Cover Image: I Know You

I Know You

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Publisher’s description:
That picture you posted?
I’ve seen it.
That location you tagged?
I’ve been there.
I know everything about your life . . .
And I’m going to destroy it.

A recent transplant from sunny California, life in the London suburbs is not what Taylor Watson expected. Far from the West End shops and city lights she imagined, she finds herself pregnant and lonely, with a husband frequently away on business and only social media to keep her company. It’s only after Taylor joins a book club and a walking group, that she finally starts to make some real-life friends.


Before long, Taylor’s hanging out with Anna, Sarah, Simon, and Caroline but, as her pregnancy progresses and her friendships blossom, a sense of unease develops. Nothing’s ever quite as it seems on the surface, and it soon becomes clear that Taylor’s new friends have secrets. One appears to be after Taylor’s husband, another’s always putting her down, and then there’s the question of Simon. Could he have feelings for Taylor?


But far more worryingly, one of the group’s not being too careful what they post on social media—and another is watching all too closely. Who’s stalking who . . . and why?

**********
“I Know You” by Annabel Kantaria plays on every fear you could have about social media and the way we as a society naively post so much of our lives, giving away information even when we’re careful. Very early in the book, there’s a paragraph that mentions Instagram location services and Google Maps street view (which I’ve used) that made me think, ‘Yes, anyone could find anyone really with just a little bit of scrolling and searching.’ These tools can be great, but they can also invite some unsavory characters into our lives. 

The story here is well-written. There’s enough switching between Taylor Watson’s perspective and the “stalker.” Taylor tells the story in the first person, and we know from the very beginning that something happened. We just don’t know what. 

We are introduced to a variety of people who could be the stalker, including Taylor herself. The author does a good job of cloaking the identity. The story is fast-paced. I was about 75% of the way through when I realized we were getting a little too close to the end and I was worried we weren’t going to get a great ending. But that was really when we reach the big reveal in the story, and we get a great race to the conclusion. 

There was one thing about the story that really bugged me, outlined in the spoiler below. It may not bug everybody, but it’s what put me at 4 stars instead of 5. The only issue is that if this element were not in the book, the “whodunit” perspective would not have been as good. 

I would definitely recommend this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

SPOILER: The main character in this book, Taylor, is from California, and she and her husband Jake moved to the UK for a fresh start after Jake cheated on her. What bugged me is that Taylor doesn’t speak like an American. She uses words like “queue” instead of “line,” “mum” instead of “mom,” and “tuts” instead of I don’t know what. When a character is supposed to be American, it really bothers me when they don’t sound like one. In this case, if Taylor sounded American, we would KNOW she isn’t the stalker, so I get it, but it still really bothered me as a reader.
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Oh my goodness!! This was SOOOO GOOD!! I was not expecting to be sucked into this as much as I was! Absolutely loved it!
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This was a fun read. It was nice and quick to get through. It had good suspense and a nice twist that I didn’t fully see coming. I was a fan of Taylor and her loneliness and need for friendship. The last few chapters were great as the story came to the suspenseful ending where everything finally gets revealed. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins Publishers LTD for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I Know You
by Annabel Kantaria 

Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 28th 2018 by HQ



Goodreads synopsis:
You trust her. 

You shouldn’t. 

That picture you just posted on Instagram? I’ve seen it.
The location you tagged? I’ve been there.

You haven’t been careful enough, have you?
Because I know all about you.

But when I meet you, I won’t tell you that.
I’ll pretend. Just like you do.

You’ll like me though. You’ll trust me enough to let me into your life.

And then I’ll destroy it.


***

2.5 Stars

I wanted to like this book. The concept was what drew me in. It had all the bones to be a good story. I liked the whole hypothsis of a person from social media stalking someone since it seems such a possibility today. 

The problem was… I couldn’t get into this book. The writing was choppy and I couldn’t find the rhythm of the text to keep me flowing from one scene to the next. It didn’t help that I couldn’t keep straight who was who from scene to scene.

The mystery seemed pretty solid but the suspense was lacking. Every time I thought it was building, it would fall flat. Maybe that was just me and since I couldn’t keep the characters straight, the suspense couldn’t keep up either.

This wasn’t my speed, but it may be yours. I am not a millennial and so I am probably not the market demo for this particular story. It might read well for a younger audience.

Just okay for me but pick it up if the synopsis intrigues you.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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⚠ Content Warnings: Stalking. Infidelity. Abduction.
⚠ Read if: you're looking for a good domestic mystery.

