Cover Image: We Were Never Here

We Were Never Here

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Member Reviews

Best friends Emily and Kristin travel a lot together, but last year's trip ended in tragedy. This year is a chance for the girls to put the past behind them and finally have the opportunity to bond.

However, on their extended trip to Chile, things start going wrong almost immediately.

I love all of Andrea Bartz books, and this twisty thriller is no exception. The plot moves fast and the dialogue is realistic. A good, fast read.
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Thank you to NetGalley & Ballantine for this ARC! I’ve read all three of Andrea Bartz’s books and all of them keep me wanting more. The imagery and suspense in this book was on par with The Wife Between Us or the Woman in the Window, and I enjoyed it even more than Lost Night or The Herd. I had a few questions at the end, but was ultimately left appeased after devouring the entire book in 24 hours!
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Emily and Kristen are long time best friends, who love to travel together. However, after 2 trips in a row ending with dead bodies, Emily is starting to question how well she really knows Kristen. Emily is traumatized by the events of their most recent trip and Kristen hardly seems bothered. On top of that, Emily has a new boyfriend and Kristen has never approved of any of her relationships. 
First off, holy toxic friendship. Emily's struggles with trying to live a normal life without depending on Kristen for everything anymore does not go well. The stalking, blackmail, all sorts of manipulation here. 
At first I had a hard time getting into this book, but things picked up in the second half and I flew through it. For the most part I enjoyed this book but that last page - WHAT? I don't know how I feel about that.. 
This was my first book by this author and I will probably be going to check out her others. 
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballentine Books for the arc!
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Best friends Kristen and Emily are backpacking through the mountains of Chili, this year’s getaway location, when tragedy strikes. After a night out, Emily returns to the hotel room to find Kristen covered in blood with the dead body of the attractive backpacker she brought back to the room. Kristen swears she was attacked and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense but the incident appears too similar to what happened to Emily on the last trip. Unable to believe this could happen twice, Emily begins to question Kristen's past, her motives, and how dangerous she might actually be. 

We Were Never Here is a cunning new trilling by author Andrea Bartz following two girls who find trouble in exotic locales. The story primarily follows Emily who is dealing with the trauma a sexual assault, occurring on their last girls getaway, which resulted in "one" of them killing the attacker and both girls disposing of the body. Just as Emily thinks her life is returning to "normal" when on their next trip a shockingly similar incident occurs to Kristen, leaving yet another body to cover up, throwing Emily into full blown panic. Once back home, Emily throws herself into her job and a potential new relationship while trying to end her relationship with Kristen. Only Kristen is not willing to give up so easily causing Emily to look closer at Kristen's tragic past and her possible motive for befriending Emily. The novel perfectly constructs a tale of obsession, manipulation, and murder only to have you question everything revealed...a must read for 2021!
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Andrea Bartz is at the top of her game with this book, and definitely is in my top thriller writers I'll pick up *anything* by. Her characters and plots are so tangible, so close to being a friend, or a friend of a friend, that the creeping dread in each book, especially this newest one, are palpable. Will very much be looking forward to her next!
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I very much enjoyed this novel, telling the story of a young woman whose life turns into a nightmare following an incidental killing while on a trip.
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I had been looking forward to this title since reading Bartz’s The Herd, and this twisty thriller does not disappoint. I look forward to recommending this title to fellow thrill seekers.
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First, thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for letting me read and review “We Were Never Here.” 

I’m always such a harsh critic of thrillers, so quickly some can fall flat, or the killer comes out of nowhere, and there was no possible way the reader could have played along. Others, such as this book, have really fantastic high points and disappointing low points. 

The beginning started out promising, with a set of best friends, who committed a terrible act, based on self defense. However, from that point on, the story became a little redundant. The fact that the exact same unspeakable circumstances happened to the duo a second time, is what first made me doubt if I would like this book or not. It seemed a little too easy, rehashing the same events. 

