes in this novel, it adds a whole new level to her work and I was all for it. This is such a deliciously weird little story and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, I absolutely DEVOURED this story. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it! One thing I really enjoyed is that despite having a Lovecraft theme, Kepnes didn’t lean too heavily on that. I’ve read the story so I understood the references but Kepnes has written in such a way that even if you haven’t read The Dunwich Horror, you can still follow along and fall in love with the story just like I did.
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
670 reviews4,297 followers
June 15, 2021
“This happens. Little spells. You don’t lose a person all at once. You lose them in parts.”

THIS BOOK. Fantastic. Chef’s kiss. Providence is a bit of a different take on a Lovecraftian story – there are no tentacles for a start (take note, Lovecraft does not just equal tentacles). Instead Kepnes has taken the concept of a Lovecraft story, The Dunwich Horror, and brought it into modern day. And she added some romance, which to be honest, I thought I’d loathe entirely, but nope, I simply became a cheerleader for our star-crossed lovers, Jon and Chloe.

Here’s the gist of it: our two teenage protagonists have got the hots for each other, but neither will admit it. Then Jon goes missing. He shows up a few years later, but he is… different. Some might even say, monstrous...

Providence was my introduction to Caroline Kepnes and I have to admit, after watching YOU I didn’t really have any intention of reading the books (I mean, I enjoyed the show, but didn’t feel that pull, ya know?) but now… I am most definitely considering it. There is something about Kepnes’ writing that just PULLED me in and wouldn’t let go! She has a very unique voice. That and the fact that this is chock-full of little Lovecraft references and she mentions Bruce Springsteen on at least FIVE occasions. Can we just be best friends already?!

I obviously loved the setting – my most favourite place on earth, New England. And the characters were all just very relatable and likeable, particularly Eggy and Lo, their relationship felt very poignant. Everything just worked for me.

Most importantly, I do not believe you need to have read any Lovecraft to enjoy this. Of course it might help, but it isn’t a requirement! My only minor complaint was that I wanted a little more from the ending, that’s all.

I thoroughly enjoyed this weird genre mash-up and would recommend it to anyone who likes books that are a little different and outside the norm! 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
872 reviews3,754 followers
September 3, 2018
Worth a read.

Loved the concept, but the execution was murky. If you need concrete answers you may feel unfulfilled. I was always intrigued and the audiobook narrators were fantastic.

Content: Kidnapping. Human trafficking (very brief). Heart attack. Cancer. R slur used by bad guy. F slur & gay used as an insult by bad guy. Bad guy slaps his girlfriend once. I'm unsure if the attitudes toward an autistic side character were healthy.
Profile Image for Mindi.
859 reviews270 followers
July 5, 2018
I did not want to put this book down. I was immediately drawn in, and so in love with the characters and their stories. Providence is another amazing novel from a writer who is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Jon Bronson is the kid that the popular boys pick on. But Jon is friends with Chloe, a beautiful and popular girl who doesn't care what the other kids at school think about her friendship with Jon. They are close, and when one day Jon disappears on his way to school, Chloe's world goes into a tailspin. She realizes how important Jon is to her, and she withdraws from her friends and school activities to mourn her missing friend.

Flash forward four years, and Jon wakes up in the basement of the town mall. He doesn't recognize his 17-year-old body, and the only clue he has as to what happened to him all those years ago is in a cryptic note left by his abductor in a copy of Lovecraft's story The Dunwich Horror. Jon tries to resume his old life, but he quickly learns that he is very different now, and that being around people can end up deadly for them. Jon tries to reestablish his old relationships, especially with Chloe, but he knows that he can't put the people he loves at risk. Suddenly, Jon has to make himself disappear again.

I absolutely loved the story of Jon and Chloe's connection. They are soulmates and star-crossed lovers who long for each other with a heartbreaking intensity. Jon spends his days locked away from society, but he still encounters people and in almost every circumstance those people who cross paths with Jon die.

The unusual amount of deaths lead a police officer named Eggs to become obsessed with why seemingly young and healthy people are suddenly dying from heart attacks. Eggs and his wife Lo are fantastic characters as well, and their relationship mirrors Jon and Chloe to a degree, as they also have a barrier of sorts between them. As a reader I quickly fell in love with Eggs and Lo, and absolutely adored how their story progressed. Providence is a story about love and longing, but it has a touch of the supernatural that makes it even more heartbreaking. Kepnes writes characters that you feel like you actually know. She gives them a unique depth, and it makes you love them and root for them even more.

This book could definitely be a stand alone, but I'm really hoping that we get to read more about Jon and chloe and Eggs and Lo in the future. I'm fully invested in the lives of these characters, and I would love to know what the future holds for all of them.
Profile Image for Mary.
1,563 reviews507 followers
June 23, 2018
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

I was a little apprehensive going into Providence because of all the less than stellar reviews out there. Not that I wouldn't read it since it is written by one of my favorite's Caroline Kepnes, but I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Well I'm very glad to have gotten a chance to read this book because I really enjoyed it.

Providence is about Jon who gets kidnapped only to return 4 years later a completely changed person. He now has certain powers, and fearing for the people around him, he runs off leaving everyone behind. The book is basically about what happens to Jon after he comes back from the kidnapping, with viewpoints switching from him, his soulmate and one true love who he has to leave behind (Chole), and a detective named Eggs. There are quite a few time jumps as well and I really liked the style that Kepnes wrote this book in. It kept me fully engaged the entire time and I had to find out what was going to happen because this book was just so interesting.

There are some great bookish one-liners, as well as some that aren't book related but that I found hilarious. One of my favorites being from Jon's mom:

She said she understood why they call it "working out" and that it wasn't the right job for her.

I mean how funny is that?

There are a lot of references to the author H.P. Lovecraft in the book and while I didn't know anything about the guy, this didn't get in the way of me enjoying the book. It is also extremely important to note that this book is NOTHING like You or Hidden Bodies so make sure you don't go into it expecting something like them because you are going to be disappointed. I appreciated this (even though I do miss my Joe) because it shows just how versatile Kepnes is by writing something completely different from her first 2 novels. Something that I think is REALLY good.

I also want to point out that I don't think this book is really a thriller. For me it felt more like a coming-of-age / mystery / romance story with a touch of the supernatural/unexplained.

The biggest, and really only, issue I had with the book was that I didn't love how everything was wrapped up in the end. I felt like some of the answers I really wanted, and the resolution I was desperately hoping for, just weren't there.

Final Thought: While it won't be everyone's cup of tea, I really enjoyed Providence. I think you just need to go into it with the correct expectations without expecting something it isn't (a thriller/another book like YOU or HIDDEN BODIES). If you like a touch of the unexplainable in your books then you just might like this one. I think Kepnes writing was as great as ever, and there was enough mystery in this book to keep me reading. Also, the romantic aspect wasn't overpowering which was really nice. She is such a strong author, and I can't wait for the next book from her.

Providence in 3-ish words: Intense, Gripping, Dynamic
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,858 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.