Review: Gretchen by Shannon Krik

Title: Gretchen

Author: Shannon Krik

My Rating:

Type: Standalone

Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Narration: Dual POV

Primary Characters: Mother & Lucy

Source: Free in KU


This is my first book by this author, I have mixed feelings about this one. I’m not sure that I can say I enjoyed it, but I was certainly glued to my kindle to find out what the hell was going on, and then how it would all turn out.

 Lucy is a fifteen-year-old girl who has been on the run with her mom for thirteen years. They run from a threat that her mother refuses to define, knowing only that her father will try to kidnap her if they ever let down their guard. While she does not know exactly why they are constantly running, she knows that she must never engage with strangers, always wear her coloured contacts, and be prepared in an instant to move to the next place.

In their 12th State Lucy and her mother have landed in a town that Lucy feels is perfect. She can see a future here. A chance to go to school and hold a job like a normal teenager.  Their new home in New Hampshire is in the isolated woods on the outskirts of town. The landlord and his daughter live on the property in a house up the hill.  The father is a pianist obsessed with wearing gloves to protect his hands. The daughter, Gretchen, is Lucy’s age and is obsessed with Puzzle. Lucy’s Mom senses red flags and wants to keep moving but Lucy rebels.

Lucy notices several weird things with Gretchen and her house and refuses to go to her house and meet in middle grounds to continue their friendship. what do you do when a girl like Gretchen wants to be your friend? What do you do when you’ve been on the run your entire life? What do you do when you don’t know who to trust? What do you do, when you don’t have any one to share anything and the only person you rely on is also lying to you and can’t trust them? Lucy is willing to look away from the flaws and fight for a place to call home, but is she denying too much of what is really happening around her?

Gretchen. What a strange little girl! She is beyond creepy/weird/intrusive. She always wears a same apple print dress and explains Lucy about that as below.

“Einstein and Steve jobs, and Obama too said that wearing the same outfit cuts down on decision fatigue. More brainpower for my puzzles and games and painting”

Gretchen’s all-out craziness did make for compelling reading, although I would’ve liked a bit more rationale for it. I loved Lucy’s character and the way she solved various problems. At some point I felt the detailed description of the Sabin’s Property was too much and plot was moving at slower pace. At around 70% of the book, it took a huge twist and felt like author rushed to complete a story and it was more of her warrior mom’s heroics. The whole thing became a little muddled at the end yet its unique story.

Gretchen is a crazy and intense thrill-ride.  A kidnapping, a mother on the run, a psych child, a cult and a bad ass warrior mum, you have it all. Enjoy the ride.

One thought on “Review: Gretchen by Shannon Krik

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