Cover Image: Before You Knew My Name

Before You Knew My Name

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Member Reviews

Two women escaping from their current situations to start fresh in New York City become victim and advocate. While Alice meets an untimely death at the hands of another, Ruby is jogger who came across Alice's body and in doing so finds herself on a path to get justice for the city's latest Jane Doe. Through the eyes of the victim and through Ruby we learn what happened to Alice and who she was.. and who did this to her. This moving novel touches on toxic masculinity, the vulnerability women feel in social situations, and the uneasiness we face as independent women. This debut novel is timely and a compelling read.
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This felt like a level up from the common “there’s a dead person and we don’t know who they are” storyline. I liked the attachment between Ruby and Alice.
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A solid mix of book club and crime fic, this please a variety of readers. A recommended purchase for most collections.
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Two women are connect by death- one is dead and the other finds her body. It's an interesting set up for a book, but ultimately it fell a little short for me. The writing was hard to get into and I didn't connect with either woman. The story was really sad and some of the other characters were kinda creepy and weird. Overall, excellent premise, but didn't quite connect with me.
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Wow! I didn't really know what to expect from this book and it blew me away. I did request this thinking it was a fast paced thriller with a unique perspective - from the murdered girl. But this was completely different and such a unique, emotional and timely read. 

Instead of focusing on the murder and the identity of the killer, we actually focus on the victims. This is an in depth look at the lives, perspectives and emotions of the women at the center of the crimes. It was heartbreaking read and I applaud the author for putting a spotlight on the dangers that women face every day in this country. I also appreciated the all too real dialogue about "just another dead girl."

This does have a slow start but it so worth the wait.
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A completely unexpected take on a murder mystery. Instead of focusing on the killer of a young woman in NYC, the focus is on the dead girl herself, and the jogger who found her. Once they meet in this tragic way they are bound to each other: Alice Lee begging from beyond to know what happened to her and why, Ruby trying desperately to figure out who Alice was and why this happened to her. Written in what I finally understand “sweeping” prose to mean, this is a beautifully written story about a tragedy. 
I truly think that Jacqueline Bublitz just created a brand new genre. This can’t fit in thrilled, murder mystery, general fiction, or drama alone. This was a whole new angle and I loved reading it so much. While a very sad story, it was the perfect take to center the woman who lost her life to an entitled man instead of the man himself. 
Highly recommend this read!
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I couldn’t get into it. The story sounds interesting but I keep picking it up and staring at the page, wishing I wasn’t reading it. It might get better as you go so I can’t say it’s a terrible book.
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Before You Knew My Name (Jacqueline Bublitz) is a different kind of story. Alice (one of the main characters) tells us she has to die before we learn her name. Alice then fills the reader in as to what happened to put her at the place and time where she died. Ruby's (our other main character) story is told to show us how she ends up being the one to find Alice. This isn't an edge of your seat thriller, but rather a calm story that pulls the reader in, wanting to know what is next. I want to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an early (US) copy to review.
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The power of this book was really in the final quarter.

I had very high hopes for Before You Knew My Name and if you’d asked me ahead of time, I would have told you I was predicting five stars for this novel. On the surface, it ticked all the right boxes for me: Murder mystery, emotional depth, and some important statements regarding identity, trauma, and violence toward women. 

From the synopsis, readers are told this is the story of two women - one living, one dead - who are now forever bonded. Ruby discovers Alice’s body and Alice originally becomes a Jane Doe. Ruby longs to give this woman an identity, but she is also grappling with past pain she aimed to escape, as well as the trauma finding Alice’s brutally murdered body. 

All of this makes the mystery quite unique. Adding to the innovative idea is the fact that the story is told from the dead woman’s perspective. 

That was part of my issue with the story. As it continues, things are beautifully done, but for a good chunk of the book, it jumps around from who Alice was to who Ruby is and the arrangement felt a bit chaotic to me. It was hard to connect with the story because of this. It also takes a very long time to get to the main themes. In addition to these gripes, I did feel segments of the narrative were too drawn out. 

Ultimately, I didn’t feel fully captivated until I was rounding the final bend. I love that the author examined PTSD, although the illustration of it in Ruby was often delivered in a rather clinical way instead of just letting it surface as it does in the character.

I also really appreciated what the author had to say about violence toward women and what we are taught, as women, to accept. I think it all felt frighteningly real. It is for this reason that I added an extra half star, as most of this book was a middle of the road read for me. 

Many reading friends have adored this book more than I did and I do understand why. I think it is a crucial read with poignant themes, despite the aspects that didn’t work well for me. I would recommend giving it a try if you enjoy contemporary dramas and/or mysteries. 

