An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl

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.

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Available tomorrow – January 8, 2019! 

I have never read a book like An Anonymous Girl. It is so unique with interesting characters and a concept that has you wondering what would I do…

The novels goes back and forth between Jessica and Dr. Shields and just when I thought I had things figured out, the novel takes a different turn. My Christmas holidays were busy, but I found myself trying to find time to read just a little bit more.

I’m giving the An Anonymous Girl a lower rating because I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Wife Between Us (which I also gave 3 calculators). An Anonymous Girl had a bit of a slower build and it didn’t have nearly the amount of twists as The Wife Between Us.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. Check it out, it’s such an unique creepy read!

Thank you to Netgallery and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Things You Won’t Say by Sarah Pekkanen

Things you Won't Say

Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There’s been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn’t hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband’s insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting but this time Mike has pulled the trigger.

But the shooting does more than just alter Jamie’s world. It’s about to change everything for two other women. Christie Simmons, Mike’s flamboyant ex, sees the tragedy as an opportunity for a second chance with Mike. And Jamie’s younger sister, Lou, must face her own losses to help the big sister who raised her. As the press descends and public cries of police brutality swell, Jamie tries desperately to hold together her family, no matter what it takes.

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I’m trying to find a novel of Pekkanen’s that I enjoyed as much as her other novels –  The Perfect Neighbors and The Wife Between Us, but sadly no luck so far. This novel was similar to her latest The Ever After, but not in a good way. An event happens and then not much happens after that.

Things You Won’t Say follow 3 women – Jamie (Mike’s wife), Lou (Jamie’s sister) and Christie (Mike’s ex and his son’s mother). Jamie has just found out that Mike shot and killed a teenage boy during the line of duty, which then impacts Lou and Christie. I didn’t like Jamie, Lou was unnecessary and I really liked Christie, but she was also not needed.

It was interesting seeing how Mike’s actions impacted all 3 women in different ways and how they handled it in their own ways. I found it refreshing that Christie and Mike had such a good relationship and arrangement when it came to their son. They put him above everything else and you don’t see that with many novels or real life situations. It was an ideal custody arrangement!

There were some minor storylines that I found weren’t necessary. There were a lot of pages dedicated to Lou’s profession as a zookeeper as one of her elephants gives birth and Christie’s new career as a decoy for a private investigator. These storylines (as refreshing as they were) weren’t needed and it seemed like they were to add more pages to the novel.

3 calculators out of a potential 5. I liked it because it was a quick read, but it’s not very memorable. Would be good for as a beach read!

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The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen

Josie and Frank Moore are happy… at least Josie thinks they are. As parents of two young girls in the Chicago suburbs, their days can be both busy and monotonous, and sometimes Josie wonders how she became a harried fortysomething mother rather than the driven career woman she once was. But Frank is a phenomenal father, he’s handsome and charismatic, and he still looks at his wife like she’s the beautiful woman he married more than a decade ago. Josie isn’t just happy—she’s lucky.

Until one Saturday morning when Josie borrows her husband’s phone to make a quick call—and sees nine words that shatter her world.

Now Josie feels as if she is standing at the edge of a sharp precipice. As she looks back at pivotal moments in the relationship she believed would last forever, she is also plunging ahead, surprising everyone (especially herself) with how far she will go to uncover the extent of her husband’s devastating secret.

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I’m super torn on my rating for this novel. I flew through The Ever After, reading it over 2 sittings, but I didn’t like the novel and was overall disappointed.

I really enjoyed Sarah Pekkanen’s other novels – The Wife Between Us & The Perfect Neighbors. I was hoping for a mystery thriller and I got a predictable drama about a wife finding out a secret about her husband that causes her to question her life.

I wish there was more action in the novel. You learn of the “secret” early on and then nothing really happened. The reader is dragged through Josie’s thoughts on what she is going to do next.

The positives are that the book is really hard to put down and it only 250 pages! I’m really surprised how quickly I read the novel, especially when I wasn’t loving it. Pekkanen really knows how to write and makes you keep flipping pages.

2 calculators out of a potential 5. I wouldn’t recommend, especially to those that enjoyed Pekkanen’s previous novels.

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The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen

The Perfect

Why do we have snow in the middle of April?!

I was surprised to read the acknowledgements at the end of the book and see Greer Hendricks name. After some research, I figured out that Henricks and Sarah Pekkanen co-wrote The Wife Between Us which I had enjoyed reading earlier this year.

The Perfect Neighbors is less mystery focused and more about the drama in the a neighbourhood. Why does it feel like neighbourhood dramas are the new thing right now? Are we finally getting rid of the “girl” titled books? Fine by me, I am loving the “housewives” mysteries! I would also recommend The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth.

The Perfect Neighbors focuses on 4 women. Kellie is going back to work after many years of being a stay at home mother. She has to adjust to high heels as well as not having her family as the main focus point in her life. Susan is a successful businesswoman and mother. She seems to have it all together, but little does everyone know that she is just hanging on. Gigi‘s husband is running for Congress and her family is forced into the spotlight. Tessa has just moved into the neighbourhood and the reason why her family moved is a mystery that she doesn’t want to talk about.

I love a good drama and The Perfect Neighbours didn’t disappoint. I was quickly hooked on the storylines of all 4 women and was eager to learn their secrets. I loved how the author wrote the friendships between the women. There wasn’t any competition between the women and no competition between the children. There was just respect and compassion between the women and you can easily support their friendship.

There was hints of mystery throughout the novel, with the biggest mystery being, why did Tessa and her family move? I think it was done perfectly. The draw out wasn’t too long or too suspenseful and the reason why wasn’t a let down at the end and it was surprising!

4 calculators out of a potential 5. I would highly recommend this novel and I’m excited to read more by Sarah Pekkanen (recommendations are welcome!).

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