By Rita Nicholson
Tasha Kavanagh’s novel, Things We Have in Common, promises to be a dark and gripping story. The story begins when Yasmin sees a strange man lurking near the school and watching another student, Alice. Yasmin convinces herself that this man is planning on taking Alice, whom she has an obsession with, and that she must protect her from any potential danger.
Yasmin takes it upon herself to find out exactly who this man is. But as she learns more, her affections shift from Alice to him, even when Alice mysteriously disappears and Yasmin suspects this man of kidnapping her.
I was originally intrigued by the premise of the novel. Things We Have in Common had a lot of potential to be an unforgettable story, but my expectations fell short. Frustratingly enough, not a lot happened throughout the novel. It seemed like the majority of the writing was just Yasmin’s thoughts, which frankly weren’t the most interesting to read. It doesn’t make literary sense for someone to go missing and another character to possibly know the kidnapper, yet do absolutely nothing about it.
Yasmin as a character and unreliable narrator was almost too creepy for me. Her attitude toward other people was weird, as in she would practically stalk Alice and pretend that their relationship (which was nonexistent in the first place) was something grand. She also harbored attraction to a man more than three times her age and would describe various fantasies that she had about him, which was a bit too far for me. Several times I fought the urge to give up on the book and set it down for good.
Kavanagh’s writing style is actually pretty good. The one fault I found with it, though, was how the author chose to write in second person. Yasmin constantly referring to the man as “you” honestly made me a little uncomfortable, but it did admittedly add to the creep factor.
Things We Have in Common did turn out to be a creepy novel, just not in the way it was intended. Many things in the story did not live up to expectations, and that was a disappointment.