Review: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear, and while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something, and someone, is always in the dark.

It took me quite awhile to get into this book. I honestly thought about giving up, but all the reviews I read that talked about the great ending made me power through. While I ultimately found it a little disappointing, I am glad that I kept reading. About a third of the way through it started to get a lot more interesting and then a little farther along there is a surprise that definitely makes the tedious first part of the book worth it.

The story is told in alternating 1st person POV between Laura and Kit and in alternate timelines. I am a big fan of both of those narrative devices when done well and I thought they were used very effectively here. It felt completely necessary to the story and not just a narrative style choice. I didn’t particularly like either Laura or Kit, but this is one of those instances where you don’t really have to. While they both did stupid things sometimes, there was always a level of empathy with them and chances of redemption, so I could still root for them. The other main character is Beth and I was not a fan of her at all. I’m not going to go into any detail about her, though, because I don’t feel like I can do it without revealing any spoilers.

Eclipse chasing is a big part of the story. I thought that it would just be part of the setting where the catalyst of the story takes place, but it’s much more than that. I never knew that eclipse chasing was a thing that people traveled all over the world for. It does seem like an expensive hobby to have, especially for people who aren’t exactly wealthy, and my deeply practical nature makes me view it as irresponsible, which kind of soured me on the Kit and Laura.  It did make me kind of excited about the eclipse that’s supposed to be in the US this year, but I just looked it up and I don’t live in an area that will see Totality so now I’m a little disappointed.

Overall, He Said/She Said was a decent book, but fell short of my expectations. The reveals and slightly faster pace of the second half the book could not completely save it from the very slow, somewhat hard to get through beginning. While I liked the twists in the story, they were not as explosive as I was expecting from other reviews I’ve read. However, I did love how it was written and thought it was one of the most effective uses of multiple POV and timelines that I have read in quite awhile.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

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30 thoughts on “Review: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

  1. I let this go back to the library because it seemed liked the writing style was going to make it a slower read for me and I had a ton of books come in at the library at once. I didn’t have any time to invest in this. I am glad I wasn’t wrong about this one. Is it worth getting again?

    • I wouldn’t discourage you from trying it, but maybe wait when you’re in a specific mood for it. It’s very character driven and the plot is pretty slow paced, so if you’re not in the mood where you have patience for that, I can see you getting frustrated with it until you get further into it.

  2. I’m not sure about the whole eclipse premise and when I was reading about how there is supposed to be big twist I tend to think I’ll be disappointed which sounds like how you felt. I’m giving this book a pass for now, excellent review!

    • Thanks! The eclipse stuff was kind of interesting, but I didn’t really care that much about it, either. There are a couple of nice twists, but they definitely aren’t “big” or real shocking, so if you are expecting that I think you would be disappointed. It’s not a bad book, it’s just not what I thought or wanted it to be.

  3. Great review! I had chance to read it as well and I found it quite interesting, especially the twist. So in the end of the day it depends on taste, some will like it, some wount 😊

  4. I really wanted to read this, especially because there was a blurb by Ruth Ware on the cover and I absolutely love her writing, but after reading your review, I’m not sure it’s worth the time. It seems a bit lackluster in some areas instead of being mindblowingly amazing, so I’m on the fence. Great review though, and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • Thanks! I don’t want to discourage you from reading this, but I would definitely not refer to it as mindblowing or amazing. If you’re in the mood for something really character driven with a couple of nice, but not real shocking, twists and don’t mind a slower pace you will probably enjoy it just fine.

  5. I hate when books are so extremely slow in the beginning, then eventually speed up. I enjoy books who kind of have a steady pace the whole time. But, Eclipse chasing is something I study quite a bit and I’m very interested in it!

  6. I picked this one up awhile ago, and couldn’t get into it right away. I don’t think I had the attention span at the time. I’ve heard it’s so good, and honestly I keep putting it off because of the hype. I am afraid it won’t live up to it, so I will just keep putting it off. Lol.

    • Yes, I don’t think it will live up to the hype for you. It still might be worth the read, but I think lower your expectations a bit. And then maybe you’ll end up being pleasantly surprised instead of disappointed haha.

  7. Excellent review! I’ve had this one on my radar but I was a bit worried about the mixed reviews… Good to know things pick up later on; I might give it a go one day.

    • Thanks! I’ll look forward to hearing what you think of it if you decide to pick it up. If you’re prepared for the really slow beginning and know the twists aren’t super shocking, then you might end up really enjoying it.

      • I have a copy on my pile, although I have tons of other books I need/want to get to first… It’s good to know I need to keep expectations low though.

    • Thanks! If I knew someone who lived in an area that would see totality I would think about going, but otherwise no. I’m not really one for travel. Hopefully I’ll still be able to see something where I live when it hits in August.

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