*An Amazon Best Book of the Month*
*An Apple Best Book of the Month*
Eight cryptic words.
Lifetimes of ruin.
Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. Who was his father if not the loving man Wayland knew? Terrified, Wayland keeps the note a secret, but his reasons for being afraid are just beginning.
Eight years later, Wayland makes a shocking discovery and becomes certain the note is the key to unlocking a past his mother and others in his town want to keep buried.
With the help of two friends, Wayland searches for the truth. Together they uncover strange messages scribbled in his father’s old books, a sinister history behind the town’s most powerful family, and a bizarre tragedy possibly linked to Wayland’s birth. Each revelation raises more questions and deepens Wayland’s suspicions of everyone around him. Soon, he’ll regret he ever found the note, trusted his friends, or believed in such a thing as the truth.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am is an ingenious, addictive, and shattering tale of grief, obsession, and fate as eight words lead to lifetimes of ruin.
A Note From the Publisher
“[An] exceptional thriller…Rickstad has raised his game to a new level.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Rickstad ratchets up the suspense, filling Wayland’s investigations with misdirection, shadowy characters, and gothic elements. There’s a sense of dread throughout the book, but the final plot twist is a jaw-dropper. Recommended for readers who like their thrillers dark and twisted.”
"Wicked and smart. Everything you want in a great thriller. A smart, very well written book with whiplash-inducing twists and turns that I never saw coming. I Am Not Who You Think I Am kept me reading late into the night."
-Adrian McKinty, New York Times bestselling author of The Chain
"Rickstad weaves layer upon layer of psychological mystery-all wrapped up in vivid, elegant prose."
-Brian Freeman, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep, Deep Snow
“I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a grim tour-de-force, full of sleight-of-hand twists. Rickstad feints in one direction, then cuts you while you aren’t looking. Dark and unflinching. You’re not getting out of this one unscathed.”
-Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Road of Bones and Ararat
“I loved it. A riveting tale of lies and betrayal. Clear your calendar before you crack the cover—you WON’T be able to put this one down!”
-J. D. Barker, New York Times bestselling author of A Caller’s Game
“A riveting tale of consequences, family, and fate—darkly poetic and deeply felt…Do not miss this.”
-Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of Her Perfect Life
“An exceptional read by an exceptional writer.”
-Catherine Ryan Howard, internationally bestselling author of 56 Days
“Eric Rickstad is the rare writer who can wrap a dark, gritty story in smooth, poetic prose.”
-Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Ex
“Eric Rickstad’s is a name to remember.”
“This is the kind of story that lingers long after you’ve finished reading...”
-Portland Book Review
Major campaign for New York Times bestselling author Eric Rickstad
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National print and digital ad campaign
Major showcase at library, publishing, and bookseller shows
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Author website: https: Rickstad.com
Twitter: @ericrickstad / Facebook: @ericrickstadauthor
Average rating from 63 members
I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book, it is by an author I haven’t read before but the premise sounded interesting. The first 1/4 is more slow burning but it picks up and I sped through the last 3/4 and I couldn’t put it down. Wayland witnesses the suicide of his father as a child and then as a teen is plagued by the memory of it and what really happened that night. A great read with plot twists I didn’t see coming.
Wayland is still recovering from the shock of seeing his father kill himself when he was only eight years old. Now sixteen, he begins to wonder about what really happened. He remembers the tall, creepy man who threatened his father days before his suicide. And he thinks about the fact that his father, whom he saw from the back before the man shot himself in the face, seemed oddly shrunken in those last few moments. But mostly, he wonders about the words left on a scrap of paper at the suicide scene “I am not who you think I am”. Part coming of age novel, part thriller, this is an absorbing read
An excellent addition to the crowded crime genre. A recommended purchase for collections where thrillers are popular.
The synopsis for this book caught my attention. “Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. … Eight years later, Wayland makes a shocking discovery and becomes certain the note is the key to unlocking a past his mother and others in his town want to keep buried.” We are fortunate that we are able to accompany Wayland on his investigation. As his investigation progresses, more questions than answers arise, and Wayland makes things worse since the more he discovers, the angrier he becomes. There were several times that I gasped out loud at the pain Wayland experiences. The story is engaging with twists and turns throughout, keeping me engaged—wanting to find the ultimate truth. I especially appreciated the author’s word and turn of phrase choices; the story benefited greatly from his writing style/voice. A copy of I Am Not Who You Think I Am was provided to me by NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an honest review.
