Happy pub day, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen! I must admit, I kind of cheated when I wrote 19 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019 because, well… I actually finished one in 2018. This one, to be exact! No shame in my book game, because I believe this helped me round out my 2018 reading! It was instantly addictive, utterly thrilling, and completely captivating.
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.
At first, I was a little wary to read this book. I had seen most of my favorite bookstagrammers singing it’s praises, which will mean one of two things: I’m going to absolutely love it also, or I’m going to be the odd man out and hate my life as a result. Fortunately for my mental sanity, it was the latter of the two! Told in alternating narratives between the main character Jess and the elusive Dr. Shields, the story sucked me in almost immediately. I’m talking, I felt all the paranoia that Jess felt as the story progressed, I questioned everyone’s motives, and struggled to separate my life from the book as I progressed further into the story.
I would love to dive into the plot with everyone, but you really need to go into this one blind. You’ll get whiplash, jumping from one conclusion to another. While I was able to figure out the ending pretty easily, the author duo still lodged that sense of doubt in the back of my mind – which is pretty difficult when you grab as many thrillers as I do.
In short, if you like psychological thrillers, or just want something to help you get your heart racing in the new year without following your resolution to go to the gym more frequently, I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this one. I would like to thank our good friends at Flyleaf Books for providing me with my advance copy! It’s always a privilege to share my honest thoughts and opinions with our readers.