Rating: 4 / 5
I read and really enjoyed Andrea Bartz’ past two novels, so was excited when we picked her newest release, WE WERE NEVER HERE, as a #SaturdayBookstaClub buddy read.
WE WERE NEVER HERE asks the question of how far you’re willing to go for a friend… and how well do you actually know your friends? Emily and her best friend Kristen have an annual tradition of meeting up and going on vacation together. Kristen has been living far from home so it is a time to reconnect and decompress. This year they’re in the Chilean mountains, living (mostly) completely off the grid. Emily is out on her own one night and returns to their room to find a man dead on the floor. Kristen tells her the man attacked her and she had to kill him in self-defense. The odd thing is that the scene is very reminiscent of their last vacation where the man on the floor had attacked Emily and Kristen put him down to defend her friend.
Back at home, Emily is reeling from the repeated trauma and struggling to rejoin her regular life. Out of the blue Kristen shows up at her door, acting as if all is normal and nothing untoward happened. Emily begins to question everything she knows about Kristen and their shared past.
This book begins in a dark place and takes the reader on a wild ride the farther it goes. It definitely brought twists and turns that I did not expect. Much like Emily, the reader if left to question what exactly is going on with Kristen. Can someone who on the one level appears to be a true blue friend really kill two men and feel nothing? Is Kristen just internalizing her trauma better than Emily has?
This book had me questioning everything I knew throughout and I had a hard time putting it down for our midway chat. There was a lot of mistrust of Kristen, but a lot that we also didn’t predict coming in the chat.
I think this is one best gone into without too much information because it does take some unexpected twists along the way. Just when you think you know what is going on with the characters, something else will hit! I will definitely be looking to read more from Andrea Bartz in the future!