Throughout the middle of the book, it was somewhat mundane, where we begin the creeping doubt that the main character’s friend isn’t as innocent as she seems. The problem was, because the events were so similar already, I’d already deduced that by page 15. It needed a little more subtlety. 

Near the end, we start to have the narrator question herself, but it only happens for about 20 pages. I wished the author had been sprinkling that doubt throughout the book more, so that it confused the reader and we’d have to make our own conclusion of “who done it.” I would have been more invested and would be trying to remember little details that led me to my conclusion instead of it being spelled out for me. I get that this was done for the ending twist, but there was something disjointed there. 

The best part of the book, the last page and the twist, did exactly what they were supposed to do. Completely flip the reader’s perspective and wonder if It was the main character behind it all along. Since we’ve only seen the book from her point of view, she could have been leading us astray the entire time. The once thing that I couldn’t quite believe or that felt off to me, was why the new boyfriend would readily agree to it? Was she setting him up as well? Did he know the truth all along? I’m glad that I was left with those questions but I felt there could have been more information on him throughout the book that could have led the reader into a more defined opinion.
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I read Bartz book The Herd and was not impressed but when Netgalley offered this book, I figured I would give her another try.. What in the world!!!! I love a little crazy in books and I couldn't put this one down. I was on the edge with the suspense!!! It was so good! I rate it a 4.4
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4.5 ⭐️
I docked a half star because the ending left me with questions. But, overall, I loved this story! Once I jumped in, I was totally in and barely stopped to finish. I could relate to Emily and was with her the entire time. I felt how deep her and Kristen’s friendship went, empathized with her anxiety, her careful cautiousness, her unraveling psyche. I felt early on that it was too easy to see where it was going, but because of the way the main characters are written and how interested I was in their relationship and the psychology of it, almost, I didn’t care and just went along for the ride. I was pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns and had me questioning things too. This was such a fun read and I would definitely recommend. Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House and Ballantine Bantam Dell for an ARC copy of this book.
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I’ve loved all of Andrea Bartz’s books so far, but WE WERE NEVER HERE takes things to ANOTHER LEVEL. In the book, best friends Emily and Kristen are having the time of their life in Chile when Emily returns to their hotel to find that Kristen has killed a backpacker in self-defense—an act that’s eerily similar to what happened on their trip the previous year in Cambodia, when Kristen saved Emily from a sexual assault by killing her attacker. Now, the friends have gotten rid of two bodies together, and as they return to their homes on opposite sides of the world, Emily gets to work trying to process the horror of their latest trip. But when Kristen shows up unexpectedly on her door and starts to insert herself into every corner of Emily’s life, Emily begins to wonder what really happened in Chile—and who Kristen really is. This book is SUCH a wild, pulse-pounding, creepy ride. There were so many moments that gave me full-body chills, and I was completely captivated by all the surprising turns the story took. In that respect, WE WERE NEVER HERE is 100% pure fun, but in others, it’s a deeply sobering look at gaslighting and toxic relationships. Andrea Bartz has a way of writing lines and passages that powerfully crystallize aspects of the female experience, and I particularly loved those moments here. And speaking of the writing: on a line by line basis, the prose was impeccable, with vivid descriptions, snappy dialogue, and figurative language so gorgeous and clever I was often stopped in my tracks. This is a crazy, unforgettable story, and the perfect summer read.
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Two best friends for 10 plus years, Emily and Kristen enjoy taking yearly exotic trips together. On their current trip to Chile, Emily returns to their room on their last night and finds Kristen has killed Paolo, the cute backpacker, she took back to their room. Kristen claims it was in self-defense. Now this is not the first time they find themselves in this position. A year earlier, on their trip to Cambodia, Emily was in a similar situation. They find themselves once again trying to cover up a murder committed on foreign soil.

When they return to their homes, Kristen acts like nothing really happened but Emily is struggling. With Kristen acting so strangely, Emily does some digging and finds out things she didn't know about her so called best friend and starts to question everything she ever knew about her.

