Released earlier this week!
Thanks to MIRA Books for the free copy in exchange for my honest review
A GIRL NAMED ANNA – Lizzy Baker
A compulsive suspense debut for fans of Megan Miranda, Wendy Walker and Kimberly Belle, about two teens–one sheltered by her strict and reclusive mamma, one living in the shadow of the missing sister who was snatched from a theme park as a toddler–and their search for the truth about their families and each other.
If your whole life is a lie, who can you trust?
Raised in a quiet rural community, Anna has always been taught that her Mamma’s rules are the only path to follow. But, on her eighteenth birthday, she defies her Mamma for the first time in her life, and goes to Astroland. She’s never been allowed to visit Florida’s biggest theme park, so why, when she arrives, does everything about it seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives that same day—a letter addressing her by a different name?
Rosie has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads. Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes as the funds dedicated to the search dry up, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth herself. But can she find the answer before it tears her family apart?
Winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Competition, A Girl Named Anna is a psychologically riveting read that introduces Lizzy Barber as an outstanding new voice in suspense fiction.
My Thoughts: 3/5 stars!
I really enjoyed this story and the premise, I just think this book fell victim to being mismarketed. When you go into a book expecting a thriller and it turns out to be a slower burn suspense, then that kind of takes away from the reading experience. That doesn’t mean that the writing wasn’t great and that the story wasn’t intriguing! I was expecting more of the sinister cult elements, but we don’t get into that until closer to the end. As a warning, there is some content that involves abuse.
Make sure to go into this book knowing its more of a mystery at its core than it is a thriller. If I had anticipated a slower burn then I feel like I would have enjoyed it more, but in this case it felt like it was dragging in some places. We alternate between the perspectives of Rosie and Anna – two girls that are somehow connected despite being thousands of miles apart. How will their stories converge?
I thought the characters were well-developed and you really got a feel for the girls and the lives that they lead. One living in the shadow of her long-missing sister and the other sheltered by her religiously fanatic mother. I always love the alternating perspectives in mystery novels, but I think this kind of gave away some of the suspense and the reveal.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this to those looking for a slower burn mystery. It was a binge-worthy read and while you’ll probably see the twist coming, it was still very enjoyable! I will be keeping my eyes peeled for more from Baker in the future.