Just Stab Me Now by Jill Bearup

Review of Just Stab Me Now by Jill Bearup. Just Stab Me Now is based on a TikTok series by Jill Bearup and written after the community begged her to write the sketch series into a full length novel repeably.

On a personal note: It has been quite a while since I last wrote a review here. Life kind of happened again as it is want to do. But since new years my sister inspired me to book journal again, which means that I am once again writing longer reviews of the books I read. It is a wonderful way to wrap up a book. This review is based of my journal entry but is expanded on. If you want to see my book journal entries and the con-running that I am doing, head over to my instagram.

My review of Just Stab Me Now by Jill Bearup

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The book is light hearted and a very gentle satire of the romantasy subgenre. If you have ever rolled your eyes at how tropey a fantasy book was, and then read the rest of the book as far as possible, then this might be for you. It is funny, fast paced and it’s parallel stories are interesting enough that I was annoyed every time we switched.

Title: Just Stab Me Now
Author: Jill Bearup
Genre: Fantasy, metafiction, parallel storylines, satire, romantasy
Themes: fantasy tropes, writing, grief

Opening sentence:

‘I just can’t believe it!’

The setup and worldbuilding

To talk about this book at all, I need to explain the setup: There is kind of three plot lines:

  1. The contemporary story about Caroline who is an data analyst with a corporate job who tries to write a novel in her spare time. This story is about her struggles at work and her writing the novel with the help of her editor Henry.
  2. The fantasy story that Caroline is writing about Rosamund set in a secondary world. This is very much a romantic suspense kinda romantasy. This is the bulk of the novel and is a fine story in it’s own right.
  3. The smallest part of the narrative is Caroline showing up in the fantasy world in short scenes to argue with her characters to make them fall into the tropes of the genre. Caroline really wants the story to be enemies to lovers, and the characters are not having it.

The fantasy world is very much a generic European fantasy world, but that is kinda the point and is lampshaded a number of times throughout the story. Because the fantasy world is so generic the british corporate world almost have more interesting worldbuilding to it.

The review

I really enjoyed the mix of fantasy with the narrative of Caroline writing the story. Her arguing with her own characters was funny and I liked the way the story interrogated the romantasy tropes and played with them. As the story progressed, I became more and more invested in the IRL Storyline.

Once the story got going the pace really picked up and I could not put it down. I laughed out loud and giggled. Both at the genre critique, genuinely funny lines and the situations. For this light hearted a book, it got quite tense at times.

Bearup uses the parallel storylines to great effect, both as a tool for satire and gags, but also to control the pace. I was invested in both the main storylines and found myself annoyed when it switch from either storyline because I wanted to know what happened next – which is quite a feat in a book that is all about tropes.

As you might have gathered by now I have a thing for metafictional stories. I read enough inside the genres that I read that I find it fascinating when people interrogates the tropes that makes up the genres.

I have seen most of the TikTok skits that this was based off and I was still highly entertained. The story does however not rely on you having seen the skits and stands well on it’s own merit.

Just Stab Me Now is a light hearted and a very gentle satire of the romantasy subgenre – in the same kind way as Terry Pratchett wrote satire of fantasy. While it pokes fun at the fantasy genre, it is also talks about how much we all love them and why. If you have ever rolled your eyes at how tropey a fantasy book was, and then read the rest of the book as far as possible, then this might be for you. It’s very much metafiction in the same style as Enchanted

The stats: Just Stab Me Now

Published: 2024 Self published
Length: 314 pages
Read: February 2024

Author: White, female, british
The protagonists: Caroline Lindley, white, female, british, author
Rosamund Hawkhurst, white, female, widow, 34 years old, noblewoman





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