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Looker

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3.08  ·  Rating details ·  4,587 ratings  ·  1,020 reviews
A dazzling, razor-sharp debut novel about a woman whose obsession with the beautiful actress on her block drives her to the edge.

I’ve never crossed their little fenced-in garden, of course. I stand on the sidewalk in front of the fern-and-ivy-filled planter that hangs from the fence—placed there as a sort of screen, I’m sure—and have a direct line of view into the kitchen
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Hardcover, 182 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Scribner
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Judy Only depression was over the time I wasted reading this book.

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Average rating 3.08  · 
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 ·  4,587 ratings  ·  1,020 reviews


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Michelle
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
This book is being marketed all wrong by saying that this is a mystery or thriller. It is neither one of those and if that is what you're expecting then you will be disappointed. This is a character study of a woman that is slowly losing her grip on reality.

Our unnamed narrator has recently separated from her husband after several years and attempts at having children. They endured rounds and rounds of IVF that nearly depleted their savings. While she yearns for the children she will never have
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karen
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: girls-gone-wild
i know this book feels scorned, borrowed from work ONLY to fill the one-day reading gap before Black Leopard, Red Wolf came out. i keep telling it i was going to read it anyway, although between you and me, i was most likely going to wait for paperback because 25 dollars for a book with fewer than 200 pages that’s not photos of kittens? that's bonkers.

there’s no need for this book to pout, though, because not only did it serve the exact purpose i needed it to - being my short reading bridge bet
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Felicia
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is yet another book that will suffer in the ratings for no other reason than it doesn't fit into any genre.

There really needs to be a category for deep, dark psychological studies devoted to primarily one character. If a reader chose this book based on that description and because they enjoy those types of stories, then this book would easily have a 4+ average rating. Instead it has been billed as a psychological domestic thriller leaving fans of thrillers disappointed.

I, however, love the
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Larry H
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

"I'm grateful they've never thought to install blinds. That's how confident they are. No one would dare stand in front of our house and watch us, they think. And they're probably right, except for me.

Laura Sims' Looker is a story about obsession, about how easy it can be to transfix on something when everything else isn't going your way. The unnamed narrator has had a tough time lately—her marriage has ended, partially because of her fertility problems, and her job as a lecturer at
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Gabby
What the fuck did I just read?
This book is marketed as a main character becoming obsessed with the actress who lives on her street, but after reading it - that’s not really what this book is about. I’m actually left wondering what the point of this novel is exactly?? It’s an incredibly boring story that doesn’t ever really go anywhere? By the end I was confused... like how was that the end? That is what the story was building towards? What a let down.

I don’t know what it is with these thrillers
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Carrie
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Looker by Laura Sims is a thriller that is narrated by an unknown woman with stalkerish tendencies. The book is written in the style of YOU by Caroline Kepnes in which the reader is getting the story through the thoughts and interactions of the main character but it didn’t take long to distinguish itself from reminding me of that book.

The main character in Looker is a female going through divorce from her husband and becomes obsessed with a neighbor who is a famous actress. As our character spie
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Irena BookDustMagic
Trigger warning: This book talks about one’s inability to have children and in detail pictures IVF process with failed result.

Looker is one book that surprised me in the most positive way. Going into it, I didn’t expect to like it so much.

To be fair, I have already watched some people talk about in on Booktube and it has pretty low rating on Goodreads, so my expectations weren’t too high to begin with.

I think why many readers get disappointed in the book is because, at first glance, it leaves an
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Brenda -Traveling Sister
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
At only 180 pages Looker by Laura Sims packs quite the punch and has the elements here to make this a pleasing dark and unsettling story. It has those intriguing unsettling elements of jealousy, obsession and resentment.

Laura Sims takes us into the mind of our unnamed narrator as we watch her obsessions with a neighbor start to push her over the edge. Laura Sims does a good job balancing the dark thoughts with some wit and humour, allowing me to feel some sympathy here for our main character.

La
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Matt
I tend to gravitate towards books that are polarizing. When I was skimming through reviews of Looker, I saw a lot of 1-2 star reviews coupled with phrases like “not what I expected” or “I don’t get what I just read”. Whenever I see books with reviews like that I feel even more compelled to read them. At 180 pages, it was an easy decision to pick up “Looker”.

