I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown

I'll Be You by Janelle Brown

I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown is a thriller that has an interesting premise. Twin child stars that have both had their share of heartbreak wind up in a set of strange circumstances that ultimately lead to the disappearance of one of them. It is an intriguing story that will keep you guessing, although it is a bit slow paced.

I’ll Be You by Janelle BrownTitle: I'll Be You
Author: Janelle Brown
Also by this author: Pretty Things
Publisher: Random House
Genres: Adult Fiction, Thriller
Publication Date: April 26, 2022
Rating: three-half-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Identical twin sisters and former child actors have grown apart—until one disappears, and the other is forced to confront the secrets they’ve kept from each other in this twisty suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Things.

“You be me, and I’ll be you,” I whispered.

As children, Sam and Elli were two halves of a perfect whole: gorgeous identical twins whose parents sometimes couldn’t even tell them apart. They fell asleep to the sound of each other’s breath at night, holding hands in the dark. And once Hollywood discovered them, they became B-list child TV stars, often inhabiting the same role.

But as adults, their lives have splintered. After leaving acting, Elli reinvented herself as the perfect homemaker: married to a real estate lawyer, living in a house just blocks from the beach. Meanwhile, Sam has never recovered from her failed Hollywood career, or from her addiction to the pills and booze that have propped her up for the last fifteen years.

Sam hasn't spoken to her sister since her destructive behavior finally drove a wedge between them. So when her father calls out of the blue, Sam is shocked to learn that Elli’s life has been in turmoil: her husband moved out, and Elli just adopted a two-year-old girl. Now she’s stopped answering her phone and checked in to a mysterious spa in Ojai. Is her sister just decompressing, or is she in trouble? Could she have possibly joined a cult? As Sam works to connect the dots left by Elli’s baffling disappearance, she realizes that the bond between her and her sister is more complicated than she ever knew.

I’ll Be You shows Janelle Brown at the top of her game: a story packed with surprising revelations and sharp insights about the choices that define our families and our lives—and could just as easily destroy them

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Review: I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown

The book is told from the perspectives of twin sisters, Sam and Elli, and alternates between past and present. While the girls aren’t likeable characters, they are well-described interesting and flawed. It is easier Typically, I need to relate to a character to enjoy a story, but the prospect that these characters would redeem themselves in the end is really engaging.

❀ An intriguing thriller

The flashbacks to the sisters’ childhoods and what eventually led then to having a falling out have some shocking elements to them and adds to the dramatic conclusion. It is a strange relationship that is definitely influenced by their childhood stardom. Parts of the story seemed to drag on,  but I was kept intrigued to find out how things were going to play out.

❀ Siblings Theme

I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown is a thriller that will surprise you, although it has some pacing issues. It is a perfect read if you enjoy stories about siblings and cults. I look forward to finding out what the author has in store for us next.

About Janelle Brown

Janelle Brown

Janelle Brown is the author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and This Is Where We Live. An essayist and a journalist, she has written for Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Wired, Self, the Los Angeles Times, Salon, and numerous other publications. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two children.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

13 thoughts on “I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown

  1. heather says:

    I would love to read this one this summer it sounds super good and one that will keep me interested and reading.

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