Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Book Review: Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

Pages: 336
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: February 5, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "When a video call between friends captures a shocking incident no one was supposed to see, the secrets it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.  Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.  When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.  What Liza sees next will change everything.  Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw.  Or is there?  In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.  And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.  But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.  Jessica Strawser's Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best, friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.  One moment will change things for them all."
Molly and Liza have been best friends for years.  Even when Molly married Daniel, they still stayed very close.  In fact, Liza was a bit of a third wheel.  Liza moved to Chicago for work and this distance has put a damper on their close friendship.  Meanwhile, Molly has issues at home in suburbia.  She suffers from chronic illnesses and this impacts her life at work, with her husband, and her kids. She also doesn't feel like she is connected with her husband and to make matters worse, Daniel travels frequently for work. One night when Daniel is away on business, Molly and Liza have plans to video chat after her kids go to bed and spend some "girl time" together.  One of Molly's kids wakes up and calls for her, so Molly briefly leaves the room to check on the child. While Liza is waiting for Molly to return to their video chat, she sees a masked man stealthy sneak through her living room. Obviously, this freaks Liza out beyond belief and she notifies the police for Molly.  The masked man closes the laptop and then Liza's connection with Molly is gone.  She tries to call Molly's cell phone and once they connect, she sort of dismisses the whole thing and tells Liza the cops said everything was clear. She doesn't seemed concerned at all.  However, Liza is so worried that drives through the middle of the night to be with her best friend and once she arrives at her house, Molly is pretty much dismissive again. What is going on? What happened to their friendship?  Jessica Strawser's Forget You Know Me is an emotional tale about friendship and the many challenges people face in life as well as the consequences for their choices.  

Molly is an interesting character in Forget You Know Me. It took me awhile to figure her out. I could relate to her struggles of parenting two toddlers all while dealing with chronic illnesses.  She does miss Liza's friendship, but has made a new friendship with a single dad and a daughter with special needs who lives right by her house.  At first, I couldn't quite figure out Molly's relationship with this neighbor.  Regardless, Molly is quite alone both physically and emotionally and in turn, I did feel badly for her.  Then there's her husband, Daniel, who I didn't really enjoy. I also wasn't quite sure who to trust or even if Molly was a reliable narrator. 

Which leads me to Liza. Liza moved to Chicago to try life in the big city, but doesn't feel quite at home there in Forget You Know Me.  She only has one good friend in Chicago, but that's about the extent of her social life. While she is driving through the night to get to Molly's house to be by her side after the home invasion, something catastrophic happens back in Chicago.  It's definitely a series of unfortunate events for Liza, but these events lead her back to her hometown.   

So, I thought Forget You Know me was going to be a suspense and maybe a mystery trying to figure out what happened that fateful night, but it wasn't. The whole incident was suspenseful, but then the rest of the novel was more about feelings, consequences, and ultimately, the story read more like women's fiction.  I was a bit disappointed by this, because I expected to be on the edge of my seat a bit more.  Instead, I was feeling depressed for all of these extremely dysfunctional and somewhat despondent characters. I also found the characters to be generally unlikable.  However, I will say I was interested in how everything would play out for all of them.

If you like women's fiction with a small side of a suspense, check out Forget You Know Me this winter. However, if you are looking for a domestic thriller, look elsewhere.  


2 comments:

  1. I read Strawser's first book and was disappointed that it wasn't the thriller that it was marketed as. Seems like this one is the same way! I kind of still want to read it, though, just to know what's going on with that masked man.

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    Replies
    1. They should probably think about how they are marketing the books. There's definitely an edge of suspense to it, but it's mostly women's fiction. The masked man aspect of the story kept me glued to the pages. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

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