A quick, emotional and thrilling page-turner with some fun twists and turns. The writing and the pace are brilliant.
ever a title was apropos for a story, this is it. Every character has another side to their lives that is revealed only as the story unravels. A young boy sees his father commit suicide but hides the note that was left because it cast his dad in a questionable light. Move ahead in time and this note now becomes a mystery that needs to be solved. This odd teenager with all the angst that goes with being a teen decides to cajole two friends in his research about the note and its real meaning. In doing so he uncovers hidden facts of his town, his family and his friends that keep the reader glued to the pages. This story is an education for eveyone as to what can happen when personal interpretations about people and situations are misconstrued and the ramifications that result. The author, after many twists and revelations, made the final scene come together in an explosion of shock and disbelief.
"Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. Who was his father if not the loving man Wayland knew? Terrified, Wayland keeps the note a secret, but his reasons for being afraid are just beginning." - GoodReads This is the first novel I have read by Eric Rickstad, but it will not be my last. The writing style was smooth and enjoyable, the transition between chapters flowed nicely into each other. The character development was on point and the twist at the end is nothing short of five stars. The first quarter of the book was definitely a slow burn but I think it was just part of the build up. Once I hit the mid point I could not put this book down. I would highly recommend this author to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.
The book description piqued my interest with I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad. Blackstone Publishing and Net Galley were kind enough to provide me with a copy to read and share my thoughts on. The first eight years of Wayland Maynard's life are so dull they were wonderful, until the mid 1970s, when just eight years old, he witnesses his father kill himself and finds a note that reads "I am not who you think I am." Fast forward eight years, and Wayland has questions. With the help of his crush and his only friend, he begins to investigate and try to discover the truth. This book is a matryoshka doll of mysteries and revelations. With each little tidbit of information gained, more mysteries reveal themselves. In the same way these mysteries are being revealed, we are witnessing the (understandable) mental deterioration of Wayland and his relationships as he obsesses over the note left by his father. When we finally reach the truth, although both expected and unexpected, it's actually a very simple, albeit unsavory truth. The poor baby matryoshka doll wasn't painted as prettily as those who held her. With atmospheric writing, Eric Rickstad completely immerses the reader into this small New England town during 1984. The characters we encounter, including Wayland, are tangible human beings (and one dog), with characteristics both good and bad, and complex reasons for their actions. This is particularly admirable in a mystery, when often times the more minor characters are not given such depth. The pace begins slow as the scenery is set up, but then it picks up, until it's a feverish pitch in an attempt to get to that final truth. Everything a mystery should be, really. Rickstad is tricky, too. There are little hint nuggets tossed the readers' way. Perhaps some of you will note them sooner than did and figure it out before the book ends. I'm happy not having realized they were hints until after I finished, however, as I can now sit here and smile as I think, "Oh, and this/that little detail. I get it now." Tricky, tricky, but I love it. Every last bit of it. This was the first book authored by Eric Rickstad that I have read. I'll look forward to seeing what else he's got to offer in the future, and perhaps check into his past work as well. Mystery fans, I definitely recommend picking this one up either by preordering it or when it publishes on October 05, 2021.
Wayland Maynard is just eight years old when he sees his father kill himself, finds a note that reads I am not who you think I am, and is left reeling with grief and shock. Eight years later, Wayland makes a shocking discovery and becomes certain the note is the key to unlocking a past his mother and others in his town want to keep buried. I absolutely loved this dark and eerie story. It's a quick, emotional and thrilling page-turner with a lot of twists and turns. The story is very engaging and I couldn't wait to find the truth. The writing is very atmospheric and creepy and it reminded me a lot of Stephen King. I highly recommend this book and it will definitely be on my top 10 list for 2021. Don't miss out on this excellent book. Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for this copy.
I listened to the audio version of this book, I enjoyed the narration and felt it added another layer to the already complex story. The story started out slow but I was invested after an hour or so. I enjoyed the author’s way of describing things so clearly it feels like you could almost watch the scenes.
