A review copy of this book was provided by St Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.
Have you ever read a book that gives you secondhand anxiety? One that gives you a sense of tense nervousness and dread that just builds as the odds seem impossibly stacked against the main character? That guttural feeling is a sign of an amazing psychologically suspenseful thriller – and You Are Not Alone had that feeling in spades. This book was easily one of the best I’ve read so far this year (and last year, for that matter) and definitely my favorite psychological thriller I’ve read.
Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.
Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better.
Shay would die for them to like her.
She may have to.
I’ll be honest: I read this book in one sitting. That’s how good it is. As soon as Shay started falling into the dark web of the Moore sisters, I couldn’t take myself out of the story. This level of immersion and can’t-put-down-ness (a new term coined by moi) is super hard to find, and something I haven’t found in a book in a long time. From a technical standpoint, the writing is great – it’s got an interesting style and is very high quality, you can tell the book is written by two highly experienced authors with a passion for the thriller genre. One thing I really had my eye out for was differing styles by each author, but the writing was seamless.
The suspense in this book is masterful – it starts small and slowly ramps up to the point of being nearly unbearable. As soon as the book kicks off, you get this slightly off-putting sense of unease and it only grows as Shay wades deeper into the world of the Moore sisters. This suspense was made possible by the tight, well paced plot. There weren’t any extraneous scenes or lagging sections of plot, and every event built to the pulse-pounding finale. The best part of the plot was the fact that I got to the big finale scene and still wasn’t sure how it was all going to pan out.
This book kept the cast of characters small and gave each of them an interesting backstory and storylines. The chapters rotated points of view – strategically revealed parts of the characters’ histories that all contributed to the story and suspense. This style of storytelling was a very effective way to dole out bits and pieces of the story – it allowed me, the reader, to slowly make my way out of the dark as I realized that everything in the book was connected and just how big the web the Moore sisters web was.
Shay was the perfect main character for this book: she was naive but not clueless and she was trusting, but not stupid. She was jarred by the tragic event she witnessed early in the book, and was in a very vulnerable headspace. I think I loved her so much because she was realistic and believable – I could see myself in her shoes. The best part about Shay was how dynamic she was. She grew as a character and got more street wise – raising the stakes in the Moore sisters’ deadly game. Speaking of the Moore sisters, they were some of the most interesting and complex antagonists that I’ve ever read – even as more of their history comes to light, you never quite know who they are or what their end game is. The rest of the Moore sister’s friend group were equally intriguing and mysterious. You gotta love a book chock full of complex and dynamic women.
I have no idea why I waited so long to read a book by Hendricks and Pekkanen, but after You Are Not Alone, I’ll be rush ordering the rest of their jointly written books ASAP. You Are Not Alone is a tightly wound, superb thriller that was genuinely unpredictable and impossible to put down. If you’ve already devoured this book and are looking for more psychological thrillers, be sure to check out these author’s other books, The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl. 5/5