This was a fantastic book. It was suspenseful and I thought the ending was brilliant. I will be recommending "We Were Never Here" to my friends.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House-Ballantine for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Kirsten and Emily are best friends who meet once a year and travel to a new exotic location. Until their last two destinations leave dead bodies behind. While Emily slowly is haunted, Kirsten seems not to be affected. Emily is trying to forget what happened so she doesn’t sabotage her relationship with a new man but Kirsten seems to be determined to monopolize Emily’s time. As Emily gets more uncomfortable with her friends motivations she begins questioning the past and realizing she may not know her friend as well as she believed. 
The authors previous novel “ The Herd” was one of last years most buzz worthy books.  I found the wrap up a little contrived but I enjoyed the crazy girl vibes and it has me side eyeing acquaintances.
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When death strikes Emily and Kristen’s annual reunion trip, it seems like a violent tragedy.

But when it happens again the next year, that’s can’t be a coincidence, right? Last year on their annual reunion trip between best friends Emily and Kristen, another backpacker ended up dead. This year, Kristen killed a cute backpacker in self-defense after he attacked her. Both deaths were oddly similar.

Once back home, things don’t go back to normal, especially not when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit. Kristen is Emily’s closest friend and she like they knew each other better than anyone else, but now she’s wondering if they know each other at all.

And. Ok. I freaking loved this! Twist after twist! The last line of the book had the wheels in my head turning. Also, I love reading about crazy, toxic friendships/frenemies and Emily and Kristen definitely fit that category.  I haven’t read any of Andrea Bartz other books, but I’m definitely checking them out now.

**Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this. Review to be posted on goodreads and blog two weeks before publication date
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We Were Never Here is tension-filled, compulsively readable thriller that explores the bounds of female friendship. While on a backpacking trip in Cambodia, Emily and her best friend find themselves covering up a murder committed in self-defense. When they end up in similar position the following year, Emily begins questioning Kristen’s unsettling behaviors, revealing troubling truths about the past. I found Emily to be a highly relatable character as she struggles to cope with past trauma; however, her naivety regarding Kristen was very frustrating. Plotwise, there are some pacing problems, particularly in the middle of the book, but the story really takes off in the second half. Although predictable at times, I ended up enjoying this unnerving tale of obsession. It reminded me of some of my favorite classic stories about dangerously codependent relationships. Thank you to Random House - Ballantine and NetGalley for providing me with an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
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A creepy look at friends who are involved in an assault and murder while backpacking that becomes a stalking and a question of how well you know your so called bestie Builds tension throughout with well drawn characters. An easy read but gets a little convoluted towards the end.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
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Wow, Andrea Bartz continues to put out solid thrillers! 

Two friends, Emily and Kristin have been lifelong friends, they reunite for a trip to Chili when an incident changes their lives. Both girls have troubled pasta and as they navigate through their lives are becoming unhinged and out of control. 

I thought I saw the end coming but I didn’t. Such a great book! 
Thanks to NetGalley for my advanced ebook copy.
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I enjoyed the book. What a ride. Everything was so relatable in the way you feel like it could easily happen to anyone. 
The opening scenes in Chile, I felt like I was right there. I loved the background story with Cambodia. There was a mystery to the book with the friend Kristen. I kept turning the pages, eager to see the drama unfold.
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Emily and Kristen are the very best of friends.  They’ve had each other’s backs since meeting in college and have grown closer through the years, even more so after Emily is assaulted on one of their girl’s trips.  So when a year goes by and they take another trip and Kristen is assaulted, is it really just coincidence?  And how these two best friends handle the aftermath of the assault, did they really NEED to do what they did, or is Kristen manipulating events to keep Emily close?  I thought this was a really good read, great description and characters, with a lot of insight into Emily’s thoughts and feelings.  I wish the very last page would’ve been left out (I just always hate when authors have to try that one last twist), but aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed!

Special Note:  Thank you from the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I found this book to finally have a refreshing and unique plot for a thriller. Immensely enjoyable and hard to put down. A must read!
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