The bucket list delivers again.
I keep a running list of books on a TBR list because you know, life. I’m a multi-tasker for sure, but can’t juggle more than a book or two at a time. Andrea Bartz’s “We Were Never Here” was on so many “Must Read” lists last year I figured it should also be on mine and when it hit my library queue, it was time to roll.
Hence a marathon reading session took place over the weekend because I.Just.Had.To.Know.
It took me a few chapters to warm up to this tale about Emily and Kristen, two best friends that have colossal bad luck during their last two international vacations — both end in a dead body. Their subsequent actions shatter Emily’s mental health, but Kristin? Not so much.
I was struggling at first for no other reason than I felt like just maybe I had already seen this plotline in action with “Single White Female.” It’s a convenient leap in logic given the setup for this thriller, but not really all that accurate once readers dig in. After all, Heddy and Ally don’t have a backstory, whereas Kristin and Emily have been BFFs for a decade. There’s a lot of love there, which makes it all the more confusing for Emily when she begins to question what she really knows about her friend, and then questions herself for questioning.
Relationship status? It’s complicated.
Bartz covers a lot of physical territory here — from Cambodia to Chile to Milwaukee (which I enjoyed since I spent several years there growing up and loved the shoutouts to Bradford Beach and The Oriental, which will forever be known to me as the place I saw Tears for Fears live and Kurt Smith made DIRECT EYE CONTACT with me while singing “Head Over Heels.”)
And then there’s the emotional territory — abandonment, codependency, anxiety, sheer terror, grief, and even love. It’s a lot going on and the pace is a fast one. Once you are sucked in, it’s nearly impossible to put this story down. I can’t promise the same experience for everyone, but I will admit there were times I thought I had it figured out only to wonder if I reallllly knew what was going on. The mind can be a fickle beast.
If you were late to the party like me, don’t pass this up. We Were Never Here is highly entertaining and will have you Googling to see if it’s been optioned yet. (Fingers crossed!)