Obsession is becoming an extremely popular topic to write about. With books like “You” by Caroline Kepnes becoming a mainstream success wit
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Darinda
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A woman is obsessed with a neighbor. The obsessed woman's life is slowly unraveling, and the neighbor is a beautiful actress who appears to have the perfect life.

This novel is narrated by an unnamed woman who is going through a divorce, infertility, and a failing career. While struggling with various areas of her life, she becomes entranced with her neighbor's perfect life. As the narrator's life continues to unravel, she becomes more and more obsessed with her neighbor.

A dark tale of one woman'
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Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

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LOOKER has a somewhat misleading summary on Goodreads which I think accounts for some of the negative reviews. The summary makes you think it is going to be like Caroline Kepnes's YOU or Gillian Flynn's GONE GIRL, but this is not the case. In situations like these, I want to take the publishers aside and tell them, "Look, even if blurbs like these sell copies, they aren't going to get you good reviews, because if there's one thing that p
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I added this to the TBR after seeing some high ratings from friends. When my turn finally came around at the library and I went to Looker’s Goodreads’ page in order to mark my “Currently Reading” status, I was shocked to see this has a really low rating (for GR, I mean). Good thing I don’t pay attention to what strangers have to say. Also a good thing I don’t read reviews before reading books either because after taking a quick gander
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Blair
Reading early reviews of Looker, I can already see it's suffering from what I think of as the Eileen problem. Like Ottessa Moshfegh's debut, this novel is being marketed as one thing (a psychological thriller) when it is actually something subtly but significantly different (a character study). Viewed as a thriller, it is not particularly satisfying. Read as a character study, however, it opens up into a brilliant portrait of a difficult and complex protagonist, layered with darkness and obs ...more
Elyse  Walters
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
SIGHT SPOILERS...
but important to know ahead of time....

“Looker” was an interesting page turning short psychological study of a complex unnamed main character.
Not particularly ‘dark-Dark’ as in horror - until closer to the end.
The ending itself might be reason enough toss this book out the window for readers with a strong sensitivity for any animal harm in their reading.
Personally - if an animal dies in a book by accident
- or natural causes - I don’t have a stand against reading about it an
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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
I started reading Looker on 12/5/2018 and finished it on 1/24/2019. (Please ignore the date in this case because it has nothing to do with the book being good or bad. I experience the worst reading slump ever.) This book is a great read, though more on the depressing side. I enjoy reading the IVF process. I like the realistic feelings of a woman wanting to have a baby but couldn’t. It’s interesting to follow a scorned woman feeling like she has nothing to live for and unworthy of love and lookin ...more
Jonetta
The focus of this story is an unnamed woman who is a married college professor teaching poetry and attempting to get pregnant. When her exhaustive attempts to have a child are unsuccessful, we watch her descent into something akin to madness as her life fails to live up to the vision she had for herself. When a renowned actress moves into her neighborhood, she begins to fixate on her as the ideal for her own life.

The main character and the actress were never named in this story and there is sym
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Elizabeth
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2019
Pre-review note: Looker is, for reasons I can't fathom, being billed as thriller/pseudo-thriller. It is not that, but it is a harrowing and haunting look at one woman's unraveling, and for those interested and willing to travel to a very dark place, this beautifully written novel is absolutely worth checking out.

Ok, review:

I loved Looker. Loved it, even as its brutal rawness left me reeling. It is unflinching and unafraid in its depiction of how its unnamed narrator, newly separated and living
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Dennis
In NYC, this unnamed narrator is living alone with her ex-husband's cat, miserable and desperate for revitalizing her life after her countless pregnancy failures and dissolution of her marriage. Working as a literature professor, the narrator takes us on a stroll through her life, reminiscing about her marriage, and mentally sexualizing a student in one of her classes. As the story in Looker moves forward, she also begins to obsess with her famous actress neighbor of hers in full detail. Is ...more
Stephanie Nicholas
Mar 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was described as a "Hitchcockian thriller" and that couldn't have been further from the truth. It's witty banter, and erudite writing just wasn't enough to hold it up on its feeble legs. I found it to be a fillabuster of envy and whining that was just an arduous read. If you have it on your TBR list I'll caution you to take that time and perhaps pick up another book.
Shannon
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Scribner Books for gifting me a copy of Looker by Laura Sims. I’ve seen a ton of mixed reviews for this one and I can see why. Normally, I don’t want to know ANYTHING before I start a book but with this one I’m glad I had some information on it before i started it.

