An Anonymous Girl

- Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Goodreads Book Blurb:

Seeking women ages 18 – 32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.


My Review:

waste of time:

The first 30% or so of this book was so. damn. good. The plot made sense, the characters were interesting, and I could feel the intensity building. There was a serious iceberg sensation; it felt like what I was seeing was incredibly superficial and there was so much hidden beneath the surface. I was second-guessing my first impressions of the characters, trying to figure out where I was being misled, and I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know what was going to happen next.

I was in an all-out sprint, focusing so hard on the hidden information and the possible twists and turns the narrative could take that I ran straight into a brick wall. All of the intensity, the subtleties, the interest, vanished. The characters weren’t complex, manipulative masterminds playing three-dimensional chess with each other. They were narcissistic crazy people. It was as if someone lifted a curtain and revealed pathetic children playing pretend. I do not believe for a moment that if people in the real world acted in the same way as these three characters they would be high functioning, professional adults with friends and relationships and steady careers.

I feel entirely duped by the authors. What I felt was complex, unique writing turned out to be so expected it was boring and I struggled to make it to the end, slogging through the highly predictable, unimaginative path the authors chose. The characters’ motives are questionable which made their chosen actions illogical to a degree that they’re implausible. All of the work done to withhold important information to make the story more exciting instead left the characters looking like idiots who wouldn’t be capable of riding the subway, let alone …

… manipulation, deceit, blackmail, and avoiding prosecution for past (and present/attempted) crimes. The only character I liked was Noah, in his very limited appearances, so I’m glad he escaped any forced ‘happy ending’ with Jess.

Listen, I’m not doubting people do crazy things when …

… they’re betrayed, especially by those they love. What I’m questioning is the likelihood that the crazy things they do go unnoticed and unquestioned despite their highly suspicious and criminal activity. That these crazy people are able to maintain a career that is highly dependent on one-on-one interactions and relationships without anyone questioning their stability. And that someone who has spent her whole life keeping secrets and not forming close bonds or attachments with others would fall hook, line, and sinker for the ploys of an obviously unstable person.

A beginning with so much potential being let down by the follow-through is almost worse than a book that never had any promise. I hate an entirely negative review but I found very few redeemable qualities within these pages.

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