Don’t Stand So Close by Luana Lewis

Originally posted 2016-02-09 12:36:36.

I have been trying to review Don’t Stand So Close on and off for almost a week. I have nothing to say about it; I feel nothing towards this book. Really, it makes me think of my husband. Steve is the champion of apathy. He rarely has strong feelings towards anything. When asked if he enjoyed a movie or liked a meal, 90% of the time his response is, “It’s not bad,” or “It’s alright.” Those are his catch phrases. If Steve were a doll with a crackly old voicebox, pulling a string would elicit those very phrases. The first thing that came to mind when I finished Don’t Stand So Close was “It’s alright,” which is a terrible way to feel about anything, let alone a book. I would much rather hate a book, or even love a book. Books should stimulate some kind of feeling – to generate nothing but indifference is truly one of the worst sins that an author can commit. Shame on you, Luana Lewis. Shame on you.

Don’t Stand So Close aspires to be a psychological page-turner that will leave you guessing until the very end. In reality, it achieves none of these things. Stella is a promising young psychologist, but when she is raped by a patient, she randomly and instantly moves in with her boss, becomes agoraphobic, and marries him. Maybe not in that order. Anyways, one cold and snowy night, the adolescent daughter of the rapist shows up at her front door making claims about Stella’s husband. Boring chaos ensues. Really, how much can happen when the protagonist refuses to leave the house? Stella eventually does leave the house, and it is revealed that her husband wasguilty of the girl’s accusations, but this comes as no surprise as Lewis made it fairly clear from the beginning of the novel.

I did not hate Don’t Stand So Close, but I did find it thoroughly un-enjoyable. It felt pointless – I invested my valuable time into reading this book, and there was absolutely no payoff. It wasn’t bad. It was alright.

Previously published on on February 21, 2015