Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar
Precious You is journalist Helen Monks Takhar’s debut novel, published by HarperCollins imprint HQ. This novel has been tipped as one of the hottest debuts of 2020, and the TV adaptation is already in the works.
Katherine has been a lead editor at Leadership magazine for twenty years, the last year being the hardest after a bout of depression that kept her away from the office. But she’s back on top of her career and ready to meet her brand new boss – or so she wants everyone to think.
After twenty minutes of waiting for a bus, she decides she can’t afford to wait any longer and risk being late on her new bosses first day. However, she’s not alone at the bus stop; another young lady waiting has caught her attention. The fresh-faced girl vaguely reminds Katherine of herself at a younger age, and when the lady steps forward and asks to share her taxi, she can’t say no.
What Katherine doesn’t know is that girl, Lily, has been watching and waiting for her perfect moment to strike. Every word she says during the taxi ride is carefully executed, and it’s no coincidence that it’s her first day working at Leadership. But why has Lily set her sights on Katherine and how far will they both go to keep their pasts a secret?
Precious You review
Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar is a gripping psychological thriller packed full of twists and turns. As soon as you think you know where it’s going, expect the rug to be pulled out from beneath you. For every twist that left me asking ‘is it really going to go there?’, it did – and then some.
Helen captures the two contrasting voices of late-thirties Katherine and millennial Lily superbly, and I’m sure that the terminology used and the grudges they hold against each other will be familiar to many. Lily sees Katherine’s generation as having it all, while still being greedy and ungrateful as they take advantage of younger generations. In comparison, Katherine sees Lily and her age group as a bunch of ‘snowflakes’ with no sense of humour and self-entitled.
I love novels that focus on minimal characters and Precious You fits that category perfectly. Although you have a strong supporting cast, your main players are Katherine and Lily, allowing Helen the time to really delve into their personalities and create characters that become fully formed in your head.
Precious You is a tale of manipulation, secrets and generational divide that makes compulsive reading. I devoured the second half in one sitting, desperately wanting to know the motives of the two characters. For a moment, I thought one of the loose ends was going to be left ambiguous (and I would’ve been furious), but everything becomes clear in the last few pages. If you’re one of those monsters who read the final page of a book before reading the rest of it, don’t!
Helen Monks Takhar’s debut novel is an absolute thrill ride of a read. If you’re a fan of Killing Eve or enjoyed Gone Girl, get this on your reading list. After racing through Precious You, I can’t wait to watch the TV adaptation and read more from Helen.
If you enjoyed Precious You by Helen Monks Takhar, you’d love Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll.