ARC REVIEW | THE STRANGERS WE KNOW BY PIP DRYSDALE | WEAVING FICTION

THE STRANGERS WE KNOW

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Writing Style/Quality: 3
Plot: 3
Characters & their development: 2
Originality: 3
Pacing: 4
Personal enjoyment: 3
Final rating: 3
WHERE DID I GET THIS FROM? Harper Collins NZ
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I liked
-The quick pacing
-Easy writing
-Some surprises were thrown in there

I disliked
-That you could skim read alot of this, and not miss anything important
-It never felt, amazing, or like it was memorable.

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GOODREADS BLURB

Imagine seeing your loving husband on a dating app. Now imagine that’s the best thing to happen to you all week …

When Charlie sees a man who is the spitting image of her husband Oliver on a dating app, her heart stops. Her first desperate instinct is to tell herself she must be mistaken – after all, she only caught a glimpse from a distance as her friends were laughingly swiping through the men on offer. But no matter how much she tries to push her fears aside, she can’t because she took that photo. On their honeymoon. She just can’t let it go.

Suddenly other signs of betrayal begin to add up and so Charlie does the only thing she can think of to defend her position – she signs up to the app to catch Oliver in the act.

But Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems and nobody is who she thinks they are …

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MY THOUGHTS

Maybe it’s just me? Because no matter how hard I try, I only end up liking 1/10 thrillers that I read. Sadly, this was one the one.

The Strangers We Know follows our main character Charlie, an actress who is recounting her tale. She tells us the story of how she fell in love with Oliver and how perfect their relationship is. Until she sees his face on a dating app, and then all these things she has been ignoring, start to make sense.

I will give credit where it is due, I read this all in one day. That means that the story was gripping enough for me to keep going, and I often found myself surprised by how far I had gotten in the novel, and how little I had left. The writing isn’t mind-blowing or memorable, but it IS easy to read, making it a great quick, relaxing time.

However, I do have a slight issue with how this was told. It breaks the fourth wall so to say, with Charlie constantly talking to us, almost treating it like a memoir. But it wasn’t quite good enough to blur the lines into making us feel like we were reading some non-fiction account of something real. Instead, it almost felt like a cheap way for the author to avoid a lot of perspective problems and tell us things instead of showing them.

However, because the writing is so easy to read, you’re often speeding ahead in the story and not really thinking about what will come next. I DID really like that about the novel as it made it so you were surprised by the twists that came, though if you did stop to think for a while, you would probably guess them.

Character wise, I feel like no characters grew or transformed which made them all feel stale, like cardboard cutouts that were just there to tell a story. But, besides the negatives, I’ve mentioned and the positives, everything else was just pretty okay! Everything trotted along and while it didn’t blow my mind, I didn’t hate the above mentioned things enough to lower my rating.

I think this would work for someone new to thrillers, or looking for an easy read.

OUTRO

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