Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

While their second collaboration (An Anonymous Girl) was good, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen totally knock the ball out of the park with their third effort, You Are Not Alone. This intense, edge-of-your-seat thriller kept me in a state of nervous anticipation and dread for the entirety of the story. (When you read a lot of books, any novel that does is even more impressive.)

Shay is an easy heroine with whom to empathize. There is an every person element to her that we recognize in ourselves. Plus, there is a good chance that we have all been Shay at some point in time. Conversely, the Moore sisters are the perfect symbols of queen bees – those women we want to be like and from whom we want attention, the ones who appear in every element of our lives from elementary school all the way up to our adult acquaintances.

There is definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to the sisters, however, hence that feeling of dread that never quite leaves you every time Shay interacts with them. The careful way in which Ms. Hendricks and Ms. Pekkanen reveal the sisters’ true intentions and the reasons why create an uncomfortable and yet compelling story that keeps your attention even when not reading.

The morally gray areas that surround the sisters and their actions make You Are Not Alone a fantastic book club selection with many readily-available topics begging for discussion. (I am not a member of a book club, but I would join one for the opportunity to discuss some of those ideas.)

Ms. Hendricks’ and Ms. Pekkanen’s ability to create sympathetic characters along with their use of sleight of hand and various other plot twists to create stories I cannot anticipate nor expect are among the best in the business. Even better, their stories feel new and fresh – a rare experience in the world of thrillers. With three strong collaborations under their belt, they firmly entrench themselves onto my must-read list.

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