Cover Image: When I Was You

When I Was You

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(4.5/5) 😮 Whoa! This was a dark and twisty book that I devoured in two days. When Kelly Medina finds out there's another Kelly Medina in her town, she wonders if it's a mistake and decides she must find her. She eventually does and they become friends. I thought Kelly #1 was a bit disturbed and a stalker as she was always showing up at Kelly 2's home and wanted to know where she and her baby son were and what they were up to. I found her a bit annoying at times but then would actually feel a little sorry for her as well as I figured she was lonely with her husband working out of town and her son away at college. It's hard to say too much about the book without giving things away. The twist towards the end surprised me, though, and the ending....it just blew me away. When I Was You was quite the page-turner and a very enjoyable read.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.
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This was such a switch up of a thriller. When Kelly Medina answers her phone one day, she doesn’t realize how much that one call would change her life. She receives a call from her son’s pediatrician confirming an appointment, the only problem, her son’s in college and away from home. It turns out that there’s another Kelly Medina living in her small town in California. Setting out to discover who this other Kelly Medina is, Kelly throws caution to the wind and starts to stalk her. Eventually befriending the young mother, Kelly starts out just wanting to help the young single mother. Her helping though, quickly turns into stalking and obsession. No matter what her friends and family say, she’s not letting up. 
But this story isn’t just about Kelly’s obsession with the younger woman. It’s also a poignant story of a relationship in need of help. Kelly and her husband have been married for many years, and it’s not a good marriage. Having their son soon after the wedding, Kelly’s husband accuses her of getting pregnant on purpose. As you read along, you realize that Rafael Medina is not a good husband or father. He sounds like a narcissist and a predator. His role in this story is rather a large one, even though he reads like a minor character, at least until the end. 
This book is nothing like I thought it would be when I started. Ms. Garza has a way of only letting you have a little of the whole story at a time, you have to keep reading because you need to know what’s going to happen next. You have to know who the real evil person is. You want to know the whole truth, and the only way to find out is to read until the very end. The writing is superb, there’s great character development, and a compelling story arc. You’re drawn into the mind of the main character, you feel her feelings, but at the same time you know that there’s something going on that you just don’t understand, it leaves you restless and worried. Just like a good thriller should. 
I highly recommend this surprisingly suspenseful novel for fans of psychological thrillers. You won’t be disappointed.
**I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley and this is my honest and voluntary review.
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Book Review: When l Was You by Amber Garza
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pub Date: Aug 25th

This is my first novel by Amber Garza and WOW!!!!!!!! I never expected it to be as twisted as it is!!!!!!! I could tell by the sypnosis that it was going to be a good thriller but I didn't expect as GOOD as it was. I devoured this book in one day. Would have sped through it sooner if life hadn't of gotten in the way lol. This is definitely one you don't want to miss if you are a thriller fan. Thank you to Netgalley,  Harlequin Books, & St. Martin's Press for my honest review.
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This book was totally not what I expected. At some point all psychological thrillers pretty much have the same story line. And, it seems that this one does too....but then you keep reading and the story changes. I couldn't put this down. The story drew me in, I felt like I was watching it all unfold in front of me. I felt connected to each character in the story as if I knew them in real life. I definitely recommend this book if you want a thrilling page turner.
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This was kind of weird. I didn't love the storyline and it just got even weirder as it went along. I enjoyed the ending though.
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Ok... THIS was the perfect escape read for me during the stressful week of moving.

What a heck of a messy ride this one was. When I was You is quite the dark and disturbing read with very unlikeable characters. But, I feel that this was definitely the author's intent which works very well in this one.
The author does an amazing job keeping her readers on their toes and wondering... who is telling the truth and which character you should or shouldn't trust. 

I am very picky with my thrillers but this one kept my interest. This one touches on mental health issues and I have to say I did kind of guess what was going on... but not fully. I really enjoyed Garza's writing style and will for sure be checking out the next novel that she writes! 

I'd recommend this one for all my thriller fans!

3.75/5 stars

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Harlequin/Trade Publishing for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Pub date: 8/25/20
Published to GR: 8/6/20
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While I considered the things I want to say about this book, I quickly realized that most everything I want to say about it is a spoiler.  When I Was You is a psychological thriller where every twist and turn is one that you want to be surprised by as you read it.  And, there are many delightfully dark and twisted surprises for which to look forward.

What I Loved

I loved the TWO unreliable narrators.  They both have significant mental health disorders, which makes the narration both fascinating and cumbersome.  An unhealthy mind is complicated to process, but it is also interesting to see what happens when a disorder occurs.  I felt that the depiction was reasonably accurate, and I loved the inclusion of a counselor and therapy for one of the narrators.  I found that to be a very realistic portrayal.

