An Anonymous Girlby Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen Published 08 Jan 2019
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|Publisher||St. Martin's Press|
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The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us.
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.
Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?
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.
Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?
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.
Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?
From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.
"An Anonymous Girl" Reviews
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...
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.
Happy Pub Day!
You're Invited: Seeking women aged 18-32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality conducted by a preeminent NYC psychiatrist. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. Call for more details.
Ok, so you know how every year there are books that come out of the gate hyped up? I'm talking a full calendar year before publication, these books are already being shoved in our faces and by the time they come out we are underwhelmed and sick to our stomachs of seeing said book floating around social media to the point we scream and rip out our hair? Don't worry, this isn't one of those. That's not to say we won't see it floating around prominently for the next six months, simply that it is in fact worthy of every bit of hype it's already receiving. In all honesty, I was a bit nervous picking up the sophomore novel following readers' beloved The Wife Between Us, simply due to the high bar that was set with this author duo's debut. In my humble opinion, An Anonymous Girl was even better than TWBU, and I mean that as the highest compliment that I can give!
We all have reasons for our actions. Even if we hide the reason from those who think they know us best. Even if the reasons are so deeply buried we can't recognize them ourselves.
This is one you need to go into the plot blind folks. Where The Wife Between Us is known for that massive twist (you know the one I'm talking about), An Anonymous Girl slams you over and over again. It's not comprised of a single, WTF twist; this one hits you time and again with OMG-Oh-No-She-Didn't whiplash. Every time I thought I had this one figured out, it turns out I had misjudged and things kept changing. It was the type of complex, thrilling novel of suspense that I have't come across in quite awhile. It's getting harder as an avid reader of mysteries to find ones that I can't figure out immediately, and this one proved to me that there ARE still new tricks and writing techniques that can be used to fool readers while keeping them engaged with the characters. And talk about some wicked nasty characters... My favorite!
I'm going to shut up now and let you decide if this is a book you're interested in, but just know that I enjoyed it so much that I'm contemplating re-reading it before publication date just to see if I can catch any of the clues that I missed the first go around; it was that good. I even bumped my initial 4 star rating up to a banging 5 because I can't stop thinking about this book. If you are able to get your hands on an early copy, don't put it off until publication date. If you are the type to pre-order, PRE-ORDER THIS BABY. Seriously, it's such a fun read with a sly and delicious cover; your bookshelf will thank you! Your family, your boss, and your to-do list however will not; they'll be sorely disappointed that you stayed up until the wee hours of the morning binging this juicy drama.
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
I don’t know their secret, but whatever it is (SUPREME TALENT), authors Pekkanen and Hendricks need to bottle up their magic Mojo and spread it like fairy dust over readers around the world. Their ingenious writing technique is guaranteed to pull you up by the bootstraps - out of any debilitating reading slump you may occasionally find yourself in. Believe the hype. It is real. The dynamic duo is currently hard at work on a sure-to-be third mega hit-- 🙏PRAISE YEEZUS!
This is what you need in your life, people. Their blockbuster debut,The Wife Between Us, is a soon to be feature film and this currently unreleased An Anonymous Girl is already in development for a television series by the same people that slayed HBO's Sharp Objects. And as readers know, YOU MUST READ THE BOOK FIRST TO HAVE PROPER BRAGGING RIGHTS TO YOUR FAVORITE SCENES! So hop to it.
Synopsis: When Jess signs up for the 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 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.
Oh my gawwd, read the fine print before you innocently sign up for a paid research survey! Even if you really need the cash. Especially if you really need the cash.
This book is I M P O S S I B L E to put down! You will be sneak reading it under your work desk and dining table, it is so freakin’ addictive! I swear I developed a physical need to figure out what was going on and solve this puzzling plot. There aren’t huge in your face twists, but subtle ones that lead you in different directions than you thought you were going in…an anagram of a story that is told in a refreshingly modern and streamlined way.
Unreliable narrators, interesting and unlikable characters, and a realistically creepy story of obsession (without graphic violence)- these things I love. I know you will love it, too. It is set for release on January 8, 2019. Pre-order yourself a New Year’s gift!
Thank you to my book fairy, Jordan, at St. Martin’s Publishing for my early copy. You guys are killing it over there! As always, all opinions are my own and you know I’m not afraid to write a negative review🔪.
I really enjoyed this book! Deceptive, creepy, and unsettling.
