We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz
On holiday in Chile with her best friend Kristen, Emily is having the time of her life. Until one night, she finds their hotel suite covered in blood. Kristen claims a backpacker attacked her. She shouted, but no-one heard. She struggled, but he was too strong. She had no option but to kill him. With no evidence of the assault, Emily must help her hide the body. . . Back home, Emily tries to forget what happened, but a surprise visit from Kristen forces her to confront the events of that night. As the walls close in, Emily asks herself: can her closest friend be trusted?
About the Author
Andrea Bartz is a Brooklyn-based journalist and the author of the forthcoming WE WERE NEVER HERE. Her second thriller, THE HERD, was named a best book of 2020 by Real Simple, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, CrimeReads, and other outlets. Her LA-Times bestselling debut, THE LOST NIGHT, was optioned for TV development by Mila Kunis. It was named a best book of the year by Real Simple, Glamour, Marie Claire, Library Journal, Crime Reads, Popsugar, She Reads, and other publications. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Women's Health, Martha Stewart Living, Elle, and many other outlets, and she's held editorial positions at Glamour, Psychology Today, and Self, among other titles.
Having not yet read the much talked about The Herd by this Author, I wonder if this set me on the back foot so to speak as I know a lot of people who have read it and have given it five-star reviews. But for me, though I very much enjoyed the beginning and the ending, I struggled a little through the middle and by then I had lost the passion for the characters.
Best friends, Kristen and Emily are on holiday together, when things take a turn for the worst. When they return home, Kristen is acting like nothing happened and feeling disconcerted, Emily, on the other hand, is learning more about Kristen’s past. Written in the first-person Emily perspective, it has an immediate hook and the knots twisting in my stomach as I sat down ready for a thrilling ride and believe me, it was a real page turner.
But when I got into the book, it became a little too much inner thoughts that didn’t really cut through the story. The way the Author wrote about Kristen from the get go made me doubt what Emily had ever found in a friendship with this woman as there were clearly some skeletons in her closet and I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near her. I found the book a little ‘wordy’ but that could just be me. I don’t think I’ve seen a character so single mindedly crazy in all the books that I read and whilst normally that would make me enjoy it all the more, I couldn’t see the pull between the friendship between Kristen and Emily and without that, I think the good points only marginally outweighed the negative. Perhaps it was the judgemental nature of Emily that made me not care one way or the other. Describing your friend who turns up on the doorstep as creepy is a little overboard.
Putting all of the negatives aside, I loved the last quarter or so of the book when it began to pick up pace once more and you definitely see the Author’s creative side.
All in all, it felt very familiar and I’ve most definitely read the same plot plan before and this, for me, didn’t take it a different direction.
Book available for pre-order – release date – 3rd August 2021:-
Date of review: 04.08.2021