When he was eight years old, Wayland witnessed his father commit suicide. Now, eight years later in 1984, Wayland begins to suspect that it was not really his father he saw shoot himself. His quest to find the truth leads to shocking revelations about his family, and the destruction of his own life and the lives of those around him. Wayland is a sympathetic character, shy and insecure, and loving toward his dog and sister. He's remorseful about not showing enough appreciation for his mother. But his penchant for making assumptions that seem reasonable at the time but turn out to be mistaken, however, leads him to become increasingly angry and frantic. The frenetic final few chapters lead to a devastating and heartbreaking conclusion. A great page-turner with a lot of twists.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad Blackstone Publishing Expected publication: September 28th, 2021 Review date: August 29, 2021 ISBN1094000337 Wayland Maynard was 8 when he witnessed his father’s suicide. His father blew his face off with a shotgun. There was a note on the floor and Wayland took it and kept it hidden from everyone. The note said, “I am not who you think I am.” I thought Charles Horton Cooley’s quote would explain the title, the note, and therefore the premise of the novel. Here it is: “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.” Was his father leading a secret life? About a quarter of the way into the book, I had questions: Was the man whose feet dangled off the bed not his father? Was he murdered? Was he taken away? Did someone else write the note? Wayland was the one who identified the body as his father. Maybe he was wrong about everything…. Rickstad’s lush descriptions of environments transported me into his fictional world. For example: “The library crackled with silence and smelled of stale binding glue and fresh magazine ink.”(p. 57.) I was right there in the library with Wayland. Another example: “The clouds had parted, and the moon cast the open landscape in silver hues, as if I’d stepped into an old gel print negative” (p. 114-115). I’m imaging looking at a roll of developed black-and-white negatives. His words are powerful. I’m Not Who You Think I Am is a fast read because there is so much action. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading other works by Rickstad. 4 stars
I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a suspenseful, fast paced thriller that’s full of emotion. Wayland was such a multifaceted character who you watch deteriorate underneath his grief. I loved the beautiful writing style in this one and the slow build in the beginning while the scene was being set. I also appreciated all the little hints given throughout the book that led up to the ending. I admit I missed those hints and the ending was a surprise for me, but that’s what I love in a mystery. Highly recommend this for mystery and thriller lovers.
Part murder mystery, part psychological mind-f*ck and part coming of age story with a smidgeon of horror thrown in for good measure, I Am Not Who You Think I Am is one hell of a dark and twisted ride from the diabolical mind of Eric Rickstad. At eight years old, Wayland Maynard witnessed his father commit suicide with a shotgun and finding a note that says “I am not who you think I am.” Reeling from the trauma and dumbfounded by the meaning behind the note, Wayland keeps that note secret until eight years later when he starts to believe it wasn’t his dad who killed himself that day. Unable to shake the feeling that things aren’t as they seem, Wayland kicks off his own investigation with the help of two friends with the goal to find the truth about what happened to his dad. Along the way, Wayland becomes suspicious of everyone, uncovers secrets that shatter his beliefs and leads to unimaginable discovery that alters his life forever in an irrevocable manner. Sometimes, it’s truly better to let the truth lay dead and buried. This book is wonderfully messed up and feels like a great psychological thriller flick from the 1980’s, which makes sense since the bulk of this story takes place in the mid-80’s. But it’s more than just the time period and small-town setting. It’s a bunch of little things – a powerful family who basically owns the town, using microfilm to do research at the library, kids having the autonomy to wander around with minimal adult supervision, landline phones, creepy mansions on the hill, and more – that come together to weave a tale that’s simultaneously fresh and familiar. A fast-paced page turner that's hard to put down, I Am Not Who You Think I Am will keep you riveted and guessing throughout. Erik Rickstad delivers the goods in this book that’s sure to provide eerie and brain busting entertainment to readers looking for a disturbing psychological thriller to sink their teeth into.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad is an enthralling and engrossing read with a great plot and characters! Well worth the read
This book had me SHOOK from the start, in the wildly unique way the story is introduced in the newspaper in a letter to the town. The prose is beautiful, gripping, and provocative. The plot is complex and full of surprises, keeping the reader engaged cover to cover. This novel has so many challenging moments that leave readers wrestling with the many moral dilemmas Wayland and others experience, forcing you to ask yourself, "what would I do?" I thought this book is smart, compelling, and unique. Seeing and experiencing the events through the teenage perspective, while not reading like YA, makes I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM stand out. I'm looking forward to interviewing the author.