As cumbersome as the stories narration is, it is also what builds the suspense throughout the book. Nothing creates suspense like knowing you have no idea what lengths a character will go and what they will do next.  Chills went down my spine with the first few pages, and that feeling did not let up until after the story ended.

There are plenty of twists and turns and surprises.  Even if you predicted one twist, wait because there will be plenty more you never anticipated.  And that is true to the very end, where there is one last twist that will leave you delightfully uncomfortable and wondering what happened after the pages stop.

The characters that are not plagued by a mental health disorder (there are only a few) are very relatable and the ones who are suffering, you can’t help but feel weary compassion for them.  Overall, I felt that characters were developed nicely with complex layers derived from a series of actions and consequences.

To Read or Not to Read

If you love psychological thrillers with unnerving endings and multiple unreliable narrators, this story is just what you are looking for to provide lots of thrills and chills and all those delightfully dark, twisty things that make the genre so fun.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This one was a page turner from the very beginning! 

Kelly is dealing with a lot. However, we aren't really sure what it is yet. Her husband and best friend are very cautious of her actions and she seems to be processing some kind of trauma or event. When she learns there's someone in town with the exact same name as her it instantly intrigues her because Medina is not a very common name.  After a chance meeting where she and the new Kelly Medina strike up a conversation, it leads them fairly quickly to a new friendship. However, why are her best friend and her husband so worried about this relationship?  The new Kelly seems to give us more questions than answers initially but we end up on a wild ride of turmoil, unhappiness in her marriage and the struggle to find herself again.
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Very good story, once again I was transported back in time with the first couple chapters of this book. This will make one take a hard look at their own life and what really goes on behind closed doors and windows. Easy read, grabs you right away. Will be recommending this for anyone in a reading slump or wanting to read something new. great book
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2.5

I love this genre, but this one was just okay for me. Some parts were a bit too unbelievable (such as that a nurse would give out personal info on another patient, and that reveal was a huge component of the entire story). 
Some parts were quite entertaining, though it didn't balance out with the over-the-top elements. Some issues with the POV voice made it hard to connect with fully. The pacing was a bit off as well.
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This book was absolute fire! This book was You for the mom set and I loved every minute of it. 

Our main protagonist, Kelly, is a middle-aged housewife who spends more time alone than she does with her husband and son.  A past event and possible mental illness is alluded to multiple times by both Kelly and her best friend, Christine, so the reader is suspicious that Kelly may be an unreliable narrator. 

Early on in the novel Kelly becomes obsessed with another woman who has her exact name. Kelly becomes obsessed with this younger Kelly and her young son, Sullivan.  As a reader you move back between cheering for Kelly and cringing at moments where she seems to be mentally unstable. This book is a quick read and an absolute roller coaster.  This is also one of my favorite reads so far this summer. Five stars
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Thank you Net Galley and Harlequin, WHOA What a book!!!! I did figure out most of it pretty early But that didn’t stop me from loving every chapter.  It was a fast and fun read.  I just LOVED IT!!
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I was looking for some escape reading and When I Was You ended up being a great choice. It is a messy ride and doesn't tie up neatly at the end but it definitely kept my head spinning and was totally engrossing. It's a tough story that is quite dark and twisty and does touch upon mental health issues and abuse if those are triggering for you as a reader. 

None of the characters are particularly likable, which I think was the author's intent. If you struggle with an unreliable narrator, this may not work for you...The plus of this is that she really keeps you on your toes about who's story you really should believe...and you will be guessing until the very end.

 For a thriller, which I often struggle with, this one kept my attention throughout and definitely got my mind off of real-life so I would call it a win. I really enjoyed Garza's writing style and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next!

Thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for a gifted copy.
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This one just wasn't for me. I couldn't seem to move past the fact that the entire premise of this novel hinged on the next to impossible fact of a nurse breaking the hippocratic oath and giving out the personal information of one patient's family to another who was completely unrelated. The resolution was a bit too Gone Girl for my taste, but I think fans of twisty thrillers who are looking for a fast paced beach read will enjoy this one.
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Getting a phone call about a well-baby appointment when your son is 19 was definitely unexpected.

When Kelly Medina realized the office had made a mistake because someone had the same name as she did, she had to find out who this other Kelly was.

Kelly did find out who the other Kelly was...she was a single mother living in a small apartment with no one to help her with the baby.

Well...now that Kelly found Kelly, she was going to help her especially since she was lonely herself.

Tension abounds. and you will question what’s going on and who the “new” Kelly really is. 

One day the “old” Kelly finds out who she is or does she find out? We are kept in the dark.

This information definitely ramped up my curiosity and apprehension.

WHEN I WAS YOU kept me turning the pages as I knew the ominous plot was heading for more, and I was correct.

