#ATBR2022 – This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

Happy belated release!

THIS MIGHT HURT – Stephanie Wrobel (Released February 22nd, 2022)

Thanks to Berkley Pub for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews

You can see our thoughts on her other book DARLING ROSE GOLD here!

Book Description:

From the USA Today bestselling and Edgar-nominated author of Darling Rose Gold comes a dark, thrilling novel about two sisters–one trapped in the clutches of a cult, the other in a web of her own lies.Welcome to Wisewood. We’ll keep your secrets if you keep ours.

Natalie Collins hasn’t heard from her sister in more than half a year.The last time they spoke, Kit was slogging from mundane workdays to obligatory happy hours to crying in the shower about their dead mother. She told Natalie she was sure there was something more out there.

And then she found Wisewood.

On a private island off the coast of Maine, Wisewood’s guests commit to six-month stays. During this time, they’re prohibited from contact with the rest of the world–no Internet, no phones, no exceptions. But the rules are for a good reason: to keep guests focused on achieving true fearlessness so they can become their Maximized Selves. Natalie thinks it’s a bad idea, but Kit has had enough of her sister’s cynicism and voluntarily disappears off the grid.

Six months later Natalie receives a menacing e-mail from a Wisewood account threatening to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from Kit. Panicked, Natalie hurries north to come clean to her sister and bring her home. But she’s about to learn that Wisewood won’t let either of them go without a fight.

Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars

Wrobel…. you gave me magic, cult vibes, abuse, madness and just a crazy ass cast of characters. This book slapped me across the face from the very beginning and I was instantly obsessed within the first few chapters. Sir is a character I hope to never ever meet and if I did, well, I would put him through what he put his kids through (-150 points for him, +1675 points for me). But I also found his way of doing things somewhat fascinating as well. I am who I am.

The most fascinating character for me? Rebecca. Oh she’s delusional as fuck but I see where she’s coming from…. sometimes. I swear for a few chapters all I could think about is that if you swallow glass shards, how awful it would be when your body got rid of it… OUCH.

Now, would you be able to give up all contact with the outside of world for SIX MONTHS? No touching, no cell phones, no FUN! I honestly don’t know if I could. And I certainly wouldn’t shave my head to be a part of any kind of circle, inner or not. But hey, people will do what they need to in order to feel better about themselves – even if at times it’s really a detriment – but who are we to judge on what works for people?

I did find the book lull in some parts, but I think that’s just because of how strong the beginning was. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about that ending. I even slept on this, and I still don’t know how I feel. However, I love ANYTHING with culty vibes and love the uniqueness in what Wrobel brought in Rebecca’s character. And how she shows there’s so many layers to characters within Kit.

A VERY solid second read of this author, who I will absolutely continue to pick up.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

Normally I try to type up my reviews right away but I’m glad I waited a day or so for this one! DARLING ROSE GOLD was, and still is, one of my favorite books the year it released. I will continue to recommend that book, so it goes without saying that I was anxious to get my hands on Wrobel’s newest book, THIS MIGHT HURT. Of course you don’t want to go in with expectations set too high after loving her previous book but I’ll admit that I did. While I originally would have rated this a solid 4 stars, thinking back on it this is definitely a 5 star read for me.

While the pacing might feel slower for some readers I felt that it was perfectly paced. This is more of a character study but Wrobel gets us directly in their minds and you feel what they’re feeling and going through their experiences. I thought for sure I had parts figured out between the different timelines and perspectives but I was very wrong. I could see both sides of the fence with Kit and Natalie when it came to Wisewood – on one hand if it’s legitimately helping Kit then I can see why she would want to stay there, but I also can understand why Natalie is concerned and getting the creepy cult vibes. I mean, not having your phone, being able to communicate with loved ones, following very strict rules, and answering to someone they all address as Teacher? Definite cult vibes.

If you’ve read DARLING ROSE GOLD then I think you’ll be very pleased with this book. She certainly knows how to weave a dark and foreboding story. The paranoia, the suspense, the characters, there really wasn’t anything I ended up being disappointed with. If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller then you might feel like it’s lacking but overall, another solid book from Wrobel and this has cemented her as a new autobuy author for me.

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