Atria – Review: 4 Stars

All opinions are entirely my own. All of my full reviews can also be found on Instagram @Tackling_TBR and on Goodreads.

Listen to me discuss this book more in depth on the new The Same Page Podcast, due to be released on Sunday, 8/30/2020!

TW: stalking, murder, discussion of suicide, violence, explicit sexual language

Well you guys, I broke the bookworm rule. No, I didn’t dog-ear any pages. The other bookworm rule. I watched the show/movie before I read the book. But I finally got around the reading this one, even after seeing and loving the show, and I am so glad that I did! The book and the show are both so wild and compelling on their own, as well as together, and they are just different enough that I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything in the reading experience just because I had already seen the show.

Now with that out of the way, let’s get in to it.

This is a really different and fascinating read – it is all told through the eyes of Joe Goldberg, who sees himself as the hero of his own perfect romantic comedy. Meanwhile, the reality of the situation is that he is stalking a woman that he met at work, and eventually drives her into a relationship with him. What made this so interesting, in my opinion, is that I had to remind myself not to be rooting for this guy to get his way – while yes, he is an unreliable narrator, listening to him justify his actions (both to himself and to the audience) automatically makes you feel like you want to be on his side. Spending time in the character’s head and listening to him convince himself that everything he is doing is out of love, and that they are the things that romantic comedies are made of, he charmed me as a reader enough that I was almost surprised every time he committed his worst crimes. Until closer to the end, that is. After a while it is impossible to forget that he is a bit of a monster.

Our two main characters are Joe and Beck, the woman that he has fallen in love with. There are a hand full of other important secondary characters as well, but these two are the cornerstones of this story. And, as stated above, this whole story is told through Joe – we are seeing what he is seeing, and hearing what he is thinking. And as such, Joe comes across as a very charming guy, and Beck is the ideal of a perfect young woman, just how Joe sees her. That being said, none of the characters are perfect people, and honestly very few of the characters are even all that likable by the time that the book is over. Including Joe and Beck. Obviously Joe starts off pretty rough. You know, stalking and hurting people. But even Beck – as the book goes on and Joe is learning flaws about her and having his vision of her tarnished, the same thing is happening for the reader. I would say that all of the main characters were written in a way that I was able to feel about them exactly how the author seemed to intend in each moment without feeling like any of those emotions were forced, or that we were supposed to change an opinion of someone without cause.

Over all, I would highly recommend this book, even if you have already seen the show. As I said in the beginning, they are both different enough that I think they can be enjoyed separately or together. I would recommend this book, or the show, specifically to fans of true crime and psychological thrillers who want to get a different spin on a type of story that they already enjoy. This book is a perfect read on a chilly autumn day with a big glass of wine, maybe wrapped up in a comfy sweater. But maybe not in front of any big open windows. You know. Just in case.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s