Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date of publication: March 3rd, 2020
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.
You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.
Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.
Two wine glasses are on the coffee table, evidence of a romantic night.You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
I was super excited when I saw that Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen had another book out. I had loved their previous books. When I got the email from the publisher asking me to review, I downloaded that book so fast that I think I got whiplash on my pointer finger.
When I started to read You Are Not Alone, I was a bit suspicious, though. I had built this book up in my head that I was afraid it was going to flop and disappoint me. Well, happily, it didn’t. It lived up to my internal hype and then some.
You Are Not Alone is the story about Shay. Shay is a shy 30 something living in New York City. She has no friends, other than her roommate. She keeps a book of statistics. She has done this since she was a child, living with an emotionally and verbally abusive stepfather. Then one day, her life changed for the worse. She witnessed a woman commit suicide by throwing herself in front of a train. Going to Amanda’s (the woman who died) memorial, she meets Cassandra and Jane, Amanda’s best friends. After meeting them, Shay’s life seems to get better. A new apartment, new friends, a new job, a new haircut, and self-confidence. But, Shay starts to notice that things aren’t all that they seem with Cassandra and Jane. A series of events have Shay questioning everything that happened to her after Amanda’s suicide. What do Cassandra and Jane want? And why do they have Shay in their crosshairs?
You Are Not Alone had a fast-moving plotline. Shay’s portion of the book was well written and fast. I believe that all of the events took place within a couple of months of Amanda’s suicide. There was no lag, and there no dropped storylines. But, I did have issues with the book going back in time with several characters. Cassandra, Jane, Amanda, Daphne, Beth, and Stacey all had their backstories told in flashback. The only characters whose backstory was vital to the book were Amanda, Daphne, and Valerie (but only at the end of the book). I didn’t need to read about Cassandra, Jane, Beth, and Stacey’s backstories. They dragged down the main plotline.
I liked Shay. I did have my doubts about her at the beginning of the book. But, as the author revealed the different layers of her character, I started to form a connection with her. She was desperately lonely and awkward. She always felt like she was on the outside looking in. So, I didn’t blame her for connecting with Cassandra and Jane or taking up their offers of friendship. When things went sideways for her, though, I was surprised at her strength. I admired her.
The mystery angle of the book (why Amanda jumped) was well written. There is a twist in that angle that did surprise me. I didn’t see it coming, but it made sense once revealed.
The suspense/thriller angle was well written also. I loved seeing how Shay was built up, and then everything was yanked out from underneath her. I loved how Shay’s mental state was portrayed in the last half of the book. I honestly was wondering if she was going to go off the deep end.
The end of the book was unbelievable. It was one of the best endings that I have read in a physiological thriller to date. And the twist at the very end. I said, “Holy crap,” out loud a few times. I wasn’t expecting Shay to admit what she admitted!!
I do want to throw in a trigger warning. There is a scene where a woman is raped, and there is a scene where a teenager is sexually assaulted.
I would give You Are Not Alone an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread You Are Not Alone. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**