Book Review: You Can Stay by Elle Connel

“She’s the perfect host. He’s the perfect prey.”

Out now in ebook and set to be released in paperback on 15th September, You Can Stay by Elle Connel follows military soldier Connor who is taking part in Selection, the elite Special Forces training programme in the wilderness of Bodmin Moor. Here, he must evade capture by a squad of paratroopers for several days. When he’s offered proper rest and recuperation by the owner of a local farmhouse, he knows he is breaking the rules. But what’s the harm in accepting the kindness of strangers? Especially as his training partner Dele appears to have deserted him in the dead of night.

Eilidh is an impeccable host. Connor can barely bring himself to leave her charming farmhouse, though he’s running out of time to make his next rendezvous and re-join his partner. But he doesn’t realise what he’s walked into – because the choice isn’t his to make. This isn’t Eilidh’s first kidnapping. She’s done this before, but they never came as close to perfection as Connor. Why would she let him leave?

Rating:

Thank you to NetGalley for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Everything about this book drew me in, from the promise of a dark and disturbing thriller with an original twist to the isolated Cornish setting. And for the most part, You Can Stay is a gripping and twisted read with a really uncomfortable setting, and I enjoyed how Connel made a generic thriller feel so unique.

Normally, this is the kind of book I absolutely love. But sadly, it didn’t all pay off for me and I feel a little gutted about that. It wasn’t so much the atmosphere or situation as I’m all for violence and gore, so it’s usually the darker the better for me. But I just found a lot of You Can Stay crude, which is one thing I can’t handle. There were sections of dialogue making me shudder in their cringe-worthiness, so this really put a dampener on my reading experience.

And then we come to the ending, which I’m not sure how I feel about yet. I like the twist itself, but I think everything came to end too abruptly, meaning there wasn’t enough time for everything to be pieced together completely.

For me, there were a few things that restricted my enjoyment of this story for me, but I’m sure they won’t bother most readers and the atmosphere is definitely there, so I’d still recommend this to others.

Details:

You Can Stay by Elle Connel
Paperback Release Date: 15th September 2022
Print Length: 368 pages
Genre: Psycological Thriller
Publisher: Wildfire

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