I thought this book was outstanding! The writing, the characters, and the story were so interesting and so well-written. I will definitely look for more books from this author. After 8 year old Wayland Maynard witnessed his father's suicide, he was changed forever, and so was his family. Wayland has trouble connecting with with anyone other than his best friend who means well but is not a good person a lot of the time. His sister, Lydia, is in an abusive relationship, where she derives her love an connections. His widowed mother works long hours trying to hold her family together and not remember what has happened to them since her husband shot himself and her family was left alone. Wayland questions the events surrounding his father's suicide, and when he starts digging for answers, the truth is more shocking and harmful than he ever imagined it would be, very sad too. I had thoughts, while reading, what could have really happened to Wayland's father but never was I able to connect all the dots. I really DID NOT see that ending coming. Definitely a page turner until the very last word. Highly recommend this dark, twisty, suspenseful thriller.
I absolutely love Eric Rickstad's writing and was thrilled to find he was releasing a new book. I am Not Who You Think I Am is an addicting thriller filled with unlikable characters that I couldn't seem to look away from, and a mystery with twists and turns that I didn't seem happening. Wayland witnesses his father kill himself when he's 8 years old and the only thing he has left of that day is a note that says "I am Not Who You Think I am". He keeps the note secret until 8 years later when he decides it's time for him to discover the truth of the note, his memories and what really happened. His actions along the way to discover the truth will forever change his life. The book took me a little bit to get into. None of the character are really likeable, even our narrator Wayland. I also struggled to not be frustrated with his actions and had to remind myself he was only 16 years old. Teenagers never make the most rational decisions, especially when they are emotionally distraught. However, by the time I was halfway through the book I was just as paranoid as Wayland, just as angry at his so-called friend and held no trust in his mother. So as the rest of the story unfolded, I was just as shocked as he was. I Am Not Who You Think I Am was wonderfully written, even if at times the circumstances happening on the page were hard to read. Wayland's story of obsession to learn the truth comes neatly to a close, but that close is nothing short of depressing.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for gifting me both a digital and audiobook of this thriller by Eric Rickstad. 4.5 stars! When he was only 8, Wayland saw his father die by suicide. He found the suicide note that read, I am not who you think I am, that he hid from his mother. Now 16, he has discovered a few things that are making him question exactly what he saw. With his two friends, he sets out to find records and uncover the truth. But he also finds he can't trust anyone. I really enjoyed this book. Set in 1984, Wayland has to rely on actual records and legwork to find answers instead of typing his questions into a search engine. The mystery into his family's past will take him into places he never imagined. This is also a coming-of-age story within the mystery, as we see Wayland navigate his friendships and the opposite sex. The writing is wonderful - so descriptive - and kept me guessing until the surprising end. I especially loved the way the book opened, explaining that what was followed was a transcript of information received by the town. Brilliant!
Thank you to to the publisher @blackstonepublishing & @netgallery for my gifted eARC! 💭💭My Thoughts: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️4/5 Wayland is 8 years old when his father kills himself in front of him. Flash forward 8 years later, Wayland begins to question what he saw, what really happened to his father, and grows suspicious of his mother who gets rid of all his fathers belongings. Was Wayland mistaken of what he saw on that day his father supposedly killed himself? Wayland finds a note left by his father that states “I Am Not Who You Think I Am” which sends Wayland on a hunt for clues, and the truth. This was a book that kept me on the edge of my seat, kept me wanting to keep reading so I could find out the answers, and gave me just the right amount of anxiety to make this a suspenseful read! The author does such an amazing job with keeping the reader on the edge of their seat, and immerses the reader in this whirlwind of a chase to uncover the truth. The writing is creepy and atmospheric, which I absolutely loved! This is an edge of your seat twisted page turner that I recommend to all the thriller lovers out there!
