Title: An Anonymous Girl
Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: eARC via NetGalley
Length: 384 p
Publishing Date: 8 January 2019
“No one has ever wanted to know so much about me before; most people are satisfied with the sort of superficial chatter Dr. Shields doesn’t like.”
When struggling makeup artist Jessica Farris signs up for a psychological study on ethics and morality, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer some multiple choice questions, collect her $500, and leave. But when the questions grow more intense and invasive, and the study “evolves”, as Dr. Shields puts it, Jessica begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know not just what she’s thinking, but also what she’s hiding.
On one hand, Jessica is comforted by the weight lifted from her after confessing so much about herself to someone behind a computer screen. On the other, as the study continues, Jessica grows more paranoid about what’s happening in the real world and what’s another one of Dr. Shields’ experiments. Just what exactly does she know about this Dr. Shields anyway, and can Jessica actually trust them?
“Your answer is absolute: It seems you believe humans are incapable of reshaping their innate natures, even when their urges lead to pain and destruction.”
A gripping story about obsession and jealousy, An Anonymous Girl was, for me, the perfect blend of You and Gone Girl. Told from alternating points of view, from Jessica and Dr. Shields, readers will be caught up in the game of mental chess the two characters are engaged in, unsure who they can trust or what turn the story is going to take next.
And ultimately, even days after finishing the book, I’m still wondering about the same questions posed at the end of the book: was it all worth it? Do the ends ever justify the means? Can anyone ever really change? What boundaries are you prepared to cross — for love, for security?