Cover Image: I Have Some Questions for You

I Have Some Questions for You

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Member Reviews

I've been a Rebecca Makkai fan since Great Believers, and I Have Some Questions For You gives me the same vibes in the best possible ways. As always, Makkai's characters are written flawlessly, and the pacing is immaculate. This is a mystery story that's not really a mystery at all but still gives enough suspense to keep me guessing until the last 50 pages of the book. I know some reader's won't like the ending, how nothing is wrapped up with a bow and there isn't a happy conclusion, but I quite enjoyed it. It was realistic. It was life. Things *don't* always work out, and more often than not there isn't any justice. I am so excited for this book to be released later this month so I can start recommending it to everyone who even glances in my direction.
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I could see the literary merit of this, but DNF’d around 15% only because this isn’t the right book for me right now. I could tell I wasn’t going to enjoy the bleakness, morally grey main and supporting characters, etc. But the campus vibe was fun and I think the conversations about justice and bias in media and podcasting showed promise.
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Bodie Kane is a successful podcaster and professor who returns to Granby, the New Hampshire boarding school she attended as a teen, to teach a couple of classes. In her podcasting course, a student starts digging into the murder of Thalia Keith, Bodie's former roommate at Granby, who was killed on campus. Though the case has been solved for years, Bodie can't help but ask questions and begins to wonder if justice was really served all those years ago. 

I Have Some Questions for You is a masterful mystery novel about growing up, injustice, and the secrets we keep. Granby feels like a real place, and the characters who populate its campus are complex and interesting. Rebecca Makkai built tension slowly and excellently until the book's satisfying conclusion. This novel is the very best of dark academia.

Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy of this book.
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This is a great book, and while I wasn’t sure where it was going for awhile, it took me on an exhilarating ride. Bodie was a great character, full of trauma she doesn’t feel she can claim, trying to right trauma for others. She is the voice of so many women who grew up thinking things that happened to them weren’t so bad.  As she began to realize that she can own her trauma, she also sees that not all wrongs can be righted. A very stark look at how people pay for things they didn’t do, get away with things they did do, and some people float through life untouched.
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I Have Some Questions for You is a well-crafted, wild twisty ride that will keep you guessing. Bodie Kane returns to her Alma Mater, Granby, a high school boarding school. She is there to teach a mini semester. She is now a successful professional, teaching at UCLA and the host of a hot Podcast. She returns to an environment, where as a teen she struggled to fit in, and her senior year ended with the murder of her former roommate. When Bodie returns to teach the podcasting class she and her students are drawn to the case and the circumstances surrounding her roommate Thalia's death and the conviction of the school's black athletic trainer Omar.

This book tackles several themes of social commentary, racism, classism, true crime and me-too movement. Makkai's writing style is fluid and engaging. Do yourself a favor and be sure to read this compelling story!!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy!
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Rebecca Makkai returns following The Great Believers with I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU —a riveting crime thriller—part boarding school drama, forensic whodunit, literary, murder mystery, and psychological suspense.

Bodie Kane (in her forties), a popular podcaster and film professor, returns from LA to New Hampshire to an elite boarding school to teach a class in 2018. Bodie lives next door to her husband: They separated, but they are still good friends with benefits and raise two young children together.

When she was a student in the 90s, her roommate was murdered, and during her visit to Granby, she began to believe the wrong man might have been convicted. Her roommate, Thalia Keith, who was killed in 1995, was beautiful and rich.

Two students start a Serial-like podcast about the killing of Thalia Keith, whose murder was pinned on the school's Black athletic trainer, Omar Evans.

Questions are raised about the validity of the case against Omar and Thalia's classmates' racist assumptions. He spent 20 years in prison and may be innocent.

Bodie reexamines her thinking, re-lives the past, and what actually happened. There is a prime suspect who has never been investigated, the music teacher.

Where were the students hiding?

Another storyline regarding Bodie and her ex converges, driving the plot and keeping you on the edge of your seat. Readers will relate to the flawed protagonist, Bodie.

There are vital and critical themes and topics addressed in the novel, from white privilege, race class, gender, sex, and more in this timely, well-written, and gripping thriller.

Thought-provoking and a perfect title. Ideal for book clubs and further discussions. An emotional exploration into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman's reckoning with her past, with a provocative mystery at its heart.

Compulsive, and hauntingly beautiful, I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOU is reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History meets Serial.

