Weird Flex

An Anonymous Girl | Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Release Date: January 8, 2019 | St. Martins Press
Genre(s): Adult, Thriller
Pages: 384
Source: E-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. 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. 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.

This book was all over the place and so is my review. You know, just a little heads up and whatnot.

The Damn Husband.

Without telling everything that goes down in the story, I'll give you a three-word synopsis of what you should expect An Anonymous Girl to be centered around: The Damn Husband. Normally this wouldn't bother me as there are plenty of other thrillers based on significant others, but the entire premise - this almost extravagant show of a plot, had all these things going on and it was all because of The Damn Husband. I sound confused [I am] and a bit peeved [hella peeved] [hella isn't even in my vocabulary so there's that] at the fact that I don't really know how to feel about what I read. Dr.Sheilds, a psychology professor and therapist, conducts this huge " research study " on ethics and morality in women. Our main character Jessica participates, and slowly but surely all kinds of weird hell breaks loose. The author's play on ethics, morality and how it affects us individually was definitely intriguing, and I had enough scandal from the actual study and the " assignments " to be slightly entertained, but I can't shake the annoyance I feel that this whole ordeal was orchestrated all because of The Damn Husband. I don't mind cheating in books, in fact, it just might be a buzzword, but with the plot being so over the top, and the cheating being this underwhelmingly overused attribute to the story, an imbalance was created, and it all became a bit much. In other words, this entire story did the absolute most for no reason other than, The Damn Husband. He didn't even read cute!

Crissy Teigen Face.

When you're reading thrillers, the characters usually excite you in some way. They give you this rush - this vibe that allows you to grow attached to them, which was missing for me this time around. In An Anonymous Girl, we follow the point of view of Dr. Lydia Sheilds, the professor/therapist I spoke of earlier, and Jessica an MUA. As a way to strengthen the author's message behind ethics and morality, the two come from completely different worlds, Lydia successful and wealthy and Jessica, struggling and . . . idk, [don't get me started] yet they share a similarity bound by secrets. Both Lydia and Jessica were iffy characters, Lydia just did too much sometimes for my liking, and Jessica, once you found out the whole shebang, was kinda of useless and not needed. I found myself being more intrigued by the side characters, and no this does not include The Damn Husband Thomas. I would've been if the authors didn't overcook his ass, but it was Noah, poor sweet Noah who had 10 mins of storytime before he got the boot, and April, who should have had her own point of view, not Jess, that were sort of a saving grace. Jessica definitely was meant to serve as our King to this chess game, but sis wasn't the smartest tool in the shed, and well . . . it just didn't work out. Everyone else of importance was flat and one-dimensional. Most definitely a cast that will be easily forgotten.


To make a long review longer, I rated the book 3 stars because there was definitely some enjoyability up in there. [is that a word?] I live for petty drama, especially drama that I would never witness in real life, and An Anonymous Girl has plenty of it. The use of psychology was actually pretty clever, and with the authors giving us Lydia, this unlikeable, sort of twisted character, I found myself flying through the chapters wanting to see how much she would use her knowledge and profession as a weapon, and of course to see how the story would end. April's story and how she plays a part in the lives of Lydia and Thomas, should have replaced Jessica's entirely so that we followed her events before and after. We instead are left with two plots that are tied sloppily together, which again, was the driving force behind the novel being disappointing. I felt the authors took this grand idea [the whole ethics and morality thing] and dumbed it down by molding it's purpose to basically center around The Damn Husband. I'm irked how the plot felt " plot-less " if thats even a thing, and how the characters didn't live up to their potential. I'm irked how we had the perfect character to follow but the authors chose another route, and how the ending was weak af which in turn, reverse-snowballed and made the entire story weak af. Idk, the whole thing was a weird flex honestly.


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