This was a slow burn mystery book. Once I started it, I was caught up right along with the main character (Wayland) as the many layers of the mystery unfolded. I read this in one day because I had to know and once I found out, I was not disappointed. What a fantastic read this was!! Don't miss this book!
“I am not who you think I am” Just eight words that hide a myriad of secrets…left behind in what appears to be a suicide note. Wayland Henry Maynard is just eight years old when he comes home from school early just in time to see his father shooting himself in his parent’s bedroom. He snatches the piece of paper on the floor by his father’s body but tells everyone that no note was left behind. His Mother wastes no time in removing all of his father’s possessions, carrying everything from clothes to photographs and books, to the curb-as if she wants to erase all evidence that his father existed. Eight years later, Wayland is having nightmares of “dangling feet”. Convinced his dream means something, he begins to search for the truth of his father’s suicide. He discovers a link to the TALL MAN, who visited his father’s barber shop just before his death, a bizarre tragedy which seems linked to his own birth, and strange messages scribbled in his father’s old books, which he had secretly confiscated from the curb. The book may be set in the 1970’s (and is full of nostalgia from those years) BUT I felt that several GOTHIC themes were utilized in the story, as well. Gothic literature is described as dark, eerie and mysterious, often containing elements of terror, SUBTLE horror, the macabre or bizarre. Common themes include power, isolation and confinement. MANY are included here, though I won’t say which as to not spoil anything. Another GOTHIC theme-the burdened male protagonist, which we have in Wayland, a young man with deformed pinky fingers, who has never received counseling for dealing with the torment they bring him-or for what he witnessed. He doesn’t know if he can trust his only friend, a jock named Clay, or Juliette, the girl he has a crush on, but finds comfort in his dog, Molly, who though loved, endures some gratuitous, reprehensible things, as she isn’t spayed. (descriptions I could have done without). I did guess a couple of things, though I had the WHY wrong. I wish I had been reading this with a friend as it BEGS for a discussion and comparison to some Classics. Don’t let the young protagonist dissuade you from reading this! If you are intrigued this will be available on October 5, 2021 from Blackstone Publishing. I received a gifted copy through NetGalley. It was a pleasure to offer a candid review.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad is a psychological thriller. First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Blackstone Publishing and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. My Synopsis: (No major reveals, but if concerned, skip to My Opinions) Wayland Maynard is only eight when his father commits suicide right in front of him. Wayland steals the note that his father left. On it are the words "I am not who you think I am". Wayland doesn't have a clue as to what that could mean, but he misses his father, and he hides the note. His mother throws out everything she could find that belonged to his father, but Wayland rescued a few things, especially his books. When Wayland is 16, he starts to wonder what he really saw the night his father committed suicide. He starts to doubt things, and is determined to find out the truth, even though his mother is of no help. He finds some strange messages in his father's old books, and a tie to the town's most powerful family. Unfortunately, Wayland doesn't know who he can trust, and the story that is unfolding has him fearing no one would believe him anyway. My Opinions: WOW. This one grabbed me hard, and as the suspense rose, so did my need to turn those pages. The pace was good, and the twists perfect. While I had anticipated one of the major twists, others were a real surprise. The way the author provided the reader with little tidbits of information was really good. Okay, one mystery solved, now we have another one..... The book is about family, and grief, and obsession. It is also about secrets and lies. But a big part of it is a coming-of-age story about a teenager who has gone through a devastating "Incident", that he never really got over, and never understood. Add hormones and typical teenage angst to the mix, and it is a rather sad story. It is also a little dark. I liked the ending, where everything got tied up nicely. The author did an amazing job of taking us into a small town in 1984 America, where the library pays an important role. Rickstad's writing is really good, and he kept me engaged from start to finish. I will definitely be looking into his other books.
