Title: When I Was You
Author: Amber Garza
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 25, 2020
You meets Fatal Attraction in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.
It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.
But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.
Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.
Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s former pediatrician one day to remind her of her baby’s appointment. However, her son is now nineteen, so she doesn’t have that appointment. It is meant for another mom who is also named Kelly Medina. It becomes even stranger when Kelly goes to her gym, and finds out that this other Kelly Medina was also at the same gym that morning. Kelly decides she must meet this other woman whose life mirrors her own. Their relationship quickly becomes an obsession, when Kelly starts to wonder why this new Kelly has arrived in her town.
This story had a bunch of typical thriller tropes. Kelly has a past with some mental health struggles. Kelly could be unreliable because she lied to her friends and husband. There were some mysterious things that happened in her past that also contributed to her unreliability. Since the people close to Kelly suspected something was wrong with her new relationship with the other Kelly, I was suspicious as well.
There was a surprising twist in part two of the story. I didn’t see it coming. Some of the reveals that happened close to the end of the story weren’t very surprising because they had been hinted at so much throughout the first part of the story. There was a good twist that was shocking, and I liked the end of the story.
This was a good, fast paced thriller.
Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass
The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica
About the author:
Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.
Have you read When I Was You? What did you think of it?