In I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Jake is a guy taking his new girlfriend to his family farm to meet his parents. With the story told through his girlfriend, we learn that Jake is a wicked smart guy working in a laboratory on some science-y thing. We learn quickly that she’s been thinking of ending things with Jake – an “it’s not you, it’s me” type of deal – but can’t quite bring herself to break it to the poor guy. In the meantime, she’s been getting these really creepy phone calls in the middle of the night. When she checks her phone, she always finds that the calls are coming from her own number and the caller leaves the same awful message.
(I’m going to be using the words “creepy” and “awful” a lot, because they are the most straightforward words to use about this book! Not that the book itself was “awful,” just creepy with some really awful things).
The first half of this novel describes the drive to the farm and meeting Jake’s weird and ominous parents. To me, this entire part of the book felt like the movie Get Out; we’re in the middle of nowhere with a family that we don’t quite know and there’s so many things about the house that are just weird and disturbing. Like the fact that there are claw marks all around the basement door and that it can be locked from the inside of the basement, but not the outside. Mysterious bandages appearing on Jake’s parents and missing, bloody toenails. (See? Awful and creepy.)
The second half details what happened on their way home when they stopped at a school to throw away cups of lemonade (right? Bizarre.). Something happens to frighten Jake and he gets out of the car and runs into the school. His girlfriend follows him inside, which is what you never do in a horror movie. Haven’t these people watched Scream?
This was a book that didn’t take much of a time investment given that it was under 230 pages. It’s also written in a very straightforward style with short and choppy sentences and lots of plot, which keeps things moving forward. Just try not to read it at night, because I keep saying “creepy” for good reason. It just made my skin crawl and I wasn’t happy about my decision to read this in the evenings after the boys went to bed!