Well, I sat down just to get this book started, and then spent the entire evening finishing it. There was no way I could have put it down! When I end a book by falling over on the couch, you know it’s a good one. This was amazing from page one, and I am thoroughly impressed. Wayland got sick at school one day, and this being the ‘70s, the school nurse tells him to walk on home. He’s expecting his mom to be there, but instead he sees his dad’s truck in the driveway. He walks inside just in time to see his father kill himself. He finds a note on the bed, reading “I Am Not Who You Think I Am”. He hides it away, and never tells a soul about it. Wayland is only eight when this happened, and the incident obviously scarred him. His mom didn’t get him any psychological help afterwards, so he was never able to process what happened that day. By the time he’s 16, he is awkward and anxious, his little sister has gone off the rails with sex and partying, and his mom is too tired from working double shifts to notice or care. But Wayland has a lot of questions about that night, and he finally decides that it’s time to get some answers. This was a great coming-of-age story, with the added bonus of a mystery … actually, several mysteries before all is said and done. I think most readers will love Wayland; his character has issues, but he’d be crazier if he didn’t have issues after what he experienced. The ending started to go down one path and I was worried that I wouldn’t like it, but then it completely flipped tracks and turned out just as great as the rest of the story. This was a fantastic book that is well deserving of five stars. (I’d like to thank Blackstone Publishing, Eric Rickstad and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.)
Big thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for a chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Wow- this book is a head trip. It’s a mystery that kept me guessing to the very end, and at one point, made me gasp. I really felt bad for this family, they start as a happy nuclear family, then dad commits suicide, and then things get very very bad. Poor mom is working two jobs and falling further and further behind, and 15 year old Lydia is hooking up with a seriously bad dude. I love a unreliable narrator -17 year old Wayland provides that in spades! A decade later, he is still dealing with the trauma of witnessing his father suicide when we was just 8. He starts to suspect that perhaps what he saw was not his father blowing his head off, but someone else. As a self involved teen, he doesn’t notice his mother’s suffering, be does suspect that perhaps his mother is not telling the whole truth. As a reader I began to wonder is he mentally ill or is something more sinister going on? All will be answered in a satisfying conclusion. Recommend
Wayland is only 8 years old when he witnesses his father's suicide. He finds a note with only 8 words ... I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM. Hiding the note, he keeps it from his mother. If his father wasn't the man he thought he knew, then who was he? This question haunts Wayland for 8 more years until he finally remembers something from that shocking day .... something that makes him think the man who shot himself in the face may not have been his father at all. His mother won't listen to him or discuss what happened. Does she know more than she's willing to share? Only two of his friends help him search for the truth. (Book Blurb) With the help of two friends, Wayland searches for the truth. Together they uncover strange messages scribbled in his father’s old books, a sinister history behind the town’s most powerful family, and a bizarre tragedy possibly linked to Wayland’s birth. Each revelation raises more questions and deepens Wayland’s suspicions of everyone around him. Soon, he’ll regret he ever found the note, trusted his friends, or believed in such a thing as the truth. This is an amazingly riveting tale of love, obsession and of lies and secrets. The story line is edgy, suspenseful from the first page, and maintaining a high level of tension and uncertainty until the unexpected, surprising ending that I never saw coming. I cannot recommend this book enough. Many thanks to the author / Blackstone Publishing / Netgalley for the digital copy of this Psychological drama. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am was a great book from start to finish. I will say, if you have dealt with someone close to you committing suicide this could be a little triggering. If you can get past that it is a highly enjoyable book. Fast paced, excellent plot, great character development all make you wonder what is going to happen next until the final page. I can certainly understand why it was named to the Amazon Best Book of the Month list. Definitely recommend this novel!
