Two identical twin sisters and former child actors have grown apart—until one disappears, in this “cleverly crafted and psychologically nuanced” (Time) suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Things.
“An addictive thriller that will keep readers burning through pages . . . sneakily hypnotic.”—Los Angeles Times
ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—PopSugar, CrimeReads
“You be me, and I’ll be you,” I whispered.
As children, Sam and Elli were two halves of a perfect whole: gorgeous identical twins whose parents sometimes couldn’t even tell them apart. They fell asleep to the sound of each other’s breath at night, holding hands in the dark. And once Hollywood discovered them, they became B-list child TV stars, often inhabiting the same role.
But as adults, their lives have splintered. After leaving acting, Elli reinvented herself as the perfect homemaker: married to a real estate lawyer, living in a house just blocks from the beach. Meanwhile, Sam has never recovered from her failed Hollywood career, or from her addiction to the pills and booze that have propped her up for the last fifteen years.
Sam hasn't spoken to her sister since her destructive behavior finally drove a wedge between them. So when her father calls out of the blue, Sam is shocked to learn that Elli’s life has been in turmoil: her husband moved out, and Elli just adopted a two-year-old girl. Now she’s stopped answering her phone and checked in to a mysterious spa in Ojai. Is her sister just decompressing, or is she in trouble? Could she have possibly joined a cult? As Sam works to connect the dots left by Elli’s baffling disappearance, she realizes that the bond between her and her sister is more complicated than she ever knew.
I’ll Be You shows Janelle Brown at the top of her game: a story packed with surprising revelations and sharp insights about the choices that define our families and our lives—and could just as easily destroy them.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A former child star must revisit her past to find her missing twin in Janelle Brown’s eerie psychological thriller. Identical twins Sam and Elli were inseparable when they were young and often pretended to be each other, but a huge blowup eventually tore them apart. Years later, when Sam hears that recovering addict Elli has disappeared, she sets out to find—and hopefully save—her troubled twin, discovering all kinds of complications along the way. Brown expertly portrays the sisters’ oh-so-different points of view, as the hot lights of celebrity cause one to thrive while the other shrivels. Her vividly descriptive writing made us feel the pressures of Hollywood life. Let this great character-driven mystery take you on a wild ride.
Bestseller Brown (Pretty Things) infuses this twist-packed mystery with an intense story of creating one's identity, rife with deep family trauma and a low-key, creepy depiction of the dark side of twin intimacy. Samantha Logan's dream-worthy stint as a child TV star depended highly on her identical twin Elli's initially grudging participation, which eventually created deep bonds between them. In adulthood, Sam's alcohol addiction and Elli's traditional lifestyle in Santa Barbara, Calif., has left the two women estranged. So when Elli disappears after going to a mysterious spa in Ojai, with her husband having left her and their parents calling Sam in to help with the toddler Elli has recently adopted without informing her family, Sam feels sure that something is profoundly wrong in her sister's life. Brown seamlessly uses Sam's retrospection into the twins' childhood experiences impersonating and protecting each other both as character development and plot device, letting the latter flow naturally while never feeling cheesy. The perfectly paced emotional reveals of the twins' shared history pull the reader toward fierce investment in Elli's safety and the sisters' reconnection. Brown has upped her game with this one.
Twists and turns into a dark yet endearing story
Twins and all the complications that come from being two individuals yet seem one. This book had an endearing way about the dynamics of sisters and twins how they’ve loved their togetherness yet sought to be individuals. The lengths these sisters will go to will blow your mind