Are you someone a little too eager about posting on social media? Pressured about the likes, always taking Instagram photos and checking on the comments, too? I Know You is a mystery/thriller approach on how social media can actually bring you closer to harm and invasion of your privacy.

It's my first book of the author, Annabel Kantaria, whose writing style I really enjoyed. If it wasn't a busy weekend, I would have devoured this book faster.

This story is about Taylor, a pregnant ex-flight attendant who moved to Croydon, UK from California, USA. She is very lonely since she was uprooted and planted to a town where she knows no one plus a husband always working late. This book unfolds on her showing something bad happened, but not telling what, just showing her version of the events.

I thought my hunches were right, for once, but I was crazily shook by the plot twists of this storyline. Though the book is filled with juicy secrets unfolded throughout, the jaw-dropping revelations towards the end still took me by surprise!

Definitely an enjoyable read! Draws you in, then gets you hooked!

☁ THE CRITERIA ☁

🌻 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Heroine:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Thrill Factor:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Pacing:⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Ending:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Page Turner:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐

☁FINAL VERDICT: 3.9/5 ☁
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Didn't love the characters, but that didn't make me hate the story. I can enjoy that about a book for sure! I loved having a mysterious narrator as well. Fun twist!
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Taylor and her husband recently moved to the London suburbs from California. Her husband is gone a lot for work, and Taylor finds herself lonely and wanting friends. To make new friends, she joins a local walking group and a neighborhood book club. She makes a few friends, but as time progresses, Taylor learns that everyone is keeping secrets.

Taylor is a young woman in a marriage that has had some ups and downs, and now she's expecting her first child. When she and her husband move to London, she's hoping for a fresh start. The downside is that she doesn't have any friends in their new town. When she starts to make friends, it seems all is great. Then things start to go wrong, and it seems everyone is a suspect.

I enjoyed the social media aspect of the story. With most everyone having some involvement on social media, it's scary how easily people can be watched. This novel did a good job of incorporating current trends into a suspenseful tale of a stalking. With so many secrets, this psychological thriller is a guessing game of who has done what. A quick and entertaining read.

I received a free advance digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Even if we don't want to admit it, we all are social media junkies to some extent. We just can't stop ourselves from posting tid bits about our personal lives on all the major social media sites whether it be photographs, check ins, personal updates about our lives, etc. etc. It's all fun and fine but what we forget to realise is that just like we can't trust everyone who cross our paths in real life and have to be on our guard, the same applies to our online life as well. 

I Know You is a fast paced and absorbing thriller that revolves around exactly this point of view. A pregnant Taylor has just moved to Croydon, England from California with her husband Jake to try salvage their marriage after Jake is caught having an affair very early on in their marriage. Taylor is a social media junkie and has more online friends than real ones. To beat the boredom of her new life in a quiet town, Taylor tries to make some real friends for a change by joining a walking group and a book club and meets Simon and Anna (walking group) and Susan and Caroline (book club). Taylor soon finds out that all of them are as much active social media users as herself and a bit looney too in in their own way. What she never counted for is how one of her friendship with one person in the group would lead to disastrous consequences.

This story is told in the form of a dual narrative...one is Taylor's and the other one is of the person who is hell bent on destroying her. The identity of this person is a secret till the perfect moment in the book when it is finally disclosed. The disclosure and the ensuing climax really doesn't disappoint.

This is one fast paced and addictive thriller. I tried to finish reading this book in one day by staying up way way past my bed time but had to put it down for the next day when my eyes started pleading to me that they needed rest😵!

My thanks to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and the author Annabel Kantaria for giving me an e-ARC of this book. So good!
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I was hoping that "I Know You" by Annabel Kantaria would be a great summer suspense/thriller read. I was a little disappointed though as I had a difficult time getting into the story or really finding a reason to want to know what was going to happen to the characters.
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Thank you Netgalley and publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I absolutely loved I Know You. From start to end this book was able to pull me in and I didn’t see the twist coming from a mile away. This was a solid 4.5 rounded down to a 4 due to the ending feel slightly rushed. I would still definitely recommend this book as it was one of the better reads I have come across this year. Quick read and original story. I am looking forward to reading more from Annabel Kantaria in the future!
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Annabel Kantaria has written what is one of my favourite books so far this year.  "I Know You" is a wonderful suspense novel that features not only rich characters and a brilliant plot but also writing that made me feel as though I were actually part of the story.