3.5 stars

I am immensely grateful to Atria/Emily Bestler Books and NetGalley for my digital review copy. All opinions are my own.
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a heart breaking, heart healing story of two women, not so different who finds themselves connected by the murder of one of these.  written like poetry and philosophy, with characters you care about.  Moments I would get confused as to whose story was being told and there was a moment when i thought the reveal of who did it was someone I did not want it to be.  just a line or two, not sure if that was deliberate or not.  but a beautiful moving thought provoking story
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Alice Lee arrives in NYC after fleeing an abusive relationship in her small town in Wisconsin. Ruby Jones arrives in NYC on the same day, leaving an unhealthy relationship in Australia.  The two girls’ world collide when Ruby finds Alice’s body while out jogging, known only as a Jane Doe. Ruby then sets out to determine Alice’s identity, as well as her killer. Before You Knew My Name is a haunting and heart wrenching story that will stay with you long after the last page is turned. The eloquent prose will reel you in, as Alice narrates her short and tragic life, and Ruby’s dogged determination to solve the mystery of Alice is spellbinding. This is a powerful and beautifully written story, and the deliberate pacing sets the perfect tone.  Quite a book. I received an arc from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Alice arrived in NYC with 600 bucks and a stolen camera. Just one month into her new life, she becomes NYC’s next Jane Doe. Ruby meanwhile left her life in Australia to avoid an ex, only to be out on a run and find the dead body of Alice Lee. Ruby is traumatized, but something pulls her to find out what happened to this mysterious girl she found. Can she bring closure to Alice’s life?

This book was so freaking unique. You find out right from the start that Alice is dead. The timeline jumps between when Alice first moved to NYC, to when she is killed, and how she works to help Ruby find out what happened to her. This book was heartbreaking but also left me wanting the best for all the characters. I dont want to say too much and give anything away, but I really enjoyed this one.
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This was a new author for me . I never read anything from this author before but for the most part I really liked this book. I thought the whole story was amazing. I honestly didn’t want this book to end. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with on the next book they write. I usually judge a book from the cover because for me it shows if it’s going to be interesting or not and I loved the book.
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Do you enjoy thrillers that are more than just a quick twisty plot? Then this one might be for you. This book has exquisite writing and was more than just your typical slice-and-dice thriller.  The author had an interesting way of presenting such concepts as life after death, loneliness, and the powers of friendship. A great debut book and I will be looking forward to more books by this Bublitz.
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such a sad, sad tale of a life unraveled and taken too short.  A life of such promise extinguished too soon.  Another women looking for answers and coming into your story and making it a part of hers.  Traumatic, heartbreaking and soul searching in a city full of promise where women are warned that it might not be safe by men who might not be who they want you to believe.

Thank you NetGalley for this arc
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Man, what a gorgeous premise, and what a gorgeous premise. This kept me turning pages late into the night and I'm so glad it did - a really satisfying read!
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I had a hard time getting into the story of Before You Knew My Name.  If I put it down for a day or two and started to read, I couldn't remember what had happened who who was who.  That tells me the story didn't grab my attention and wasn't for me.  I got about 23% in and decided I have too many books to read that I didn't want to waste my time on this one.  I know from Goodreads, there are several people who really liked this.  The story wasn't poorly written, just wasn't for me.
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Before You Knew My Name, was beautifully written and thought provoking. I really enjoyed the unraveling of the characters, the intertwining of storylines, and connections. The concept of two women, arriving in NYC on the same day and meeting in death and guiding each other’s stories, one in life and one through death was unique. I look forward to read what Jacqueline Bublitz comes up with next, this was not your typical mystery or ghost story, it had much deeper, distinctive elements. 

Big thank you to NetGalley and Atria for inviting me to read, Before You Knew My Name, in exchange for my honest review.
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The story," she says, "always belonged to Alice."

This is a tough story. It's dark and sometimes hard to read, but it dares you to not look away. To wonder what happens when you stay and hear the story.

This is the story of two women that arrive in New York on the same day. But one women ends up murdered, discarded in the rocks. And the other woman finds her and can't stop thinking about her. Who is this murdered woman and what happened to her?

The story is so compelling. Alice is telling us her story after she is gone, slowly revealing what lead her to New York and what happened before her death. We also learn Ruby's story and how she ended up here. They are similar, so similar, and yet so different. It's hard to stop reading. You want to know what changed the narrative - how could this happen to Alice? How did it not happen to Ruby? It's so good and so heartbreaking and I loved reading it as much as it broke my heart. Few stories can move me so much and also flare the rage of being so tired of woman being murdered. I'll definitely look for more work from this author.

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
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This book tells the story of two single women who came to NYC to escape their troubles. Ruby flew in from Australia after finally realizing that her boyfriend was going to marry another woman but wanted to keep her on the side. She brought along her inheritance from her grandmother so she could just enjoy life in the Big Apple for a while. Alice Lee is an 18 year old poorly educated girl, orphaned after her mother’s suicide. She moved in with a older male dog walker who rented out a room to her but became a close platonic friend. The drama begins when Ruby, running through a park at early dawn, finds Alice’s dead body. Alice continues to observe what happen next even using her ghostly powers to influence events.
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