An Anonymous Girl is ridiculous — it’s silly and trashy and I doubt I’ll remember a bit of it six months from now, but it was definitely entertaining and I blew through it so I’m counting this as my “summer read!”.
“We all have reasons for our actions. Even if we hide the reason from those who think they know us best. Even if the reasons are so deeply buried we can’t recognize them ourselves.”
Okay, let me see if I can wrangle this one into a description without spoiling anything, because if you’re going to read a ridiculous novel full of plot twists, it’s best to go in blind.. The main character, Jessica Farris, answers an ad for a psychological study under false pretenses (she goes in someone else’s place because she needs the money). The study is run by Dr. Shields, a mysterious figure Jessica never meets. Jessica sits in a room alone with a computer, and types out answers to questions that appear in real-time, without context. It’s a study on morality, so of course the questions focus on right and wrong, but they’re very personal and open-ended — Can you tell a lie without feeling guilty? Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about? Jessica pours her heart out to this stranger IN WRITING. WHICH SEEMS VERY FOOLISH. She gets invited back to continue the study, for more money. Suddenly, she’s following Dr. Shields’s instructions out in the real world — dressing up and seducing strangers, for instance. This, of course, goes very badly.
Like I said, the set up is nuts. But I couldn’t put it down (well, the audio book version of that — I walked a bunch of extra miles in the heat to finish the damn thing). The plot twists and turns multiple times, and pretty much every one caught me by surprise. If you liked their first novel, The Wife Between Us, you’ll likely enjoy this one as well.