Book Review: When I Was You by Minka Kent
Title: When I Was You
Author: Minka Kent
Released: February 01, 2020
A stolen identity leads a woman down a dark and desperate path in a gripping novel of psychological suspense by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Minka Kent.
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 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 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.
Please keep in mind that this review contains spoilers for the entire book. Read with caution. If you click the “Read More”, it is under the assumption that you either don’t care about spoilers or you’ve already read the book.
Identity theft is a crime that affects millions in America, that much is true. However, in this book, the person who stole our main character’s identity was more obsessed with the image of her than the millions she apparently had in her bank account. And it’s thanks to the main character’s grandparents that she was able to recover at her own pace.
Now, I don’t begrudge this character because she’s rich. I don’t begrudge her because she’s a victim of a random assault. But what I do begrudge her on is just allowing things to happen to her… and act shocked when it does. In the first third of the book, she comes across as someone who is scared and someone who went through something extremely traumatic. That’s understandable, of course, you can’t expect a character to just get over something like that but then she started mentioning the fact that she hadn’t seen her friends (strangely, ever since Niall arrived) and she never questions it. She never does anything with the fact that her friends are completely avoiding her and she becomes more obsessed with the woman who took her face and name but not money. On one hand, I can understand but once she discovers the fact that something isn’t right – and that Niall is literally coming onto her at this point – she just twiddles her fingers and hopes Niall can fix it.
And speaking of Niall, I really don’t know what to think of him. As soon as Brienne deemed him a viable romantic partner, with no other men around, I already knew he was up to no good. Honestly, and it’s really easy to see it coming especially when Brienne found “Kate”’s diary. And I think this is where I got the most frustrated with her – Niall tells her that she’s actually the double and that imposter is the real Brienne.
The kicker in all of this? She actually believes him – without question! She checks herself into this, honestly, joke of a mental health facility. I think the author just really wanted some cool scenes in that area where the reader and “Kate” would wonder if she really is who Niall says she was – and of course, she’s not. Right after he puts her in the mental ward, this is where we finally learn about who he is and why he’s doing it. It’s really not that good, especially when you realize that Brienne’s mother was his step-mother. Supposedly, there are “reasons” why Brienne’s grandparents cut her off but it’s not very clear. Once you learn about ‘Niall’, once you learn why he did what he did, it falls flat. And more than anything, I actually ended up feeling bad for the imposter.
The imposter took the fall for ‘Niall’ (I really don’t care about his real name because he’s so focused on his revenge so much that he just got boring) back in the day which ruined her chances at a better life. Because of this, he really wanted to make up for her… by pretending to be someone else with riches and all the clothes she could get. The thing that I didn’t get is why did she stay as long as she did. Brienne is understandable for her misjudgment because of everything she went through. But why didn’t the imposter figure anything before then?
My main question was: why didn’t Brienne do a background check on Niall?
Honestly, this book wasn’t so much thrilling as it was just annoying. From the sketch beginnings and how intentional Niall was to everything, thus confirming everything Brienne believed about the outside world. Don’t bother with this book. Please do yourself a favor.