When I Was You by Minka Kent ★★★☆☆ #BookReview #BookBlog


Primary Genre(s): Thriller, Mystery
Published: 1 Feb 2020 by Thomas & Mercer
Page count: 282
My Format: ebook (owned)
Cover: Okay
Pacing: Starts slow, but improves
Ending: Resolved, but somewhat abrupt
Would I recommend it: Probably
Commission Link: Buy When I Was You

My rating: ★★☆☆

Synopsis from Goodreads
After barely surviving a brutal attack, Brienne Dougray rarely leaves her house. Suffering from debilitating headaches and memory loss, she can rely only on her compassionate new tenant, Dr. Niall Emberlin, a welcome distraction from the discomfiting bubble that has become her existence.

But Brienne’s growing confidence in her new routine is shaken when she stumbles across unsettling evidence that someone else is living as…her. Same name. Same car. Same hair. Same clothes. She’s even friended her family on social media. To find out why, Brienne must leave the safety of her home to hunt a familiar stranger.

What she discovers is more disturbing than she could have ever imagined. With her fragile mind close to shattering, Brienne is prepared to do anything to reclaim her life. If it’s even hers to reclaim.

My Thoughts
I found the synopsis for this book to be appealing and I am always on the lookout for a well-crafted thriller. I decided to give it a chance, particularly since it was available free as an Amazon Prime First Reads book in January 2020. Here are my pros and cons for When I Was You:


  1. This is a decent thriller/mystery. I thought I had some things figured out as I was reading, but I was only partially correct. There were enough twists and turns to keep me interested.
  2. The story is told from alternate points of view – Brienne’s and her tenant Niall. The perspective change helped to keep this story interesting in my opinion.
  3. The author’s writing style is easy to read.
  4. Like I mention in Con #1 below, the story starts off slowly but then the plot thickens and things start to get really interesting. However… see Con #5.


  1. The initially pacing of the book was slow. The first 25% or so of the book was told from Brienne’s point of view and it wasn’t that the information provided was boring or uninteresting, but I felt like it was a tad repetitive. Actually, strike that… it was very repetitive.
  2. There wasn’t much connection between me and the characters. I felt like I was on the outside looking in, rather than engaged in the story.
  3. There were some suspension of belief requirements and some convenient and extremely fortunate circumstances peppered throughout the book. Typically, I can overlook things like this when they aren’t overused in a story. They were overused in this one.
  4. I would have handled this situation entirely differently and I fully recognize my frustration with the way things were addressed in this story affected my enjoyment of the book.
  5. The ending was way too abrupt! There is a relatively decent build up to the story and things are starting to come to a head and then poof! The novel is over. There was a resolution, but it was quite unsatisfying. Ugh!

I read The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent about a year ago. I reread my review for that book and I realized that my summary for The Stillwater Girls is 100% applicable to this book as well. This was the summary:

I have a term I use for books like this – surface read. Everything about the story was on the surface — there was no emotional depth for me, no real connection with the characters. I did enjoy the plot (even if it was a tad convenient) and I wasn’t bored. Identifying this as a surface read doesn’t mean I think the book was bad… for me it just means it lacked some depth and probably won’t be very memorable for me overall.

If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy When I Was You. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Click here for a description of my rating scale.

(image from Goodreads)

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