Book Review: We Were Never Here (Andrea Bartz)

Does anyone else seem to be suckered into popular book recommendations? Oprah suggests it? Sure. On a list from the New York Times? Seems legit to me? Reese Witherspoon gives it her stamp of approval? Sign me up! That is how I came to read We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz.

Essentially, the novel follows a pair of BFFs, Emily and Kristen, on their yearly backpacking trip to Chile. All is going well until Emily arrives back to her hotel room and finds her friend covered in blood with the backpacker she had been flirting with dead on the floor. Shockingly, this isn’t the first time this has happened. From here, we get insight into Emily’s trauma and a seriously bad vibe about Kristen.

Having never read the author’s previous books, I was really pleased to find out I enjoyed the writing style of Bartz; I felt like she had a nice flow and I was able to get into the story pretty much immediately. It was a very quick read; I was able to binge it fairly quickly. Which was lucky for me since I had to have it read for my book club and I have a six month old baby, so my time is scarce! The concept of the book had me intrigued, however, the characters left much to be desired. I didn’t really care about either girl. They were both pretty unlikeable- which I guess was the point. Both gave me the same type of Gone Girl vibes as Amy. Manipulative, edgy and surely a threat.

Now, while I enjoyed the writing style and the intentional character flaws, I really did this there was a TON of repetition in this book that was not necessary. I feel like it could have been 100 pages shorter and still have had the same effect. I found myself skimming some paragraphs or finding myself become disengaged with the story because it just felt like I had read something similar the chapter prior. I also found the ending to be very abrupt and rushed.

Overall, it was a quick read, but not my favourite.

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