Title: You Are Not Alone
Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Genre(s): Adult, Thriller
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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.
TW/CW: sexual assault/attempted rape, gaslighting, murder, attempted murder, cruelty to animals (briefly mentioned on page), suicide, prescription drug abuse, PTSD symptoms (diagnosis not identified on page)
So, this book was one of my most anticipated books of the year.
Despite the mixed reviews, I really enjoyed both The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl. The twist in The Wife Between Us honestly shook me to my core. I was listening to the audiobook when driving from MN to CA (the first time) and audibly scream “what?!” when that reveal happened. An Anonymous Girl didn’t have the strength of a strong twist, however, it was just ridiculous and fun enough to keep me reading.
That being said, You Are Not Alone wasn’t as good as the first two books by these authors.
“Some people contend there are two primal fears.”
Shay – Our main character, a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and mesmerized by the Moore sisters.
The Moore sisters – Glamorous, part of a loyal friend group, the “It Girls” you always wanted to befriend.
“The first and most basic is the end of our existence.”
So, I want to preface this review by saying that I don’t mind thrillers that are a little bat-shit crazy (I read The Chain back in January and actually really liked it), but this book just felt…off.
I don’t know, this book was somehow too off the way and too clichéd.
I honestly think that newbies to thrillers will enjoy this one. Thriller enthusiasts may not enjoy this one as much, mostly due to how clichéd it is. But let’s actually break down this book (while avoiding spoilers). Though if you want to go into this book pretty blind, which I like doing with the books from this author duo, I recommend just skipping to my Final Thoughts.
Okay, let’s get into this.
This book opens with Shay witnessing a woman complete suicide by jumping in front of a Subway train. Shay is unsurprisingly shaken by witnesses this and struggles to overcome the associated PTSD-like symptoms, including not being able to ride the Subway anymore, and begins to hit rock bottom. Shay loses out on a job interview, is asked to moved out of her apartment, and is struggling to manage her mental health.
After having a panic attack near a subway station, Shay befriends two girls, the Moore sisters, and after befriending them, things appear to improve for Shay drastically.
This starts off as a basic thriller that has elements of coincidence and secrets that appear to be a reveal readers need to works towards. There is also some mistaken identity that leads to Shay starting to question ~what’s real.~
Look, I love these classic tropes as much as the next reader, but I don’t necessarily love how they were used.
I really enjoyed the first half of this book when the mystery was being set up and when we were getting some flashbacks on some characters. It was the ending that kind of let me down. This is another story, similar to The Good Daughter, where the ending wrapped up a little too nicely but also had a ~big reveal~ that didn’t really add anything other than connecting two subplots.
“The second is isolation; we all have a deep need to belong to something greater than ourselves.”
Overall, this was an enjoyable, one-sitting read. I was interested in the general plot enough to keep reading, however, I wasn’t wowed by the payoff. I was entertained but wasn’t in love with how the common tropes were used. Those who are new to the genre may enjoy the twists in this one, but thriller veterans will probably be underwhelmed.
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