One of my goals in 2019 is to read more thrillers, and so far I… haven’t been fully reaching that goal. But it’s okay! I’m excited to keep slowly chipping away at my thriller collection. Of course, it would probably help if I stopped adding more to said collection. Ha.
So here’s a prime example of “cool cover with pretty font” that caught my attention. Yep, I decided to stock up on Megan Miranda’s books. I just finished The Perfect Stranger. It’s the first book I decided to read from this author. I understand her debut, All the Missing Girls (which I have NOT yet read), has raving reviews. So I was a bit worried how The Perfect Stranger was going to be. But I’m always up for reading a book with polarizing reviews!
This book follows Leah, a woman who was shunned out of her town due to mysterious circumstances that relates to her job as a reporter. She moves into a rural area in western Pennsylvania with an old college friend, Emmy. Leah wants a fresh start, and begins working as a high school teacher. But then someone turns up dead, and then Emmy disappears. Leah’s journalist-instincts kick in, which soon gets her involved in the investigation.
And it was… just okay? First let me explain what I appreciated about this book. There are SEVERAL mysteries going on at once. I won’t explain them all to avoid spoilers, but Leah gets pulled in a million directions when one mystery leads to another. And not only are there mysteries happening in the present timeline, but there are dark secrets that are revealed from Leah’s past, too. I enjoyed how multi-layered this story was and how Leah didn’t stop until she got answers.
The biggest thing that bothered me, though, was the sheer volume of victim blaming. I’m so tired of reading books that always paint women to be hysterical/unreliable/emotional/crazy. I get it – this is something that we still have to face in the real world. Women are still painted in this light. And it sucks. And it feels bad. The white male privilege in this book is SO prevalent that I was just getting more annoyed. It just reinforces the notion that you can be a white male in a position of power, and be able to get away with anything. (Don’t worry, not a spoiler. It’s just a constant theme.)
It also took me a long time to get into this author’s writing style. At times the writing felt a bit disjointed. This makes me a bit nervous to read her other works, but I’m still planning to give them a shot.
Overall, it’s an okay book. It’s a quiet book in terms of “thrill-factor.” So if that’s not your thing, then you may want to skip this one. I guess, for me personally, it wasn’t a very memorable read.