NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • “This book is every suspense lover’s dream and it kept me up way too late turning pages. . . . A novel with crazy twists and turns that will have you ditching your Friday night plans for more chapters.”—Reese Witherspoon
A backpacking trip has deadly consequences in this “eerie psychological thriller . . . with alluring locales, Hitchcockian tension, and possibly the best pair of female leads since Thelma and Louise” (BookPage), from the bestselling author of The Lost Night and The Herd.
A Marie Claire Book Club Pick • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR and Marie Claire
Emily is having the time of her life—she’s in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip, and the women are feeling closer than ever. But on the last night of the trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she brought back to their room attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year’s trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can’t believe it’s happened again—can lightning really strike twice?
Back home in Wisconsin, Emily struggles to bury her trauma, diving headfirst into a new relationship and throwing herself into work. But when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent past. The more Kristen tries to keep Emily close, the more Emily questions her motives. As Emily feels the walls closing in on their cover-ups, she must reckon with the truth about her closest friend. Can Emily outrun the secrets she shares with Kristen, or will they destroy her relationship, her freedom—even her life?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Toxic codependency doesn’t just mess up a friendship—in this wild psychological thriller, it also sets off a chain of harrowing events. Best friends Emily and Kristen have a rock-solid tradition of meeting up once a year for a far-flung backpacking trip in some new corner of the globe. But things get weird on their visit to Chile after Kristen reveals that she has been forced to kill a man in self-defense after he assaulted her…almost the same thing that happened during last year’s trip to Cambodia! As the friends’ secrets become weapons of psychological warfare, we found ourselves unable to figure out who was gaslighting whom. Author Andrea Bartz has an incredible ability to build tension, letting Emily’s panic rise higher and higher until it’s practically sucking the oxygen out of the room. If you like your thrillers with a dash of Hitchcockian flair and a shot of pure adrenaline, We Were Never Here is just the thing.
Milwaukee resident Emily Donovan, the narrator of this riveting psychological thriller from Bartz (The Herd), and her best friend, Kristen Czarnecki, who left Milwaukee 18 months earlier for a job in Australia, reunite in Chile for their annual vacation. The trip turns deadly when Kristen kills a backpacker in self-defense. A similar fatal encounter occurred during an earlier trip to Cambodia, only then Kristen killed to defend Emily. Emily decides she needs to distance herself from Kristen, but the more she tries to do so, the more Kristen tries to stay connected. Kristen moves back to Milwaukee, where she soon starts popping up in places she doesn't belong—such as Emily's yoga studio and therapist's office—constantly reminding Emily of the secrets they share and how they need each other. Bartz does a good job dramatizing the increasingly creepy relationship between the two women as the twisty plot builds to a slightly confusing conclusion. Suspense fans will look forward to seeing more from this talented author.
Where’s the Twist?
This was a really fun novel, but I love a good twist and this book didn’t satisfy that need. Nevertheless, it was a fun book in my opinion.
Great characters. An amazing hypberbolic take on co-dependent friends. I loved every page!
Kristen is a character for the ages. Emily is great as the staid one. Sometimes it took her a little longer than logical to catch up with the reader in terms of insight, but then, that is the point of trust.
A page turner and a roller coaster ride! Loved it!