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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Review: I'll Be You by Janelle Brown

I'll Be You
by Janelle Brown
Narrated by: Julia Whelan & Kate Rudd

Thanks so much to PRH Audio and Random House for the gifted copies.

Publisher: Random House Audio
Publish Date: April 26, 2022
11hrs. 41min
Genres: Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary

Two identical twin sisters and former child actors have grown apart--until one disappears, and the other is forced to confront the secrets they've kept from each other in this twisty thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Things.

"You be me, and I'll be you," I whispered.

As children, Sam and Elli were two halves of a perfect whole: Gorgeous identical twins whose parents sometimes couldn’t even tell them apart. They fell asleep to the sound of each other’s breath at night, holding hands in the dark. And once Hollywood discovered them, they became B-list child TV stars, often inhabiting the same role.

But as adults their lives have splintered. After leaving acting, Elli reinvented herself as the perfect homemaker: Married to a real-estate lawyer, in a house two blocks from the beach. Meanwhile, Sam has never recovered from her failed Hollywood career, or from her addiction to the pills and booze that have propped her up for the last 15 years.

Sam hasn't spoken to her sister since her destructive behavior finally drove a wedge between them. So, when her father calls out of the blue, Sam is shocked to learn that Elli’s life has been in turmoil: Her husband moved out, and Elli just adopted a two-year-old girl. Now she’s stopped answering her phone and checked in to a mysterious spa in Ojai. Is her sister just decompressing, or is she in trouble? Could she have possibly joined a cult? As Sam works to connect the dots left by Elli’s baffling disappearance, she realizes that the bond between her and her sister is more complicated than she ever knew.

I’ll Be You shows Janelle Brown at the top of her game: a story packed with surprising revelations and sharp insights about the choices that define our families and our lives — and could just as easily destroy them.

My Review:

I absolutely adore Janelle Brown.  This is my third book by her, and they are all solid across the board.  Who needs a synopsis? Janelle wrote it? SOLD. She has absolutely done it again with I'LL BE YOU.  Here we are introduced to twins, Elli and Sam. One loves the spotlight, the other just wants a normal life.  Identical in so many ways, and yet worlds apart.  

We get to navigate from their childhood to present day and as with any family, the drama contained within.  Which brings me to the point where while this is a thriller in the domestic drama sense, it really reads more like a contemporary story and brilliantly done at that.  Regardless of Elli and Sam's differences, they have an unbreakable bond and in the process of them coming back into each other's lives now, they learn so much more about each other that they had never expected.

Honestly y'all, this novel will subtly surprise you.  As the unknown starts showing itself, all the things you thought you knew in the beginning will be proven wrong.  I kind of wish there had been just a little more about GemFem - cult vibes are always a win for me but don't expect this to be completely in that vein.  If you love a good sister bonding suspenseful read, I would highly recommend this.  If there's one thing Brown can do, it is make you care about her characters.  Flawed but lovable, even at their worst.  I mean, if you had the opportunity to finally have everything you wanted, just how far would you go?


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