Monday, December 20, 2021

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz


I was a little hesitant to pick up WE WERE NEVER HERE because the only other book I'd read by this author was a one-star read for me. But the gorgeous cover and the amazing premise hooked me in and didn't let go until the very last page. The book literally opens with a murder. So you know that there is a Very Bad Thing going on from the start. Despite that, I found myself avidly reading through the next 300+ pages, my eyes glued to the words like I was watching a train wreck. It's easy to keep people reading because they want to find out a mystery. It's a lot harder to keep people reading because they just want to find out more about the characters, and what happens to them.

Emily and Kristen are best friends, but their relationship isn't exactly the healthiest. I found myself relating to Emily really strongly because of her anxiety and her low self-esteem. That's the kind of internal dynamic that can make you a magnet for toxic friends and I'm sorry to say that kid and teen me had more of those than I wish I'd had. I cut them loose, but Emily doesn't have that luxury. Kristen is all she has, the lodestar for all of her emotional burdens. Which is why, when one of them kills a man, they're both in it together. Or are they?

I kept thinking what a great mini series this would be. There's so many mind games. The characters of the two women were so well done. And I really liked Emily's boyfriend, Aaron, and how he ended up being such a grounding presence in the face of all Emily's trauma. I also liked how you're never really sure what's going on. I found myself fearing for all the characters at some point. Bartz was careful to never make it clear who the "bad guy" in this equation really was. And at the same time, there's all this amazing rhetoric about victimhood and feminism that ended up making this book exactly the kind of thriller I love: female-centric, breezy, and populated with complex characters. Love.

4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.