My rating: 4 of 5 stars
YES, today is my day at the Blog Tour for We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz which was selected as the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick of this month.
The beginning of the story with 2 friends backpacking to a tiny village in Chile rekindling their friendship after almost a year’s gap of not seeing each other is something we all crave for. All of us wish for these mini-breaks away from families and responsibilities to laugh and have fun amongst our besties but what would happen if your best friend is not who you thought would be???
As the reader is introduced to Emily and Kristen, we get to see the dynamics immediately. The friendship is not as healthy as Emily believes it to be, there’s a neediness and dependency with no clear boundaries that always hampers any relationship. Andrea Bartz brings out the dynamic of the 2 friends right off the start and as soon as the murder happens and the incidents of the past come to light, the tension just breaks out to a new high.
It is, however, the middle part of the story that created a dampener for me, I wanted the adrenaline rush to reach a crescendo towards the climax but the pacing of the story is reduced in the middle before it picks up back again at the end. Kirsten is back in Emily’s life hampering her tiny steps in her new relationship with Aaron and just like a cuckoo laying its eggs in a crow’s nest and claiming territory, Kristen is everywhere, in Emily’s yoga class, befriending her work partner Priya, claiming her time away from Aaron, even landing up at the door of the same therapist.
The ending was totally unexpected, with a heart in the mouth moment that had me jumping up with my kindle and a final hoorah with a twisty morsel that leaves the reader wondering who was exactly manipulating whom?
Freaking 4 stars 💦 💦 💦 💦 and try not to be unnerved to take up traveling to new places after reading this! I would like to honestly thank the author for reigniting the travel lust in me and allowing us to book travel as the COVID pandemic has reduced all our lives to 4 walls.
Many thanks to Michael J Books and Penguin Random House UK for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
An annual backpacking trip has deadly consequences in a chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Night and The Herd.
Emily is having the time of her life–she’s in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip, and the women are feeling closer than ever. But on the last night of their trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she’d been flirting with attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year’s trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can’t believe it’s happened again–can lightning really strike twice?
Back home in Wisconsin, Emily struggles to bury her trauma, diving head-first into a new relationship and throwing herself into work. But when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent past. The more Kristen tries to keep Emily close, the more Emily questions her friend’s motives. As Emily feels the walls closing in on their coverups, she must reckon with the truth about her closest friend. Can she outrun the secrets she shares with Kristen, or will they destroy her relationship, her freedom–even her life?
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