We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz | Book Review
"PS If you ever forget how amazing you are, you know who to call. Because I never, ever forget, and I'd be honored to count the ways."
We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz: ⭐️⭐️
Synopsis of We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz
Emily and Kristen are the best of friends and have been since college. When Kristen moves to Australia to pursue her career, they vow to always stay in touch, and to get together at least once each year to take an epic trip together. Completely. unplugged. No cell phones are allowed on, and they even assume different names to keep things "fun" as they meet other travelers.
This year is no exception. As they're finishing up their stay in the mountains
of Chile, Emily enters the hotel suite to find broken glass and a pool of blood. Kristen says that she was attacked by the backpacker she brought
back to their room, and that she had no choice but to act in self-defense, killing him on the spot. The worst part is, this scenario is almost identical to an attack and murder that happened just one year earlier.
Desperate to get out of Chile, Emily and Kristen hide the body and board the next flight. When Emily arrives safely in Wisconsin, she's determined to put the past behind her, and some distance between herself and Kristen. Until Kristen arrives at Emily's doorstep. Now, Emily is questioning everything. Why is Kristen so determined to keep Emily so close? And why is she behaving like that night never happened?
“All right, here are the facts: this book is every suspense-lover’s dream and it kept me up WAY too late turning pages. [It’s] a novel with crazy twists and turns that will have you ditching your Friday night plans for more chapters.”Reese witherspoon
Photo from Instagram. We Were Never Here was Reese Witherspoon's August pick for Reese's Book Club.
My Thoughts + Book Chat
⚠️ This post is part of my Book Chat series, where I talk about details that happened in the book! Think of it like you're at book club, drinking endless cups of coffee (or wine), and talking with your friends about all your favorite, least-favorite, and head-scratching parts of the book. If you don't want any spoilers, don't read this post!
I wasn't planning on making this review part of my Book Chat (where I share spoilers about the book), but I don't feel I can adequately share my thoughts on this book without giving a lot of the plot and twists away. So.. read on at your own discretion.
I know I'm going to get some hate for this one, but it's okay. I'm prepared to face the backlash.
I. Did not. Enjoy. This book. Until like, chapter 26 and on. And even then it was just okay.
I felt this book had the storyline. I mean, it was definitely there. The bones were good - as I like to say. But everything on top was just fluff.
For starters, it was super predictable. You could see right through to Kristen's true character from chapter one; precisely the minute Emily told her about Aaron, to be exact. You could almost see the wheels turning in Kristen's head; "Oh, my bff doesn't want to travel the world with me for six months because she's dating this guy? Let's see if killing cute stranger number two changes her mind."
Like, come on, Emily! If only you could have waited to tell her NONE of this would have happened. But - you don't get a story out of playing it safe, right? And she had no idea at this point that her bff was a narcissistic psychopath.
Which, by the way, how on earth over the course of ten years did Emily not once feel like something was off about Kristen?
And really? The exact same scenario happened twice? What are the actual odds of that happening? I mean, if you bring any stranger back to your room you are taking a risk. But what are the odds that you bring a stranger back to your room, get attacked, you kill him in self-defense, and then the EXACT same thing happens precisely one year later? Each detail down to a T?
Truth be told, Kristen actually kind of reminded me of my bff from when I was growing up. Sadly, we're no longer friends (which actually, seeing the similarities here might be a good thing!) - My friend wasn't a crazy killer but relationship between Emily and Kristen as a whole had me feeling a little deja-vu-y at times.
Anyway, that's neither here nor there.
I found myself screaming at Emily. A lot. But I will say, once you hit chapter 26 things take a little bit of a turn, and I'll even go as far as admitting that some of my theories about Kristen - while they were close, did not exactly pan out how I anticipated. So that gives you a little bit of a teaser to hang onto.
And the ending? Well.. let's just say I have some wide-eyed questions about that one. But I WON'T give away the ending. Sorry, not sorry! You'll have to read it on your own and then come back and let me know your thougths.
All in all, the hype about this book is big. Everyone seems to be a fan, I just didn't think it lived up to quite as much of the hype. If you read it - come back and comment and let me know what rating you give it. I'm genuinely going to be curious to see!