REVIEW – An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl

Expected publication: January 8th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

I really enjoyed Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s previous novel “The Wife Between Us”. So as soon as I saw the cover for this novel and read the synopsis, I knew I just had to read it.

I devoured this novel in just a few hours, ignoring everything and everyone as I read.

The book opens as twenty-eight-year-old makeup artist; Jessica Farris is heading to her last appointment of the day. She travels to her clients instead of them coming to her. Even though she doesn’t always know who will answer the door, Jessica doesn’t fear strangers. She’s learned that “more harm can come from familiar faces”.

Jessica enjoys what she does. Her appointment is with two young women who are going out to a club that evening. As she applies their makeup, she loses herself in her work, barely hearing the women chatting to each other. But then she overhears a voicemail message one of the women plays…

“This is Ben Quick, Dr. Shields’s assistant. I’m confirming your appointments this weekend, for tomorrow and Sunday from eight to ten a.m. The location again is Hunter Hall, Room 214. I’ll meet you in the lobby and take you up.”

Jessica doesn’t know that this message will change her life completely.

A psych professor needs subjects for a study on morality and ethics. Applicants will be paid to answer questions. Jessica could really use the money. So when she hears that her client likely won’t be attending, she decides to go in her place…

She’s accepted into the study and will be bound by a confidentiality agreement. Jessica is told there are no right or wrong answers, she just needs to be completely open and honest. The questions are personal and may trigger very emotional responses….

“Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?”

But Jessica surprises herself and the doctor when she doesn’t shy away from the questions. When the sessions are complete, the doctor asks if Jessica would consider expanding her participation in the study. It would mean more would be asked of her…. SIGNIFICANTLY MORE. It would also mean more money.

Jessica really opens up to the doctor. She talks about the pressure she’s under and the secret she’s kept for so many years. “Guilt is always the heaviest thing I carry”. With Dr. Shields, she’s able to reveal things she’s never talked about before.

But as the project expands, Jessica starts to wonder what the doctor is doing with all of the information collected. What will the doctor do with Jessica’s innermost thoughts? Her confessions? Her mistakes? Then the assignments take a strange and unexpected turn. Is she just being paranoid or is something sinister going on?

An Anonymous Girl” was a thought-provoking and phenomenal read. It pulled me in from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. The chapters are a nice length and alternate between Jessica and the doctor’s point of view.

In my opinion, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen knocked this one out of the park. This was a fascinating psychological suspense novel with a great storyline, excellent characters, and twists and turns that kept me flipping pages at a rapid pace.

A wonderfully dark and suspenseful novel about love, anger, betrayal, morality, and obsession.

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

REVIEW – Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

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Expected publication: April 3, 2018 by Graydon House

What a fantastic read!!

After falling in love with Kelly Rimmer’s previous novel “A Mother’s Confession”, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this upcoming novel.

Lexie Vidler is a doctor who is used to getting calls in the middle of the night on her cell phone. Although she hasn’t spoken to her sister, Annie in more than two years, Lexie isn’t surprised to hear Annie’s voice when her landline rings at 2:00am. She tries to prepare herself for the only thing contact with Annie has brought her over the years…

Chaos

“Lexie, you have to help me – I think I’m dying.”

Instantly, Lexie can tell her sister is high, and angrily tells her to go to the hospital. Her fiancé, Sam is now awake and seems surprised at her tone. However, this isn’t the first middle of the night call she’s received from her little sister….

“I’ve been dealing with her addiction for years, and even after a two-year break from the drama, the weariness returns as soon as she does. If this was a one-off, I’d probably panic and rush to her aid – but it’s not. I have lost count of Annie’s desperate 2:00 a.m. phone calls.”

But Lexie is completely unprepared for what Annie says next….

“Lexie, I’m pregnant. I can’t go to the hospital. I just can’t”.

Lexie has always tried to be there for Annie. When they were young, their father died and their mother went to pieces. Emotionally they were on their own and so Lexie was the one who stepped up to take care of Annie. Lexie had always promised her father that she would take care of Annie. But when Annie pulled a stunt two years earlier that almost got Lexie fired, she knew she had to cut ties with her sister. But THIS is different. This time it’s not just Annie that needs her.

