You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

You Are Not Alone: A Novel by [Hendricks, Greer, Pekkanen, Sarah]

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: March 3rd, 2020

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find You Are Not Alone: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

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.

First Line:

Two wine glasses are on the coffee table, evidence of a romantic night.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Book Review:

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**

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: January 8th, 2019

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find An Anonymous Girl: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller, The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

My review:

Jessica is a makeup artist who isn’t living her life to the fullest. Barely making ends meet, her days consist of running around NYC, toting her make up case. Her nights are spent hanging out with her best friends and having one night stands. When she sees a text about a study on ethics and morality that pays around $500, she decides to go and take the girl’s place. She catches the eye of the psychologist running the study, Dr. Shields. As her relationship with Dr. Shields gets more personal, Jessica realizes that she isn’t involved in a study anymore. Instead, Dr. Shields is using her in an experiment. As Dr. Shield becomes more and more demanding and obsessive, Jessica needs to find a way out. Will that happen? Will Jessica be able to end her relationship with Dr. Shields? Or will she be a casualty?

I loved how Dr. Shields side of the story progressed. It was interesting to read how she picked up on Jessica. How she singled her out of the study. The author did a great job of letting Dr. Shields crazy come out in small doses. Her obsession with Thomas and Jessica. Her ability to read Jessica’s mind and to be one step ahead of her. It was all wonderfully spaced out. I will say, though, Dr. Shields did scare me. I had no issue imagining this same scenario playing out in real life. That is what made this book so good to read. It was totally believable.

Jessica’s side of the story was as wonderfully written as Dr. Shields. The authors did a fantastic job of showing how easy someone was to manipulate. All it took was asking the right questions and creating the right atmosphere. I loved watching her transformation from an independent woman to a person who was controlled. But, what I also liked, was how Jessica took her life back. How she fought back against Dr. Shields.

I will warn, for those of you who don’t like it, that Dr. Shields part of the book was written in 2nd person. Myself, I don’t care for it. It makes the story harder to read because the reader never gets to see what is going on from the other people’s perspective. But in this book, it worked. It only worked because Jessica’s part of the book was written in 1st person. I wasn’t only reading the book in 2nd person. Another reason it worked was that we got to see Dr. Shields in two totally different lights. I thought it was fascinating how the author was able to merge the two different people who I associated with Dr. Shields into one person by the end of the book.

The main storyline with Dr. Shields and Jessica was wonderfully written. Like I mentioned above, I love reading how Jessica was manipulated by Dr. Shields. I loved how the author kept the true reason for the Dr’s social experiments under wraps until about the middle of the book. I was as shocked as Jessica when the truth was revealed.

The secondary storylines were alright. Except for April’s storyline, I didn’t get as involved with them. I did have a question about Ben and how he knew to call JessicaJess“. I wanted to know how much he knew about the study. The way he acted with her at the meeting made me think he knew more than he let on. It was dropped after that.

The end of An Anonymous Girl underwhelmed me. It was anti-climatic with how it was ended. I was left scratching my head and going “Huh” afterward. I should have seen what happened coming but I didn’t. The epilogue added to it.

I gave An Anonymous Girl a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. The plotlines were beautifully written and I was kept on edge the entire book. I connected with the characters. The only thing that affected my rating was the ending. It was not what I thought it would be. I was left wondering why.

I would give An Anonymous Girl an Adult rating. There is sex (not graphic). There is language. There is violence. There are triggers. They would be sexual assault and suicide. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread An Anonymous Girl. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a warning about the triggers.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review An Anonymous Girl.

All opinions expressed in this review of An Anonymous Girl are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Have you read An Anonymous Girl?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: January 9th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 352

POV: alternating 1st and 3rd person

Where you can find The Wife Between Us: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love. 

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

Discover the next blockbuster novel of suspense, and get ready for the read of your life. 

Trigger Warning: Domestic violence

Continue reading “The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen”