Editorial note: I received a copy of You Are Not Alone in exchange for a review.
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is an entertaining twist on the thriller genre.
There’s a ton of thrillers out there now. It really seems that ever since the huge popularity of Gone Girl, publishers are all in on the thriller genre. But quantity doesn’t always make for quality.
I receive lots of different books from publishers for reviews. And many of them are thrillers. But I would say about 70% of the thrillers are not well-crafted and they follow the same formula—spouse cheats on spouse; spouse gets revenge. I’m very much over those storylines so I’m quite picky on which thrillers I’ll review and recommend.
That said, I enjoyed last year’s An Anonymous Girl by writing duo Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. I thought it was a well done and I was engaged throughout the story. But I have to say You Are Not Alone is even better and a much stronger story.
The story follows Shay Miller, a very lonely woman who on a fateful day witnesses a horrible tragedy. She eventually meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they want. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better. But of course, appearances are deceiving.
Something I liked right off the bat was that this thriller focuses on women and their friendships with other women. It was refreshing for a story in this genre to move away from any type of domestic dispute between spouses. Shay is a solid protagonist, you really can feel her loneliness and desperation. She’s definitely the type of woman where life really hasn’t blossomed for her yet—she’s kind of stuck in a limbo stage a bit. And the Moore sisters bring a dose of glamour and friendship to Shay or so she thinks.
Female friendships are one of the most unique and complicated relationships. Oftentimes, women worry about what other women think of them way more than any other dynamic. Shay is enamored with the glamorous Moore sisters and even tries to dress up a bit more to impress them. She’s so desperate to have the kind of friendships that are portrayed in the media.
The Moore sisters are fully aware of their influence and magnetic quality and they use this to their full advantage to get what they want out of people. They’re quite manipulative, intelligent and mysterious.
Shay’s yearning to fit in really clouds her vision of choices she makes. But I think most people could relate to trying to be part of a group and even maybe adjusting areas of their personality so they fit in.
I feel the story is a bit stronger with regards to the examination of its characters compared to others in this genre. People making bad or cruel choices just because they can is not interesting. But showing a bit more behind the scenes of decision making and why someone has a certain viewpoint makes for a much stronger story. Not that you’ll agree with them but it makes the story better.
I think it was interesting how the book is marketed as “you probably know someone like Shay” but “you probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.” Let’s say you definitely don’t want to know anyone like those sisters!
The suspense and twists are well done with this one. And I thought it was a lot stronger story to have it involve primarily women. I can’t really say more as I don’t want to give any spoilers!
If you like thrillers, you’ll be into You Are Not Alone. If thrillers aren’t your genre, I will say this is one of the better ones that you might want to give it a chance. It’s an easy, quick read that you’ll most likely read in one sitting.
Book clubs will have plenty to discuss and debate! Check out my book club questions here.