This book guys! What a wild ride! You are kept in suspense almost from the very beginning with the tension building and building all the way through until the seriously twisted ending. Wayland’s rapidly growing obsession with finding out the truth had me holding my breath at times. This was a pretty dark psychological thriller, nothing horrific, just unsettling at times. It was also a really fast read - one of those books that when you’re not reading you’re thinking about when you can read it. The ending really made me sit back and think WHOA! It was a bit ‘out there’ for me, but it still worked well. Highly recommend! Thank you Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for the eARC
“I am not who you think I am” Eight words that intrigued, the brought questions, that caused tension and hid a secret. Wayland hides the note that says those eight words after witnessing his father commit suicide. He doesn't tell anyone until years later, when he begins to question the identity of the man, he witnessed committing suicide. Wayland begins to look for answers at his local library. This was slow to start for me but slowly and surely grabbed my attention and sucked me in. I was wondering what Wayland would find learn. What secrets will be revealed? What truths will see the light of day? From slow burn to tension filled, this book depicts a mystery of the past, explores grief, the search for truth, how lives can be changed. Wayland was a character to feel for. He never received the help he should have - witnessing a traumatizing event, being teased for his fingers, he slowly begins to change. He had two friends, but it was his dog, Molly who gave him unconditional love. This was my first book by Rickstad but will not be my last. Thank you to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad is a bleak yet engrossing psychological thriller. In 1976, eight-year-old Wayland Maynard witnesses his father’s suicide. He discovers a cryptic note that he conceals from everyone, including his mother. Fast-forward to 1984 and the Maynard family is barely hanging on. Wayland’s younger sister Lydia is involved in a toxic relationship with a much older boyfriend. They barely see their mother who works double shifts that barely provide for the family. After Wayland remembers an odd detail about his father’s death, he decides to try to understand the meaning of the suicide note. Why did his father leave a note that reads, “I am not who you think I am”? Equally confusing and painful, why did his mother remove every trace of his father? Wayland’s friendship with Clay is already strained when he tells him about his decision to investigate his father’s death. Angered by Clay’s response, Wayland begins his search on his own. Almost immediately, he runs in to his classmate and crush Juliette Lancaum. He accepts her surprising offer to help him but their partnership is rocky because of her unreliability. Wayland is undeterred as he sets out to prove that his theory about what happened to his father is true. He has a short fuse and he is quick to lash out at the people who care about him. His mother’s questions unleash unexpected frustration and rage that he finds difficult to control. As he edges closer to finding the truth, Wayland spirals into a dark frame of mind that results in shocking decisions that will forever haunt him. I Am Not Who You Think I Am is a gripping mystery that moves at a brisk pace. Wayland is a sympathetic character who turns out to be his own worst enemy. He slowly but steadily unravels his family’s secrets but is he prepared for what he is about to unearth? With diabolical twists and jaw-dropping turns, Eric Rickstad brings this atmospheric thriller to a poignant conclusion.
Wow. Definitely one of the best books I have read this year. So lyrical and rich language. This book pulled me and wrung me out. Massive book hangover. Emotional. Family history. Tragedy. A child's realization his parents are human At the age of eight, Wayland leaves school early - to find his father's truck idling in the driveway, his mother no where to be found and his dad sitting on the edge of the bed. With a shotgun between his knees. Wayland calls out to him but his father shoots himself. He finds the note his father left - and it sits for eight years. Wayland looks at his feet - and it triggers a memory. His father was very tall - taller than Wayland. But his feet were dangling off the bed. Wayland becomes obsessed with his father's suicide - desperate to confirm it was a different man and discover what really happened. Amazing writing, addictive read.
I Am Not Who You Think I Am is the first novel I've read by the author Eric Rickstad. An exquisitely poignant, coming-of-age story that will keep you turning the page until the end. It will pull at your heartstrings for this boy turned teenager. Someone who wants to protect his sister and to have his love and affection reciprocated by a girl at school whom he thought never even knew he existed. An eight-year-old boy witnessed a suicide in his parents' bedroom when he went home from school early one day. On the floor, the boy picked up a square slip of paper. Written were eight words that he will keep as a secret eight years later: I AM NOT WHO YOU THINK I AM. Printed on the back were the initials SFL. When the boy became sixteen, there are a lot of things that he is trying to make sense of: the note, the dangling legs, why his mother has banished everything that reminded them of their father, the annulment papers, the adoption papers, and birth certificate. He will stop at nothing until he finds the answers to who is the man in his parents' bed that shot himself. And if it's not his father, then where is his father now? The story will hook you from the beginning and you won't stop reading until you find out what happened until the end. Who is this mysterious Tall Man and who is this screaming woman? Who is the man that shot himself in his parents' bed? I can actually feel Wayland's frustration myself. The story will make you empathize with the main character. The story is rich in vocabulary and references to the 80s. It is told from Wayland's point of view. Gracefully written with characters trying to overcome their past. This book is something that would become a classic. A book that students will read in Lit class. *I received a copy of this book via NetGalley from Blackstone Publishing and I’m reviewing it voluntarily.