This book is a twisty, creepy, psychological thriller with a very intriguing, clever story line and characters that have unhealthy obsessions.

This book will definitely keep suspense fans on the edge of your seat, have you shaking your head, and keep you guessing because it is just brilliant.

READ IT...I bet you won’t figure it out, BUT I know you will love it.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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When we first meet the first Kelly Medina, it’s pretty clear she is unhinged. Who wouldn’t be? Her husband rents an apartment two hours away where he lives during the week and her only child is away at college. Kelly is all alone in her big house.

So when she finds out there is a another Kelly Medina in town, a younger version of herself complete with a baby boy, Kelly springs into action. She has to meet this woman. And when she does, she quickly inserts herself into the others Kelly’s life.

And it’s so creepy and cringey. It’s like watching a train wreck. But don’t worry, the worst is yet to come. It definitely brings You to mind, minus adorable Joe (is it unhealthy to think a serial killer is cute?). And perhaps Fatal Attraction although I’m thinking more Single White Female.

But When I Was You is one of those books that tells things from different viewpoints. Without giving too much away, it’s a fun one to watch unfold. And that’s all I’ll say. Lips zipped because this one is worth checking out and I don’t want to ruin it.

Special thanks to Mira Books and Netgalley for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out August 25. Preorder your copy!
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Oh my goodness this was such a great book! I completely enjoyed the first person perspective. I loved the way she talks to the other Kelly in her mind. I loved not knowing what was real and what wasn’t. I loved the shocking twists and jaw droppers. And I loved the ending! When I Was You checks off all the boxes to make a phenomenal psychological thriller and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Definite 5 stars from me and I can’t wait to read more books by Amber Garza! 

Huge thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reading this book in advance!
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Book: When I Was You
Author: Amber Garza
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, Mira Books, for sending me an ARC. 

So, yeah, I thought had the ending figured out to this one and that’s not how it went, at all. This book messed with me so much and I had a great time trying to figure out what was actually going on. We don’t get the whole story right away and are left trying to figure out what is going on. Plus, the characters are all holding important information from us. I liked how the author did this. I thought everything was well put together and thought out. Even though the ending did bother me, it did actually make a lot of sense. Although the other take would have been better, in my book. I hate not being able to say much, because this is a thriller and it’s not out yet. 

Let’s talk about Kelly. Kelly is one of those characters who has a backstory with a lot of depth. The main thing with her character is that we don’t know her entire story and what actually brought her to this point. It is very clear that something has happened to set her over the edge. Plus, the way the other characters treat her make it very clear that something is wrong, but we just don’t know what that is. She meets another person with the same name who has a baby. This sets off a whole chain of events. The way the other characters reacted also implies that there has been a history of this with Kelly. The way that Amber writes it also makes you wonder if this is real or just made up. As we read, we do get more of Kelly’s back story and it just makes you wonder what is real and what isn’t. 

As we learn more about Kelly and her past, things really start to get crazy. The more we learn, the more you find yourself questioning what you are reading. I mean, it seems so far fetched that you can’t help but feel like everything is made up. Plus, Kelly is not the most reliable of narrators, which makes everything that much more difficult to make out. It also makes it so difficult to put the book down. 

To me this is just a sign of what a good author Amber is. The way she portrays everything just has you guessing and on the edge of your seat. She pulls you in one direction, only to pull you another a few pages later. She crafts everything in a way that makes you question what you are reading, which gives you a chance to kind of form your own opinion as to what is happening. When it all comes together, you do kind of end of walking away thinking that it did make sense. I just love how smart and well put together this book is. 

I had a fun time reading this and if you are looking for something softer than Gilian Flynn, I highly recommend this title. 
This book comes out on August 25, 2020. 

Youtube: https://youtu.be/i6rhwK-CTC8
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I thought I knew what was going on then Bam! I was totally thrown! Had to go back a few pages
because I thought I missed something. Throughly Enjoyable!
Kelly Medina is lonely and longing for some companionship. Her husband works far away and occasionally comes home on weekends and her son left for college a year ago. When the doctor’s office mixes her up with someone else with her same exact name who has a baby boy, Kelly starts to fantasize about the other Kelly who has a new son and a whole life
ahead of her. Her curiosity gets the better of her and she shows up at the appointment to meet the other Kelly and her son. She instantly feels a connection and becomes friends with her. She dotes on the baby buying him everything and attempting to spend every free moment with them. Kelly becomes obsessed and wants to make her home full again by any means possible. She longs for a baby to hold and take care of and give her a purpose again but she may be taking things too far and having the opposite effect! My loyalties kept flip flopping as the story went on! I wasn’t sure who to feel bad for or who to trust!
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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This Author is really great. I really loved this book. This tale was highly engrossing and highly recommendable!!
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