Taylor and Jake are a young married couple and have recently moved from sunny California to Jake’s hometown - Croydon, England. However, life in the London suburbs is not what Taylor Watson expected it would be. Far from the West End shops she imagined, she finds herself pregnant and lonely and in need of some real friends. With a husband frequently away on business and only social media to keep her company, Taylor joins a book club and a walking group and before long, Taylor’s hanging out with Anna, Sarah, Simon, and Caroline.  As her pregnancy progresses and her friendships blossom, a sense of unease develops. Nothing’s ever quite as it seems on the surface, and it soon becomes clear that Taylor’s new friends have secrets...

But far more worryingly, one of the group is not being too careful what they post on social media and another is watching all too closely. Who is stalking who and why?

The novel was written in the first person with chapters alternating between different perspectives. The author, Annabel Kantaria moved effortlessly between the two voices that travel easily from pleasure to trepidation.  

The characters were portrayed in a manner that made them totally believable, though flawed and not necessarily likeable. This, however, meant they were engaging, making for a more enjoyable story.

Overall, this was a superb book that gained impetus as it moved towards a wonderfully exciting conclusion. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a great suspenseful thriller.  

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I would like to thank the publisher for giving me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading this!
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Wow, what an intense ride that was. I know you had me from the very beginning all the way to the end. I found myself wanting to pick it up every second I could and once I started reading it again I had troubles putting it down. I know you was a totally thought-provoking, obsessive, nail-biting and exciting read. It has everything from friendships, marriage, lies, obsession and deceit all in which I love to read in a thriller.

The chapters have alternating perspectives between the main character Taylor and the culprit in this story. It definitely had me guessing who it was and wanting to keep reading to find out. I really loved the way the author incorporated the narrative and characters and was able to mix it all up and create this fabulous thriller.
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# I Know You # 
I could have swarn that I had already written my review kit was only this evening I realised I had read the book and I was 99% sure I sent my reviews. Maybe not. So first I want to apologise time for the realises date. It’s a shockingly damn good book that I was totally addicted to almost from the word go. It’s not just a excellent storyline it’s everything about the book, it’s just a not put down book I really thought he was going to be someone who wanted sole control. It’s really enjoyable and drags you are actually there with the characters. Highly recommended
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This book really kept me guessing the whole way through- readers are left in the dark as to exactly who is the 'victim' and who is the 'bad guy' and my views changed accordingly. Its a page turner that will make you double check all privacy settings on your technology and social media as a result! A really good novel I would highly recommend.
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A really good, intense read, well written psychological thriller.  
I liked it a lot.
Interesting story, well developed, keeps you interested until the end!

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC of this book.  This is my honest review.  All opinions are my own.
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I Know You is a gripping thriller that will make you think twice about what you share about yourself on social media.
Taylor has recently moved from the US to London with her husband, Jake, to try and work on their marriage. With Jake being away for work most of the time, Taylor finds herself pregnant and alone and spends her time on social media sharing her day-to-day life and hoping to connect with people. She joins a walking group and then a book club. and finally gets to make friends.

But her friends are not who they appear to be—they all have secrets. Can they be trusted?
And who is the unknown stalker who seems to be following Taylor's social media posts too closely?

I Know You was well-written and fast-paced. I enjoyed this book and was hooked until the end. The characters were relatable and interesting. I would recommend.

Thank you to Annabel Kantaria, Crooked Lane Books, and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Fairly typical thriller--entertaining, but pretty forgettable. The narration alternates between Taylor and an anonymous stalker, who is keeping tabs on their prey via social media. Taylor is a pregnant American who has just moved to London with her husband. He's often away for work, so she's desperate for friends. She spends a lot of time on social media to make up for her lack of social interaction, but when she joins a walking group and a book club, she meets people and assembles a cast of mostly unlikable friends.  Until close to the end, the story is relatively slow and domestic--it's really only the interspersed stalker bits that remind you it's a thriller, but things really escalate around three quarters of the way through.

One thing that annoyed me throughout the story is that the American narrator speaks just like a Brit. It felt very inauthentic. She's only just moved to London, yet she says "Mum", "half eleven", "mates", refers to her next door neighbors as "next-door", etc. It doesn't really matter on the whole scheme of the plot, I suppose, but it distracted me from the story every time Taylor said or thought another thing that was so typically British.

I did enjoy the role social media played in the story--it adds a modern twist to the traditional mystery/thriller themes. And I found the story fast-paced and engaging, so I wouldn't dissuade anyone from reading it, but I also wouldn't particularly recommend it with the multitude of similar books available.
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Taylor is pregnant and mostly alone in London due to her husbands work schedule. They moved for a fresh start. But the past isn't quite finished with them yet. And Taylor is more vulnerable than she knows.

