Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson – 400 pages
At fourteen, Alice Hill was viciously attacked by two of her classmates and left to die. The teens claim she was a sacrifice for a man called Mister Tender, but that could never be true: Mister Tender doesn’t exist. His sinister character is pop-culture fiction, nothing more. Over a decade later, Alice has changed her name and is trying to heal. But someone is watching her. They know more about Alice than any stranger: her scars, her fears, and the secrets she keeps locked away. She can try to escape her past, but he is never far behind. Addictive and chillingly surprising, this ripped-from-the-headlines thriller will have you transfixed until the very last page.
My Review: 4 stars
Mister Tender’s Girl is what it claims to be… addictive. I read this book in just two days as I was wrapped up into Alice’s world from the first page. Mister Tender’s Girl is loosely based on the real world stabbing of 12-year-old Morgan Geyser by the Leutner twins at the urging of a fictional Internet character known as Slender Man. This left me much to research after I’d finished.
When Alice becomes aware of her stalker, the story picks up at a fast tempo. I literally couldn’t read fast enough because I wanted to know who this mysterious stalker actually was. Most twists were somewhat expected, but it didn’t bother me at all. Wilson’s writing kept me at the edge of my seat as I waited for the next shocker in the plot to unfold. I must note, there were parts that I found a little unbelievable, which made a few of the characters seem flat, rather than rounded individuals. For instance, Alice’s mother lives in her own world and somehow seems too caring and aloof at the same time. You never know what she actually knows about Alice’s stalker, and her maternal instincts in each situation were way off from my own. That being said, perhaps it was Wilson’s plan to have the mom be a confusing and unreliable character to puzzle the reader even further.
Overall, I thought the book was a good pick for me because it had just enough creepy to not give me nightmares, but still kept me entertained. It had tension, an abundance of paranoia and the right amount of morbidity to satisfy any reader looking for a compact thriller.
I read the ending too quickly so I had to reread the last few pages so I didn’t miss anything. I found that the climax of the story (discovering the stalker’s identity) and the ending of the book are oddly yet perfectly intertwined. The timing of them both makes it hard not to read (inhale) it all too quickly and let everything settle in the reader’s mind. Well-done Mr. Wilson. Glad I got an early opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
Quotes I liked:
There are things that stick to you…they’re like your skin. No matter how fast or far you run, they accompany you. They are forever a part of you.”