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3.37  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  203 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
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Scribner
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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
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
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
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
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.

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'
Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ 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 pret
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
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 obses ...more
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 sh ...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
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Looker is a novel that really reads more like a novella - it's fairly short in length and you never even learn the two main character's names. At about halfway, the story picks up a bit but before I can really start to care and say ooooh this is getting good, the story ends. And unfortunately, the ending was a little flat for me. A unique approach but ultimately was not my favorite.

Thank you to Scribner for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
"It's disappointing only because she belongs to us."

While I absolutely love the idea of Looker, I was not a huge fan of the execution. Even though I sometimes get burned out on them, I can always be sucked in with a good stalker novel synopsis. I feel like this book is being incorrectly marketed as a thriller, and it's really more of a character study.

There were not any "thrilling" or suspenseful scenes in this book at all. That's totally fine, but it's just setting Looker up for failure when t
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I won this in a goodreads giveaway. A decent read, but is mislabeled regarding where it fits in terms of genre. There’s no mystery and little suspense. This is a character study of one woman whose life is crumbling all around her. The main character leans on an actress who lives nearby for support. Granted the support comes from her mild (in the beginning) obsession of her. The story is highly unlikely to occur. Given the actresses popularity there would be no way for the MC to stalk her to the ...more
In this latest psychological suspense novel, the reader witnesses the unraveling life of the unnamed narrator. Divorced, childless, depressed and desperate, her growing obsession with a neighboring actress quickly results in spiraling madness and irreversible actions. For those who enjoyed Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller.
Aug 01, 2018 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
This sounds like an extremely twisted version of The Woman in the Window because ~obsession and I'm here for it
Kerry (lines i underline)
"I see you. But I also know how hard it is to be seen."

Looker is a character study of a woman struggling with loss. It tracks her emotional and mental turmoil and her descent into obsession. At the outset, the unnamed narrator has lost nearly everything - her marriage, her hope of becoming a mother. She becomes fixated on the blockbuster star actress who lives on her street, with her gorgeous home, seemingly perfect family, and ideal life. The narrator feels like nobody. Like nothing. We watch h
Michael Schein
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Looker is the book Edgar Allen Poe might have written if he had been born in the age of television and had entered middle age in the era of social media. Its got something for everyone--thrills for fans of thrillers, character development for literary fiction fans, and plenty of high concept for everyone who plans to wait for the movie version. This is apparently Laura Sims' first novel and I'm already itching to read the next one.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This story got my attention initially and had the potential to be a unique thriller but fizzled midway. I did not warm up to the main ‘un-named’ character nor the style of writing which had way to much of this character imagining what she was going to do as opposed to doing and her obsessiveness with everything from soup to nuts, not only in her personal life but also as it relates to other characters. I didn’t catch the wittiness or playfulness as portrayed in the summary. Thanks to Scribner fo ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
I am glad this book was short, it was very hard to get into. The story and writing are ok and the plot was different than any other I'd read, but that was about the only thing that kept me reading. Talk about unlikeable characters, I didn't care for any of these self-centered people and therefore couldn't really be interested in any of them and the ending felt a little flat. I wish the author the best of luck with this book but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Thank you NetGalley, Scribner and Laura
Emi Bevacqua
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down, it was so utterly absorbing, so well written, and so abjectly horrifying. A series of losses precipitates a descent into madness: multiple miscarriages, her marriage, hopes for a rarefied "life of the mind," and then her career. I love that the title can refer to the main character, the object of her obsession, and to the reader as well.

I was reminded of Veronique Olmi's Beside the Sea, which was another outstanding first novel about an unnamed woman's tragic unr
Liese Schwarz
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an absorbing dark spiral of a story! Written so well that every scene shines in your mind, this is psychological suspense at its leanest -- not an extra word to dull the knifeblade narrative. A harrowing, intense and fascinating read. You will not soon forget this one.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this story made me incredibly sad, I liked it. It's like a description of one woman's spiral down into something scary. Looker is dark and compulsively readable. It pulls you in and keeps your interest. I recommend this one.
Mary McBride
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Looker was one that I kept seeing pop up in reviews and on the new Indie list. It was nothing like what I thought it would be.
It was the study of the unnamed narrator and her obsessions and slow unraveling .
The writing was original and the story was compelling enough that I read it in one sitting.
A little dark but totally worth it.
Adriana Jacobs
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Warning: you'll have trouble letting this book go. It's like that nightmare you secretly want to have again so you can have one more shot at making sense of it.

After a long hiatus, I am back on Goodreads to give this book five stars. One of the great pleasures of reading Laura Sims's debut novel is having absolutely no idea where the story is going and how it is going to end. Which is to say that LOOKER breaks with some long entrenched conventions of contemporary fiction. Poetry lovers will appr
2.5/ 5 stars
Looker is a very short psychological thriller that reads very differently from most other books.

This book has an unnamed female narrator (1st person POV). She is a literature professor.

I really liked the beginning of this book. I love reading about unhinged women. This one is a stalker. She is bitter. She is judgmental. She is obsessed with an actress who lives on her street. She stands outside her house and watches in her window.

I love it when the main character is a woman with st
Demetrius McCray
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought that this book was a very dark and intimate view of the human condition. At first I had no expectations for it but the description was wonderfully written. It starts off as a normal everyday experience and soon becomes a mentally tumultuous novel that both disturbs and intrigues. It’s a stream of consciousness that I was glued to and finished in just one sitting. For a first time book, I believe that it is masterful and while some may not enjoy it, I will say that while it is not for e ...more
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a stunningly brilliant debut. Nearly flawless execution. This is an author to bookmark. She’s penned such a quiet, dark, twisted, disturbingly relatable character — and taken us with her down a spiraling path of self destruction and loathing with such effortless “charm” that it is jolting. You’re left with a bit of PTSD in the end, but you’re a somewhat reluctant, yet grateful hostage of her journey into madness. Impressive. That one book in a hundred..., the “why” you keep reading to find. ...more
Suzy Michael
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
Looker is the debut novel by Laura Sims. It is marketed as a thriller yet that is not what I read. What I read was a dark, psychological character study of the slow unraveling of a woman coping with trauma, emotional stress and her own psychologically induced obsessions.
The story centers around our unnamed narrator, a middle-aged woman living in an unnamed city, bored with her job as a night school professor, and recently separated from her husband due to her inability to become pregnant. When a
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Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 2 10 Jan 13, 2019 12:26PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Looker by Laura Sims - Starting October 24, 2018 6 4 Oct 25, 2018 02:04AM  
Laura Sims is the author of LOOKER, a debut novel, forthcoming from Scribner in January 2019. She has also published four books of poetry, including Staying Alive, and is the editor of Fare Forward: Letters from David Markson. She lives outside of New York City with her family.
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