12 September, 2021

#BookReview :: We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz - #PsychologicalThriller #WomensFiction #WeWereNeverHere @michaeljbooks @andibartz

Emily and Kristen have been the best of friends since their college days. And though they live in different parts of the world now, they still manage to maintain their relationship and connect with each other at least once a year on their annual backpacking trip. This year they have selected the beautiful mountains in Chile for their trip and as usual they have the best time together. That is, until their last night when Emily ends up helping Kristen dispose the dead body of a backpacker. Kristen claims that she had been attacked and killed in self defence. And that would be believable, instead it gives Emily a sense of déjà vu - and not in a good way. As Emily returns home and tries to go back to her normal life, the trauma doesn't make it easy. Things only get more difficult when Kristen pops back into her life and Emily is forced to consider things that she would have never thought possible about her best friend.

The book has a bit of a slow start, but picks up soon enough, and falls a bit back again. The story is told from Emily's PoV and gives the reader insights into not only the trauma she feels but also how she tries to deal with it and how it affects her. For a psychological thriller, the book does a good job giving the readers unique insights into the protagonist and her relationship with her best friend. Though I enjoyed the thorough insights, I wished for a tighter narration that would also help with the pace of the story. That is the main reason I am not rating this book a full 5 stars.

The different settings and situations, one almost as over the top as the other, keep the readers entertained. I almost felt like I was watching a horror/thriller and kind of urging the protagonist with comments like 'oh come on, don't tell me you can't see what's going to happen next' or 'girl, that's bound to be a trap. Don't fall for it.' It was fun and entertaining. Those who are hardcore mystery fans like me will be able to figure out the plot pretty early, but the high stakes and some cliched but fun situations keep the pages turning. And the dark humour in the book is almost like an added bonus.

This book would certainly make for an entertaining movie.

Review Copy received from Penguin Random House UK

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