I had such high hopes for this author after seeing some really positive reviews. I know that I am not a typical fiction/thriller reader, but I am branching out and finding some new authors and genres. I was so incredibly disappointed with both of these, it was almost enough to send me back down by non-fiction rabbit hole and wait not-so-patiently for Karen McManus to release The Cousins in the fall, and then give me more Nate in what I hope will be a third book in the One of Us Is Lying series. (Please, PLEASE, another book! I have to have more Nate and Bronwyn!!! PLEASE!!!)
Anyway. On to the books which were not great, and a waste of time I will never get back.
Well, it could have been worse. I am glad I did not pay money for this and got it as my January First Reads from Amazon.
In the end, the book was super predictable and tried so hard to be something it's not - a real thriller. it ends up being nothing more than a dude with a grudge, some identify theft, and a completely ridiculous requirement of suspension of belief.
If you are planning to read the book, skip this part, because there will be some spoilers.
So this dumb-dumb Brienne was attacked one night leaving work and since then has been unable to live alone in this giant house that she inherited from her grandparents. Strange things start happening that make her question her sanity as her male roommate slowly starts to reveal more and more information about who she "truly" is (except isn't). There is the first major plot hole, RIGHT THERE. See, her roommate is pretending to be her husband to convince her she is someone else entirely. EXCEPT the event that kicked off everything in the first place was the mailing of an apartment key to Brienne, WHICH SHE NEVER WOULD HAVE RECEIVED IF SHE WAS NOT ACTUALLY BRIENNE! I mean, seriously.
The whole time I am sitting there reading, thinking this idiot truly will get herself killed because she is not going to the police, and has all these excuses why not and blah blah and FFS, you are living with someone who wants to kill you. She doesn't figure that out right away of course, but anyone with half a brain reading this will see it pretty quickly. And if I am doubting who I am, and being told I am someone I don't remember being, then you can bet your ass I am talking to the police ASAP, considering the fact that they would without a doubt know who you are based on the investigation into your previous attack that lead to this fucked up situation in the first place with you not being able to live alone. Ugh.
The whole body double situation was also really ridiculous, because how on earth did his girlfriend just happen to look enough like Brienne to try to pull this shit off? It makes no sense. None of it does.
The only reason I kept reading is because all that time I thought surely I was wrong, the twist could not be that obvious, it was a red herring. Nope. Sure wasn't. I was hoping for some redemption here but there was none.
Hard pass on this one.
What. The. Hell.
I was so hoping that When I Was You was a fluke, and this one would be better. After all, the ratings and reviews looked a lot better and it seemed like a much more interesting story-line.
There are drastically different plots running side by side and early on I had an inkling of how they might be connected, but was not totally sure. When Nic started 'discovering' things about her husband and her mind raced off to the worst possible option for the given situation, it was plausible to me. Here is this couple, unable to have children, world-travelers living in our very modern age, contrasted with two young women left alone in a cabin, deep in the woods who have had no contact with the outside world. It's clear that at some point, their stories will converge and I had some ideas on how this would happen.
ANY OF THOSE IDEAS WOULD HAVE BEEN WAY BETTER THAN WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.
The story was solidly trucking along and I was thinking this could be a three or four star read. Then the many ideas I had for where it could be going were slowly peeled away as it became clear that none of my ideas would fit within the narrative as we learned new information, so I was even more anxious to get to the twist because it just had to be delicious.
Well, guess what?
It was again simply too unbelievable. You would have to complete disconnect from reality in order to make this seem remotely plausible. Even worse than When I Was You. I have not been so let down by a book in a really long time, not counting the one up there that more so left me just thinking, "Why the hell was this nonsense even written?"
It kills me, because up until the reveal, things were great. I was genuinely captivated by the book, wondering how all the pieces would fit. I unfortunately discovered that not only do the pieces not fit, but they are obviously mixed in with pieces from some other book where they might actually make sense, and we only have half of them to begin with.
After these two duds, Minka Kent is an author I will not longer be reading.