Highly recommend!

Thank you to #Viking and #NetGalley for a gifted e-ARC.

Blog Review Posted @
www.JudithDCollins.com
@JudithDCollins |#JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 5 🌟 Stars
Pub Date: Jan 21, 2023
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I just could not get into this book.  It just seemed to go on and on with no particular direction.  I stopped about a quarter of the way in.  Maybe I'll try another time.
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Newly separated Bodie comes back to her fancy boarding school to teach 23 years after a classmate’s murder. This forces her to face the trauma of her friend’s unsolved murder. Actually, the case was solved and a suspect convicted. But is an innocent person in jail and the real killer free? 

Second half was more interesting. I liked the concept of the social media frenzy of amateur detectives trying to solve the mystery. That felt authentic enough and very current. Watching Bodie work through her own memories and seeing things through a different lens was interesting in some parts. 

I guess the whole thing just felt FINE. Not great, just ok. Pretty sad and not a satisfying  wrap up. Not a thriller, more like a so-so mystery. 

A lukewarm 3 stars for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 

Thank you to NetGalley and Viking Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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There was a LOT going on in this book! Bodie is a 40 year old podcaster who lives next door to her husband. Back in high school, she fled a terrible adolescence and attended a boarding school in New Hampshire where, in her senior year, her former roommate was murdered. Now Bodie is back on campus to teach a course, and she finds herself revisiting the events and thinking deeply about Omar Evans, the man convicted of the crime. This novel is about collective memory, misogyny, and reckoning with the past. It's a bit of a slow burn, but I tore through the last half.
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I would read anything by Rebecca Makkai and this one does not disappoint. Love the title of this book as it can and should be taken as a question to not only one of the suspects but also as a question to the reader. How do we treat female victims of violent crimes, do we do all we can to see justice served, what does our obsession with true crime podcasts say about us? 

Makkai examines all this within the context of telling an engrossing story about a murder on the campus of a middling boarding school that the narrator and podcaster had attended as a teen. The first half of the book moved a bit slowly for me, but once you hit the second half it just flies. That being said even in the first half I kept rushing to get back to it and to find out what happened next. There were a few strands of the story that never quite got answered that I wish had, but isn’t that the sign of a good story when it leaves you wanting more. Makkai lays a lot out there for you to examine and she doesn’t lead you to the answer, she just lets it sit for the reader to decide what to do with the information. Besides the look at violent crimes against women, and victim blaming, she interweaves the #MeToo movement, cancel culture, and the insidiousness of social media in today’s culture. All this while telling an unputdownable murder mystery. 

Thank you to Net Galley for the ARC.
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I really enjoyed Makkai’s writing in The Great Believers and I loved it here as well. Very different from TGB and not what I expected from this author but enjoyable nonetheless! The twists were exciting and the plot never lost my attention. This story felt real and the main character jumped off the page, which I don’t often find myself saying about other thrillers.
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This book is many things: a mystery, a reflection, a character study, a meditation on #MeToo and misogyny. The problem, though, is that by striving to be so many things, it falls short on nearly all of them. The character arcs nearly all felt cut short, and the resolution—I won’t even attempt to say climax—felt less an answer to a question than a conciliatory shrug.

Maybe my expectations were just… wrong. And that happens! But I think to cast this in a thriller’s light is to do it a disservice. It’s a decent follow-up to a novel that, honestly, I can’t imagine trying to follow up. Still a good read!
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I found this poorly written, a little too raspy-like OMG-and a take off on the Adam Syed case but with a twist I guess one would write. I can’t understand why this book is on the list of most anticipated. I skimmed a lot of it ….it wasn’t worth a lot of time.
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This scintillating, suspenseful, and carefully constructed slow burn of a novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It follows a woman who returns to her boarding school and refocuses her attention on the grisly death of her former roommate. As the main character digs in deeper, you start to see how everyone at the school has a hand in the deconstruction of this young woman’s body and spirit— something some of us like to do, as well, especially with the advent of true crime as America’s favorite pastime. Makkai asks us to examine the sport of true crime, internet sleuthing, and cancel culture and how “equality is not the same as equanimity”. 
This book got under my bones and made me question why I love true crime… is it because violence (both literal and the culture of) something that fuels us? The book also delves into the act of remembering in the age of the internet. If you can’t remember it, didn’t document it, and no one saw it—did it happen? How do we make meaning of our memory now when we can record quickly, instantly, so all the public record can see? 