I wouldn’t consider Looker to be a mystery or a psychological thriller. Character study maybe? Our main character is unnamed and her thoughts are wild. Pretty sure I actually laughed out loud a few times at her ridiculous th
...more
Kimberly Dawn
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Looker is a fascinating character study of a woman’s gradual descent into madness as her tortured mind slowly unravels. The audiobook is a total guilty pleasure and held my attention throughout. With fascination we witness the downward spiral of madness as a troubled, resentful woman becomes increasingly unhinged. As her obsession with the actress neighbor grows, likewise the voyeur’s jealousy, rage and resentment grow. Loss upon loss is suffered; the various aspects which make up a life are los ...more
Kelli
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
A super speedy race through the mind of an unreliable narrator, who is rapidly unraveling. This story is more like Loner than YOU, though both of those books had something that this book doesn’t.* Creepy, entertaining, but no more than 3.5 stars.

*I figured out while talking with my book bestie that those other two books do have something this one doesn’t...a romantic interest. I’m thinking the fact that I grouped them all together without realizing that is actually an endorsement of how well d
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sue
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery

I can’t help but say, that this is the most craziest book about stalking.
It is stalking if someone is watching your every move, watching from afar from across the road to your home.

This woman, the stalker, the “looker” watching someone else’s life unfold with her husband and children.
The “used to be” actress living with her screenplay husband.

The “looker” who is barren, whose attempts at fertility failed and her marriage down the drain.

I’m watching the “looker” go quietly insane, losing her grip
...more
Paul
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I do love me a first person, present tense, slow descent into madness. Or more madness. Meticulous and oddly funny, sharply observed, and disturbing as hell.
Jess | thegreeneyedreader
3/5 stars - While this book was certainly suspenseful I don’t really consider it a thriller as much as an intriguing character study of an educated woman losing her mind. The main character/narrator spirals out of control, eventually losing her job and making one bad decision after another.

The narrator’s husband leaves her after they battled with infertility for years and she focuses her energy on another obsession, the actress that lives next door. It’s not entirely clear to me how the two wome
...more
Wendy
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Looker, by Laura Sims, was the sad journey of a woman's psychological breakdown.
The unnamed narrator's deteriorating sanity was realistic and very well written.
Her descent into darkness had me uneasily turning the pages.
More of a psychological character study than a thriller, this debut novel has this author of poetry successfully delving into another genre.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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Liz Barnsley
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Looker is a haunting, considered psychological drama that slowly peels away the layers of one engaging, vivid and intriguingly believable character.
Our Professor narrates the tale as her deep and abiding obsession with The Actress seeps into every corner of her life. Neither character is given a name, one watches, one is watched, all through a glass darkly with the increasingly skewed vision The Professor presents.
There is a creeping sense of menace, a depth to the prose that gets under your ski
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Scott
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"She's come undone, she found a mountain that was far too high
and when she found that she couldn't fly - it was too late"
-- "(She's Come) Undun" by The Guess Who (1969)

I remember several years ago my wife saying - with a smile - that she couldn't wait to go see Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky's film, starring Natalie Portman in her Oscar-winning role) because she wanted to be "psychologically thrilled." That film did deliver on the goods, and so does Looker.

Laura Sims' debut novel centers on a mi
...more
Linda Strong

A woman is falling apart. Her husband has left her ... and left his cat with her. That's all she has because she has no children. After years of needles and tests and the loss of lots of money, she finally gave up. She teaches part-time at a college. But she is one extremely unhappy woman who is walking on the edge.

From her view in her house she can see into the neighbor's kitchen at night. Living there is an actress, her screenwriter husband, and their three kids. They are living the life she s
...more
Tooter
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whoa, that was one crazy read. Thanks for the compelling review Felicia!
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Play Book Tag: Looker: A Novel - Laura Sims - 4 Stars 4 26 Jan 29, 2019 04:56AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 2 17 Jan 13, 2019 12:26PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Looker by Laura Sims - Starting October 24, 2018 6 12 Oct 25, 2018 02:04AM  

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267 followers
Laura Sims’s debut novel, Looker (Scribner), was published to critical acclaim in early 2019; The Wall Street Journal called it “a sugarcoated poison pill of psychological terror” and Grazia (UK) called it “dazzlingly creepy storytelling.” Looker, an Indie Next Great Reads Pick, was named a Best Novel of 2019 by Vogue, Esquire UK, and The Star-Ledger, and a Best New Book by People, Entertainment W ...more

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