CW: sexual assault, suicide, death
I devoured An Anonymous Girl. This book was so easy to engage with. I really enjoyed that the book is actually told in two perspectives; One in first person, one in second. This element really added to the creepy factor of the novel, as it’s almost disturbing to think of someone’s internal monologue constantly being geared towards the actions and thoughts of another character without their knowledge. I would totally recommend the audiobook for this reason as the voice actors did a fantastic job.
One issue I took with the novel is the theme of morality and ethics was too oversaturated. I had a similar issue with Riley Sager’s The Last Time I Lied with the theme of lies. I can’t stand it when a book is shoving a certain subject matter at me from all angles and does not allow me to pick up the subtext myself. The way morals decisions are integrated into the storyline was obvious and clever enough until the characters constantly started referring to the topic in plain conversation. It was repetitive and tiresome. I think the book would have benefited from more subtlety.
Additionally, I felt Jessica was too skeptical as a character. She’s not particularly clever or smart, but is constantly questioning the motives and truth of EVERYTHING without any sufficient reason to in the beginning. It created a real contrast between how Jessica prepared herself for conflict and how she attempted to actually resolve it. It seemed as if the authors were insecure about the audience’s inquisitive abilities and spoon-fed readers questions to consider before they could form them themselves. This is another huge pet-peeve of mine and I likely would have enjoyed the book more if I spent less time questioning the authenticity of Jessica’s thought process.
Finally, An Anonymous Girl is not the most shocking, horrifying novel I have ever read. It’s pretty light on gore and violence, which I feel makes it a great choice for those who want to read thrillers without being scared or grossed out. The twists were sometimes clever, but mostly unsurprising when not expected. I would have liked more shock factor, but the charm of this story is more the overall ambience of the novel. The disconcerting vibe that follows you from beginning to end. It was not the most unbelievable mystery I’ve ever read, but it was twisted, unsettling, and unique. Would definitely recommend!!
4.5 compulsive, page turning stars ⭐️ for An Anonymous Girl
I must start off by simply saying I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I'm a fan of cat & mouse type thrillers and this played right into that captivating me from the start and never letting go!
"In every lifetime, there are pivot points that shape and eventually cement one's path."
Jessica is a make-up artist, living in NY, struggling to make ends meet. While working on a client she hears about a morality and ethics research study that pays its subjects lucratively. Knowing the client will not make her appointment Jess makes the decision to take her place. Not knowing much about the study, she walks in and becomes simply "Subject 52". The rules are simple: Be open and truthful, and avoid pivoting away from any embarrassment or pain the questions provoke. Soon Jess finds herself divulging her deepest secrets via questions posed on a computer screen.
Dr. Lydia Shields, the psychiatrist conducting the study is equally drawn in by Jess' responses to her questions. At the end of her two sessions, Jess is invited to expand her participation in the study for higher compensation but at what cost?
What ensues, told in alternating POV chapters between Dr. Shields and Jess was a fast-paced, twisty, scheme filled story that you simply won't be able to get enough of. It was like a guilty pleasure, walking in each of these women's minds. Every time you think you have it all figured out - a new piece of the puzzle is dropped into your lap.
"You can't judge someone's internal state by their external attributes."
This was my first book by Hendricks & Pekkanen but it certainly won't be my last. They know how to hook their readers and keep them wanting more. This book has made me a fan of this writing duo and I can't wait to see what else they create together.
Many thanks to Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an arc of this book.
Loved it! Devoured it!
Devious to the max!
I devoured this book in two days and didn't want to put it down! A riveting story of psychological suspense. I was quickly questioning every move every character made. From beginning to end, I was all in! Yes!
With a promise of anonymity and a fat paycheck, Jessica weasels her way into a study on morality and ethics. She was assigned the name of Subject 52 and presented with numerous questions. I could feel her tension growing as the questions progressed into the realm of what would you do? I quickly got the feeling that this test was quite a mind game!
Dr. Shields may go done as one of the most perplexing doctor characters I've encountered. What was her motivation for recruiting these women? Jessica wonders how the doctor seems to know her thoughts.
I had some adrenaline surging moments as the tension amped-up and the plot unfolded. Everyone seems to have something to hide. The ending was just so perfect!
Highly recommend this suspense filled mind game that pushes all the boundaries.
Thanks to SMP for my Arc. Review will post to my blog on 1/08/18