This is a slow, slow, slow burn and I think Makkai does this on purpose— it’s supposed to feel slow, deliberate, confusing and jarring. She wants you to work the answers as she sets the scene meticulously. It’s basically the opposite of a quick internet search/binging a true crime YouTube series. This book feels like walking uphill and hitting a mud patch, only to discover the view is amazing and well worth it at the top. . . This book really made me think about consumption
Habits of crime—especially against women. I will be thinking about it for a long time.
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There are so many ways to write a murder mystery and I loved the unique style this author chose. In addition to the usual multiple suspects and a probable innocent man in prison, there are numerous references to actual cases where our justice system got it wrong. It is a thought-provoking novel that examines motivation in both individuals and in groups.

Thanks to NetGalley and Viking/Penguin Random House for the ARC to read and review.
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Really wonderful examination of what it means to be a woman today—and how that's evolved in the past decades. A well-written and well-crafted mystery that doesn't shy away from the uncomfortable.
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This line from the book really hit home for me in today's #CrimeTok obsessed culture. "I'm concerned about the tropes of true crime, the way it's turned into entertainment."

This book felt so timely and nuanced. Makkai confronts cancel culture, #MeToo, violence against women, criminal injustice, assault, nostalgia and PTSD. The novel also investigates the question, 'Why are we so obsessed with true crime?' 

Makkai asks uncomfortable questions about the treatment of victim narratives in order to gain status and attention. Throughout the book, she continues to cite nameless victims alongside details of what happened to them. These citations and examples fit so perfectly into the story, and also felt so insanely timely in today's world, especially as this is something I personally encounter every single day when scrolling through my TikTok feed. 

I found myself loving the way Makkai weaved these intense topics into the true crime podcast style narrative. The novel also really made me think about how we reckon with our own pasts. Do you perceive your high school years much differently in your 40s/50s than you did in your late 20s? What details do you remember vividly, and what memories have you pushed away?

I was a fan of her last book, "The Great Believers" and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this book even more.
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I wanted to love this, because the premise and setting sounded so interesting. After weeks of trying to read it, I finally gave up at only 20% into the book. Perhaps it's just me, but the writing style fell flat, and the overly-introspective main character still manages to be extremely unlikable. Maybe the plot picked up its pace at some point in the book, but this is DNF for me-- I found it dreadfully, hopelessly, unforgivably dull. Disappointed.
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Bodie returns to the boarding school where she spent her teen years to teach a short winter-mester class as a successful Podcaster. One of her students focuses her story on the murder of a student that took place in 1995 when Bodie was in school, with the argument that the wrong suspect has been in prison all these years.

I Have Some Questions for You is such a layered novel. I can't recommend it just as a mystery or suspense story. There were times in which I was almost overwhelmed with nostalgia that I can't describe. As someone who has gone back and taught on a campus that I once stood as a naïve student, Makkai captures that change in vision, the overwhelming memories from the past along with the students of today...

The mysteries and complex storylines are so well done. This book isn't for every reader but I can tell I will be thinking about it for quite a while. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publishers for the advance copy.
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I Have Some Questions for You presents a new twist on your typical mystery read. In this case, the story revolves around the already-solved case of a Thalia Keith, a teen girl who was murdered over 20 years ago at her boarding school, Granby. Brodie Kane, a professor of film, successful podcaster, and one-time roommate of Thalia's, get sucked back into the case when she returns to Granby to teach a few short-term classes.

While there is definitely a sense of mystery prevalent (if Omar Evans-the man convicted of the crime-didn't do it, then who did?), the focus of this book seems to be on bigger topics. Sometimes too many topics. Makkai addresses femicide, biased and incompentent justice systems, and cancel culture, among other things. All of these topics could have served as a worthy focus for the book, but by including all, the book sometimes feels disorienting and directionless.

That being said, Makkai's writing is fluid and smart and the characters she has created are compelling. She did a great job of portraying characters as teens and as middle-aged adults, highlighting the changes we all undergo as we age but also highlighting the ways that we sometimes stay the same. If you're a mystery fan, you'll enjoy the case at the center of this book; if you're not a mystery fan, Makkai has included enough material here to prompt compelling contemplations on bigger issues.

Thanks to NetGalley and Viking for the advanced copy.
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