Book Review

An Anonymous Girl

An Anonymous Girl

  • Author: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Publication Date: January 9, 2019
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio

CONTENT WARNING: infidelity, sexual assault, suicide

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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. 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. 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.

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.

Julia Whelan and Barrie Kreinik narrated the audiobook and did such a great job! I loved the contrast between the two women who voiced the main characters and provided us insight into what each was going through and thinking. 

This story just kept getting more and more twisted! Jess not only signs up for a psychology study on ethics and morality, she sneaks her way into it. But she gets more than she bargained for. A lot more. 

Initially, the study has some positive effects on her. It makes her more aware of her own ethics and morality, and creates some positive changes in the choices that she makes. But as it goes on, she gets sucked deeper into a web of manipulation. She starts to question the study, the doctor behind it, and ultimately, her own grip on reality. 

I had a strong sense that there was going to be a lot of psychological manipulation, and no shortage of ethical violations. And … I was right on both counts. Books like this make me hope that people aren’t scared off from seeking psychiatric help because the vast majority of mental health professionals aren’t like this. 

I loved seeing Jess’s personal growth throughout the story, even in the face of immense obstacles. She’s a flawed character, but is highly aware of her flaws. The other MC is Dr. Shields. She’s another flawed character, but in entirely different ways. They both manage their flaws in different ways, but I don’t want to talk too much about that, since I don’t want to give anything away.

The story didn’t have a lot of gasp-worthy moments compared to other books that I’ve read. However, it was very suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat for most of the time I was reading. I loved the story, and it’s such a great example of this genre. These two authors are quickly rising to the top of my favorites list, and I’ll be eagerly looking forward to what else they have to offer!

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 9

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