Book Review #29: I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid (2016)

Review: 4 out of 5⭐️
Title: I’m Thinking of Ending Things: A Novel
Author: Iain Reid
Published: 2016 (Gallery, Scout Press, New York)
Pages: 211 (Hardcover)
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Horror, Suspense, Contemporary
CW: sexual content, violence
Link Here

My borrowed copy of I’m Thinking of Ending Things next to a vase of fake tulips

This. Book. I can tell you right now this book is a wild, and unnerving ride. For anyone who is considering reading this book, do not go into this thinking you understand the ending. I heard a lot about this horror/thriller on Instagram. And this was before announcements of the upcoming movie of the same title directed by Charlie Kaufman based on this book, reached me (the movie comes out tomorrow, 9/4 on Netflix, by the way). Honestly, at certain parts I was not sure I liked the book, but other parts confirmed I was a fan overall.

Seeing someone with their parents is a tangible reminder that we’re all composites” – Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

The story starts out unassuming; a girlfriend and her boyfriend named Jake drive out to Jake’s parent’s farm in order for her to meet them for the first time. A lot of the story is the girlfriend’s internal monologue, she is ‘thinking of ending things’ with Jake. From there, the story builds into an unsuspecting display of awkwardness. And I do not mean awkward in a negative light by any means, I refer to the unsettling feelings as the situation developed and became, essentially and predictably, worse. The story flow, at first confusing, ended up becoming one of my favorite parts about this novel. I can hopefully say without spoilers, that even though this book was not particularly gory or action-packed, the creativity executed and build up to create dread was very well done.

Even considering the data that shows the majority of marriages don’t last, people still think marriage is the normal human state. Most people want to get married. Is there anything else that people do in such huge numbers, with such a terrible success rate?” – Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

I’m Thinking of Ending Things was full of quipped quotes, very dynamic characters, and eerie moments. By seeing my review history on this blog, I’ve only begun to get back into reading horror novels so by no means am I an expert. But I really think this is a horror and suspense novel that should be celebrated. If I was a writer, I wish I could write like Reid to create the same feelings of intensity from beginning to end. He really knew how to exploit the unknowns of suspense.

Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought” – Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Why should you read this book? I recommend this book simply if you’re a fan of psychological horror novels with a contemporary twist. Also so, if you’re curious to see if the book is better than the upcoming movie. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to watch the movie after it comes out. In my opinion, there seems to be some obvious differences than in the book by watching the trailer (I’m definitely not the first person to say that phrase..). But I think the movie looks like it will be good, or at least well done in a cinematographic way. On another note, spooky season is almost here, and I’m hoping to read more spookier novels. Comment below if you have any good horror/thriller/mystery/suspense book suggestions 🎃

Just tell your story. Pretty much all memory is fiction and heavily edited. So just keep going” – Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5!


Curious how I rate the books I write about? Click here to find out.

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