Book Review: The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

July 18, 2021 in Mystery & Thriller

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Hello! As you may know, I’m currently in the process of moving house. Luckily, that means I’ve spent a LOT of time sitting around, unable to really do anything except read and take care of my son. And boy, have the book reviews been piling up… I’m one of those reviewers who NEEDS to keep their NetGalley ratio above 80% at all times. I’m currently at 81% so I’ll be clearing through my backlog over the next few days. First up is The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. This one is a thriller about an author who steal the plot for his student’s novel after he dies an untimely death… and naturally, things get complicated.

Many thanks to Faber & Faber for providing me with an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Plot
by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Publisher: Faber & Faber
Date of Publication: 5th August 2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: eBook (282 pages)
Rating: ★★★★

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When a young writer dies before completing his first novel, his teacher, Jake, (himself a failed novelist) helps himself to its plot. The resulting book is a phenomenal success. But what if somebody out there knows?

Somebody does. And if Jake can’t figure out who he’s dealing with, he risks something far worse than the loss of his career.

Book Review

The Plot is an interesting thriller, unlike anything I’ve read before. What stood out to me was that it was never EXACTLY what I thought it would be. Was Jake going to be driven mad with his guilt? Is there even a mystery to solve here? It was very clever in that respect. I liked that it always offered more than I’d expected it to. And while the overall twist didn’t come as a huge surprise to me, I’m sure it will for many readers.

I was also really impressed with the author’s writing style. This was my first Jean Hanff Korelitz book but it certainly won’t be my last. It was intricately worded and I think that helped bring Jake to life. It definitely communicated his snobbishness. One of my favourite literary devices is the story within a story so naturally, I found a lot to love here. There’s a good amount of balance between “real life” and Jake’s bestselling novel.

Characters are morally grey from start to finish. I don’t think there’s a single character that can be filed under either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Everyone has trauma or skeletons in their closet and a line that they would cross for their own individualistic reasons. I think it dealt with the what-ifs very well. Personally, I didn’t find any of the characters likeable but it’s not the kind of book where you NEED to like characters to enjoy the story as a whole.

Although the ending was satisfying, I think that I would have preferred justice to be served right at the last second. After all, there were plenty of secondary characters who are aware that the main character has been digging up dirt so you’d think that the way things panned out would raise some suspicion… But hey, that’s just me!

Will you be adding The Plot to your reading list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

1 Comment

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever July 19, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    Morally grey characters are some of my absolute favorites to read about so that on it own sounds so great to me!

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