You are the judge of what is right and what is wrong, but it would be the wrong choice to pass this read.

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What took me so long to finally pick this one up? Although there are many books yet to be published, it will be tough to beat this novel for the number one spot on my list of favorite reads for 2019. What a captivating, compelling, and throat punching work of fiction. Every time I felt like I had an idea as to where this story was going, or merely what was going on, the duo of Hendrick and Pekkanen slapped me sideways.

“IT IS EASY TO JUDGE OTHER PEOPLE’S CHOICES. IT IS FAR MORE COMPLEX WHEN THE CHOICES ARE OUR OWN”

Jessica Farris is a freelance makeup artist living in New York City. While working on a client, she gains knowledge of a study being conducted by an NYU Psychology Professor where she can make an easy buck by simply completing a survey. Jessica decides to sneak into this study upon insight that her client has full intention of bailing. Quickly Jessica becomes Subject 52 in Dr. Lydia Shields’s morality study. After the completion of a couple sessions, Jessica is invited to join an additional study in exchange for higher compensation—but will the money she so desperately needs be worth it in the end?

“I DON’T FEAR STRANGERS THOUGH. I’VE LEARNED MORE HARM CAN COME FROM FAMILIAR FACES.”

Fluctuating between the inner monologue of Jess and that of Dr. Sheilds, the reader gets an alternating perspective on the same scene. This made for a skillfully crafted, slick, and smart plot that was executed flawlessly. I also particularly enjoyed the evolution of these unreliable characters. This novel was addicting, and just like Hendrick and Pekkanen’s collaborative debut, The Wife Between Us, it was impossible to let go. This is likewise a fast paced and incredibly twisty story in all the right ways. While exhilarating and blood pumping through its pages, this novel is also so thought provoking that it will have you questioning your own moral compass.

“WE ALL HAVE REASONS FOR OUR JUDGMENTS, EVEN IF THOSE REASONS ARE SO DEEPLY BURIED, WE DON’T RECOGNIZE THEM OURSELVES.”

You are the judge of what is right and what is wrong, but what I can tell you is it would be the wrong choice to pass up on this read. The hype that surrounds the books put out by these two amazing authors is completely justifiable. I don’t know how they do it, but what I do know is I crave it so much more each and every time. Well played mind game ladies, very well played.