Told in tense, first person, I Know You was a fast yet somehow simultaneously meandering story that combined psychological and domestic thriller elements. Friendship, marriage, betrayal and a character driven plot, the book immediately felt like the makings of something I could easily love.

To its credit, it did a lot right. The chapters were short and flew by. The mysteries (who was the stalker, the stalked, who could and could not be trusted) had me realigning my theories again and again. The illustration of our complacency in our use of social media and how easily those private bits of detail could slip into the wrong hands and be used for ill intent had me majorly intrigued. The eerie stalker P.O.V Chapters hinting at the potential victim and at their potential identity so deliciously drawn out. And the tension built up and up and up, with little release.

But then... it goes on for too long without much actually happening, and once the ball really gets rolling it seems to veer onto an extremely sharp cliff that surprisingly, disappointingly, is a very short drop. The end is abrupt. The reveal feels a bit like cheating. The side characters all end up seeming like red herrings, only in the story for the purpose of throwing off the reader which doesn't matter anyway because following any of the threads in the story wouldn't have brought you to the true identity of the villain. Because other than the fact that we know Taylor's husband is a cheating, lying, untrustworthy asshole there was nothing that really hinted at the conclusion other than the information placed in our laps at the last minute to tie it all together. It remained in the realm of possibility that in hind sight seems like a perfectly reasonable conclusion but really there was nothing of it in the book until it needed to be.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. But it wasn't the kind of pay off I had hoped for. Not to mention that for a character driven book, this particular cast was, to me, mostly unlikable, untrustworthy or I found difficult to understand. Caroline was basically a rich bitch who happened to have lost a child. Sarah had absolutely no boundaries and flirted excessively with Taylor's husband. Anna was aloof, unreliable and consistently hot and cold. Simon was lonely and kind of creepy with the lines he kept crossing with Taylor. And Taylor was constantly desperate, annoyingly passive and kind of weirdly stalkerish herself.

And the villains motivations... ugh. The story really boiled down to loneliness, jealousy, shitty relationships, betrayals and babies. And the fact that everyone wants Taylor's husband was so incredibly frustrating.

It sounds like I hated it but for the most part I really think I enjoyed it. It was just the wrapping up of it all that left me feeling disappointed. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting - Perhaps more interesting play between the dynamics of characters, characters who played a role that did more than provide spaces for readers to place their suspicions. a more embedded and more thoroughly interesting and satisfying answer to all the mystery. A villain that was just a bit more than a jealous, hysterical person, something perhaps a little more different to what I seem to find over and over again in domestic/psychological thrillers involving two leading women.

What I keep getting are premises that seem promising and end up with big reveals that come out of no where purely to catch people entirely off guard, characters that are terribly unlikable or worse uninteresting and mostly there to just antagonize the main character and women fighting over men.

For all the ranting though the book has its moments. I really liked seeing Taylor's husband drop all the pretenses and finally reveal his real ugly side when shit hit the fan. I loved some moments when the stalker called Taylor out on all her shit. Though I didn't like the characters I could eventually empathize with a couple. Taylor's isolation and desperation for friends was at times relatable. It certainly highlighted her vulnerability. I did feel for her feeling betrayed, and I still, despite all the negatives, finished the book in one sitting (for whatever that says).

*I have received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

3/5 - An intriguing, easy to consume, standard domestic thriller.
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Taylor Watson has recently quit her job with the airlines and relocated from the United States to England with her husband, Jake. Jake travels a lot for his job, leaving his pregnant wife, Taylor, alone in a new city with no friends. She spends a lot of time online to pass the time, but then eventually meets some new friends through a walking group and a book club. Taylor is now friends with Anna, Simon, Sarah, and Caroline but each of them seem to be hiding something and someone could be in grave danger.

Most of this book is told in the first person by Taylor. However, there are other short chapters also told in the first person by an unknown stalker who is closely following someone else's online activity. None of the five characters are completely likable, so it's not too hard to imagine any of them in the role of stalker. It's clear something bad is going to happen to someone by the end of the book, but the reader is left guessing as to what that will be. I was able to figure out some of the secrets the characters were keeping before they were revealed, but didn't guess the biggest reveal about the stalker and his/her motivation. The book is fast-paced and kept my interest from the very beginning. The dramatic conclusion to the book is a bit of a let-down, but overall this is a very entertaining thriller in which the part social media plays is very scary because of how realistic it is.

I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Crooked Lane. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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