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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An eight-year-old child endures the unthinkable when he sees his own father commit suicide—and that’s just the beginning of this dark mystery. Wayland Maynard finds a cryptic note reading “I am not who you think I am,” but it’s only when he’s fully grown that he embarks on a journey to dig up the truth about his father. Author Eric Rickstad jumps around between Wayland’s childhood, teenage years, and a mysterious hidden manuscript, and these three intertwining narratives add incredible depth to a story that’s already packed with emotion. As Wayland questions everything about his life, we share every minute of his doubt, dread, and burning curiosity. Also, we’ve seen our share of jaw-dropping twists, but I Am Not Who You Think I Am will shock even the most diehard mystery fan.
This exceptional thriller from bestseller Rickstad (Reap) opens with a letter from the Shireburne, Vt., police chief to the town's citizens regarding a manuscript by Wayland Maynard, a former resident who was believed to have died in a fire in Shireburne in 1984. Maynard's account begins in 1976, when, at age eight, he came home to witness his father, Roland, the local barber, shoot himself in the head with a shotgun. Maynard, who was splattered with his parent's blood, finds a note nearby with the cryptic message "I Am Not Who You Think I Am," but conceals it from everyone else. His mother's response to the suicide to rid the home of anything connected with Roland further traumatizes Maynard. As a 16-year-old, Maynard begins to question what he believes about his father's death, but his investigation just leads him into more confusion and violence. The reveal about the meaning of the note comes as a genuine gut-punch. Knowing that the story line is building toward the fatal conflagration keeps the tension high. Rickstad has raised his game to a new level.
A tale of dark secrets and the lengths family will go to keep them that way. While I had some idea of where the story was leading me, the ending was so sick and disturbing I was truly caught off guard.
The book is written as if every word was looked up with a thesaurus for the most fancy sounding synonym. It gets really old.
I read this so annoyed with this post broken boy, then compassion kicked in and I realized that he did more than what 16 year olds are capable of. Keeping that in mind, you will feel his angst and sadness and despair. A heartbreaking read for anyone interested in being depressed! I wish I could reach out and give Wayland the hug he so desperately needs. Enjoy.