Welcome back for another book review. I’m on my reading week right now, so I was able to sneak in some personal reading between catching up. The review that I am doing today is actually of a book that I mentioned on my Top Ten Books Coming Out in 2019 list. You can check that post out here.
For now, onward to the review!
An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
So, why this book?
This book popped up while I was doing research to find some great books that were going to be released this year. It was actually released on the day that I published the post. It caught my eye though. And not, just because that protagonist’s name is Jessica too. The cover itself is intriguing, but it was really the book jacket description that pulled me in.
So, what is it about?
This book follows Jessica Farris, an overworked beauty specialist, who sneaks her way into a study on morality and ethics. It is a chance for her to make some easy extra cash, but it turns out that it isn’t going to be as easy as she thought. What starts as invasive questions, quickly escalates to more intense assignments. She is sent on outings with specific assignments and clothing requirements. Each one digs her a little bit deeper.
Soon, she starts to realize that something is off about what she is involved in, but she is too far in to stop the downward trajectory of her life. She is wound up in the lives of people she never expected to be involved with. Yet, for the sake of those she is closest to, she needs to figure out what is real and what is part of the experiment she is a subject in.
So what did I think?
I enjoyed this book. The title has an issue, considering that the main character is a grown woman, not a girl, but I’m not going to hold that against the novel. It is well written with an excellent air of mystery to it. Every time I thought I knew what was coming, it was switched up on me.
Jessica’s character is interesting to follow as she deals with the fallout of her choices, both in the story line and her past. Through the story, the reader can see that the adage ‘the descent to hell is easy’ is true. We are all only a few choices away from making that descent ourselves.
One of my favourite parts of this novel is the switch between point of views. It oscillates between the first person narration of Jessica and the second person narration of Dr Shield who is running the study. Second person narration is so rare in the works that I read that when I come across it, I am surprised and delighted. I am sure that there are cases where the narration is not done well, but I have yet to experience that. In this novel, the second person narration coexists perfectly with the idea that Dr Shield is observing Jessica’s progression through the study.
The motivations of the characters are realistic and fit within the scope of the story. There are a couple of loose ends left at the end of the story, but for the most part, it wraps itself up in a way that is the perfect mix of mess and neat.
My final thoughts?
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a bit of mystery mixed with twists and turns. The narrative is thrilling and keeps you guessing. The characters are entertaining and the conclusion is not what you are expecting. These two authors do an excellent job at combining their talents to create a seamless text.