So much is riding on Annie getting clean. Lexie wants to advocate for her sister, but their complicated past has left her with mixed feelings. For Annie to get better and to heal, she will need to address the issues she’s tried to suppress by self-medicating. The secrets she kept from everyone….including Lexie.

Wow! Once again, Kelly Rimmer has written a book that I couldn’t put down. I was hooked from the start and became completely engrossed in the story and its characters. I could relate to the sister’s complicated relationship. Because of my own experiences and relationships, some parts of the book hit me very hard. I was emotional and even angry at times. It made me question some of my own pre-conceived notions. And though I’ve finished the book…I can’t stop thinking about it.

This was definitely a thought-provoking read with some controversial issues that could help start some important discussions. The author has obviously done her research and I feel like the story was well-balanced, honest, realistic, and of course, interesting.

Before I Let You Go” is a well-written and poignant book about love, family, addiction, abuse, loss, and forgiveness. Another great read from Kelly Rimmer that I won’t soon forget.

Thank you to NetGalley and Graydon House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

My Favorite Books – read & released in 2017

Wow!

2017 is almost done. How did THAT happen? I feel like it was just January.  I blinked and here we are in the last days of the year.

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I read a lot of awesome books this year. Amazing books that entertained me, made me laugh, and some that made me cry.  I’m putting my top ten in this post, although I read a lot more than ten great reads. I also read a lot of fantastic books that will be released in 2018. But this list is only those read and released in 2017!

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The following are my favorite reads released in 2017  (in no particular order) :

 

She Rides Shotgun   by Jordan Harper

Published May 4,  2017 by Simon & Schuster

This was a fantastic read. Loaded with action and emotion. With one of my favorite characters this year…a stuffed bear!

She Rides Shotgun

Little Fires Everywhere    by Celeste Ng

Published September 12, 2017 by Penguin Press

This was an intriguing and compelling domestic drama. A story about motherhood, adolescence, race, rules, and so much more. Great characters and an interesting plot made this a fast and fantastic read.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The Marsh King’s Daughter  by Karen Dionne

Published June 13,  2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
An amazing read that I really could have read in one sitting. Compelling, intense, and unputdownable. This is another book that is going to stay with me for a very long time.

The Marsh King's Daughter

If The Creek Don’t Rise  by Leah Weiss

Published August 22,  2017 by Sourcebooks Landmark

An emotional and heartbreaking read. Honest and gritty with a great plot and fantastic characters. This was another novel that was very hard to put down once I started reading. 
If The Creek Don't Rise

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine  by Gail Honeyman

Published May 18, 2017 by HarperCollins
This was a surprise hit for me. I won this novel in a giveaway..THANK GOODNESS! I don’t know if I would have picked it up otherwise.  It was FANTASTIC!  A unique, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and inspiring read. Eleanor Oliphant stole my heart!

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

Published January 31, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Another fantastic read that had me hooked from the very start. A story about love and loss, life and death, and above all, healing and forgiveness. One of the best debut novels I’ve read.

I Liked My Life

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Published September 5,  2017 by Harper

A phenomenal read. With a thoroughly engrossing plot and excellent characterization, “The Child Finder” had me hooked from start to finish.

The Child Finder

The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre

Published October 2, 2017 by DCA

An excellent plot with fantastic characterization made this an incredible read. A captivating, well-written, and well-paced novel about secrets, betrayal, guilt, lies, and so much more.

The Ghostwriter

The Stolen Marriage: A Novel  by Diane Chamberlain

Published October 3, 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors. Her stories are usually written around real events in history. I always learn things reading her novels, while still enjoying a great story. This was a fantastic story about secrets, love, racism, betrayal, forgiveness and more.

The Stolen Marriage: A Novel

 

The Good Daughter  by Karin Slaughter

Published August 8, 2017 by William Morrow
This book was INTENSE! It honestly had me feeling ALL THE FEELS. I really did both laugh and cry while reading this novel. “The Good Daughter” had me in its clutches from page one until the very end, and I’m still feeling the after-effects. This was an addictive and compelling psychological thriller with a mind-bending and thoroughly engrossing plot.
The Good Daughter

 

I would like to thank everyone for visiting my blog and reading my posts!  I appreciate all of your comments. I have really enjoyed reading your reviews and blog posts, and I look forward to reading more of them in the future!

From what I’ve seen so far it looks like 2018 is going to be another year of fantastic reads!!

 

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