Last year, I read and deeply enjoyed The Wife Between Us. The twist caught me completely by surprise and I loved the way it was written: in a smart, yet super entertaining style. I didn’t hesitate when I saw the glowing reviews for An Anonymous Girl. And the book was equally engaging from the beginning: I was intrigued and I felt the plot was quite original. In the end, though, it wasn’t as shocking as I expected it to be. This is the story of a young woman, Jessica, who is struggling with money as she works as a professional make-up artist. When she hears about a paid study on morality, she decides to take part, even though she wasn’t invited. And the mysterious and enigmatic Dr Shields gets a bit obsessed with her… and forces her to participate in her little experiment.
I think the reason I didn’t love this as much as TWBU is merely a matter of expectations. There’s nothing wrong with this book. The novel is superbly written, the characters were multi-layered and it was a fine psychological thriller. But being the same two authors, I guess I expected to be shocked multiple times, something that never happened. Here, you know from the beginning who’s the villain and what they want, so I kinda missed the excitement of the twists. And I know it’s my fault, because I shouldn’t expect every book to deliver shocking twists, as sometimes they even feel unnecessary. An Anonymous Girl is an original and smart psychological thriller about marriage, lies, blame, and honesty.
If you’re interested in complex relationships and manipulation, I believe this could be a great book for you. I can’t wait to read another book by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Last fall when I read The Wife Between Us I was totally blown away and I haven’t really stopped raving about it ever since. As excited as I was about this book I had that apprehension that I tend to get before reading a highly anticipated book. I kept wondering if Hendricks and Pekkanen could possibly top TWBU and if so, how? You guys, they can and they did! This one should come with a warning label: Do not start this unless you have enough time and commitment to read in one breathless sitting. That’s really the only way to read it, once you start and then have to stop (because life) you’ll be irritated and desperate to get back to it, so fair warning.
I really don’t even want to get into the plot details at all, the blurb gives you the perfect amount of information and is intriguing enough on it’s own, but I will tell you why I loved this one just as much as Wife. For starters, it had that same addictive writing style that urges you to keep reading just a few more pages, that feeling you get when a really awesome book just grips you. You know how sometimes you’re so absorbed by a book that when something from the outside world interrupts you it takes you a few seconds to snap back to reality? This is that kind of book.
Another thing that made this one fantastic is that instead of being a series of shocking twists and turns like Wife was it doesn’t solely depend on crazy revelations but instead is compromised of several smaller twists that still surprise you but almost catch you even more off guard because there’s a subtlety to them. It’s like a sneak attack, but in a very good way, an unexpected bonus that slaps you upside the head and makes you think, what in the hell is really going on here?