The Perfect Stranger
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Disclaimer: I received a copy of The Perfect Stranger through NetGalley for an honest, unbiased review. Thanks to Simon & Shuster and to Megan Miranda for the opportunity!!
“I had been no one. I’d stood in front of the bulletin board eight years earlier, adrift from my life. I was lost, untethered, unsure of everything. And then Emmy came along while I was this stripped away version of a person. So was it strange that I felt her in my skin? She was there when it re-formed. She existed inside he sharper edges I erected.”
Megan Miranda stunned me with her first novel, All The Missing Girls, that ventured away from the YA category. It kept me interested and had me shaken to the core in the moments leading up to the ending. When I heard that she had released yet another novel, I couldn’t have been more excited to get a copy and read it. The Perfect Stranger was an excellent follow-up to her first venture outside of her comfort zone.
The Perfect Stranger follows Leah Stevens, an ex-journalist, on the run from her old life and an immense mistake she made. She decides to take a teaching job in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania where newcomers are watched with hateful eyes, and judged on their every move. She’s prompted to move her by her best friend, and old roommate, Emmy Grey. Soon after arriving, Emmy hasn’t been home for days and a woman nearing the same age as Leah is brutally attacked and left for dead in a ditch merely miles from Leah’s house. The uncanny resemblance between Leah and the victim has her shaken and worried that maybe the attacker was really after her.
As the days pass, Leah still hasn’t heard from Emmy, and she then finds her necklace lodged between the wood on their back porch. She panics and reports her missing, just knowing something has happened to her. Soon, Leah is thrust into a world where she begins to wonder if she ever really knew Emmy, or if she ever existed at all. She begins to make connections between herself and the victim, and dives deeper into Emmy’s past, learning that she may not be as innocent as she seems.
This book had me second guessing everything. It really is a game of cat and mouse, and who’s out to get who. You get to see everything from Leah’s point of view, and you’ll feel all of her emotions just as if everything that happens to her is happening to you. It’s a novel that makes you realize you never really know who the people in your life really are. You might be able to see some of the revelations in the book coming, but overall I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I found the main character easy to connect with and interesting, and I found myself falling under the same spell Emmy placed her under. It’s easy to overlook so many things when you love a friend, and that is exactly what happens in this book.
The ending for me could have been executed a little bit better, but overall I was thrilled with what happened. I felt that I needed one more chapter, just an aftermath of what happens, but I understand why it ended the way that it did. No stone is left unturned. Megan Miranda does an excellent job developing a backstory to not only Leah and Emmy’s relationship, but also Leah’s life before Emmy and her life as a journalist, and what ultimately causes her to run from her old life so desperate to start a new one.
Megan Miranda is easily working her way up to being one of my favorite authors, and one who I look forward to seeing new releases from. Pick up a copy of this book in support of an amazing author, and be prepared to be sucked into a world that you may not be ready for.
Rating: 4 out of 5