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

An Anonymous Girl

Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Publication date: January 8, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Short stories / Mystery

Want to know what this book is about and what I thought of it?

An Anonymous Girl

I received an e-ARC of this book from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press

An Anonymous Girl

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.

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Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are the co-authors of the New York Times bestseller, The Wife Between Us, as well as An Anonymous Girl. An Anonymous Girl has been optioned for a television series by eOne, with Sarah and Greer executive producing.

 

A manipulating psychological thriller

An Anonymous Girl starts with Jessica Farris, a makeup artist, going to a client’s house. She is having a very ordinary day when she hears her client talking about a survey that pays a lot of money for answering a couple of anonymous questions. Her client says she won’t be attending and Jessica decides to go in her place, taking advantage of this chance to earn some extra money.

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

Jessica enters the study. She doesn’t receive a lot of information, only that she is about to enter a study by Dr. Shield’s and she’ll be asked to fill in a questionnaire about ethics and morality. Her answers will be completely anonymous. Jessica walks into a room with only a chair and a desk with a computer. The questions appear on the computer screen.

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

Jessica answers the questions truthfully and it doesn’t take long before she starts to tell some of her deepest secrets, feeling safe and anonymous. But what happens when the person typing the questions begins to respond to her answers? It is like Dr. Shield’s is talking to her personally. During the second session, Dr. Shield’s asks Jessica if she is willing to expand her participation in the study. Significantly more will be asked of her, but this would also mean she will earn a lot more money. When Jessica decides to take the study to the next level, she is pulled into a web of manipulation, revenge and jealousy and it’s making her paranoid.

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

The chapters of An Anonymous Girl alternate between the story of Jessica and the story of Dr. Shields. We get to know both women, their motives and the way they think. Dr. Shields is a renowned psychologist ans Jessica is a young woman who carries a big secret. The moment they meet each other, Jessica’s life changes. Is Dr. Shields dangerous or just really interested in her? And what are her plans exactly with the answers Jessica has given?

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

An Anonymous Girl is a fast-paced thriller about trust, obsession, betrayal and manipulation. The characters have depth and as a reader you feel like you’re getting to know them quite well. The story is dark and suspenseful and the book was impossible to put down.. I had to know what motives drove Dr. Shields. The ending wasn’t what I hoped it would be, but the story itself was amazing.

4 out of 5 stars

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