Book Review // An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl Book Cover An Anonymous Girl
Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
St. Martin's Press
January 8, 2019
Paperback ARC

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.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

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.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

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.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller, The Wife Between Us, comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

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With such love for THE WIFE BETWEEN US – I mean, did you expect the turnaround that happened!? NOPE! – I couldn’t resist the opportunity to grab up an ARC of AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. The sheer gasp that I encountered when reading their first spark of fantastic ultimately had AN ANONYMOUS GIRL on my radar.

Before jumping in, I must say that the marketing surrounding this release was EPIC! I about died when I received Jessica Farris’ business card in the mail. And by the way, thanks for the makeup blender, Jessica! And no thanks, Dr. Sheilds, I’m not one of your test subjects, so stop sending me emails trying to get me to play your game!

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL is a fantastic read of cat and mouse.

Testing morality, specifically the morality of those closest to home, Dr. Shields begins to play a game a study with her husband as silent participant (shhh…he doesn’t know) and new found test subject, Jessica Farris. Unable to quit as the money has drawn her in, like $ does for many, Jessica and soon, Dr. Shields’ husband get the jist of what is happening and … will the roles reverse?

It’s easy to judge other peoples choices.

Secrets are used and pasts of each character slowly boil to the top. The good Doc and her test subject are not too different as we see similarities in their lives. We see Jessica let her guard down and begin to reveal herself and in doing so, we learn more about Dr. Shields as she draws comparisons between the two.

Totally, from start to finish, AN ANONYMOUS GIRL is a psychological thriller and authors Hendricks and Pekkanen have built a story around a relatable topic that really anyone in a financial bind – and a test study happening – could find themselves in.

Now onto the feels of the book.

I loved, and hated (just a smidgen), AN ANONYMOUS GIRL. It’s a relatable story that readers could potentially find themselves in – needing money more so than the topic of the study. I love how well these two authors can come together and co-mingle as one. I never once felt like the beat of the story changed due to a writing style being different. It was cohesive and flowed well. Sometimes, I find it difficult for one writer to flow a story, so kudos when two can come together as one!

There was a turning point where I knew how the finale would line up and this made me very aware to pay close attention. At this point, a story can climax and then take you on a completely different turn of events where you never saw THAT particular ending OR at this point, the climax bursts like a balloon and you ride the deflation until the ballon sputters and falls flat. I wouldn’t say AN ANONYMOUS GIRL was that kind of deflation.

Yes, I was let down by the ending.

I felt so encouraged for the ending of this book; I just new that Jessica would triumph, but ultimately I felt deflated because there were no trumpets playing for an extravagant ending, it was more like a quiet shuffle of the feet as you say you’re sorry to the loser while walking away. And maybe this is how the authors want us to feel. Maybe they want us to see there are no winners when real lives and feelings are in play? Just a quiet exit.

Like I mentioned earlier it was just a smidgen, and maybe it’s not hate – that is a strong word. I loved EVERYTHING until the end and maybe that’s totally me. I was waiting for a different ending. AN ANONYMOUS GIRL is a great read and regardless of whether you love/hate or like/dislike the ending, you will LOVE this book because there is so much more to love! Definitely a 4 out of 5 stars!

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are the co-authors of the blockbuster New York Times bestseller, THE WIFE BETWEEN US, as well as the forthcoming, AN ANONYMOUS GIRL. AN ANONYMOUS GIRL has been optioned for a television series by eOne, with Sarah and Greer executive producing. THE WIFE BETWEEN US has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment, with Sarah and Greer screenwriting the adaptation. (