☆☆➹⁀☆ 3.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
The morning after real estate agent Gemma Brogan has dinner with a prospective client, she’s furious at herself for drinking so much. But there will be more to regret than a nasty hangover.
She starts receiving mementos from that night: A photo of a hallway kiss. A video of her complaining about her husband. And worse…much worse. The problem is she doesn’t remember any of it.
As the blackmailing and menace ramp up, Gemma fears for her already shaky marriage. The paranoia, the feeling that her life is spiraling out of control, will take her back to another night–years ago–that changed everything. And Gemma will realize just how far the shadows from her past can reach.
The Girl I Used to Be is really about two girls and how one fateful night changed them dramatically. The premise of lost memories and blackmailing is absolutely intriguing. The haunting memories of Gemma’s past magnify the frightening situation she currently finds herself in. Author Mary Torjussen slowly sets up her main narrator, Gemma, through the first half of the book. The daily tedium of her job, the longing to have more time with her son, Rory, and the resentment towards her stay-at-home husband is absolutely draining. Whether you abhor or tolerate cheating, it is easy to empathize with Gemma’s need for some attention.
However, in part two of the book, the plot tension ramps and the action picks up dramatically. The blackmail threats make Gemma fearful, but it doesn’t feel like there is much of a physical threat. Certainly, the situations are uncomfortable, and the fear of her husband finding out is palpable. When Gemma stumbles onto a major clue, she becomes the amateur sleuth who solves not only the blackmailing mystery, but she also exposes a manipulative socio-path.
The Girl I Used to Be is a story of jealously, malice, and revenge. Gemma is an interesting character, her protégé’s behavior is a bit questionable, and the antagonist is truly evil. The untenable situation they find themselves in will have you on the edge of your seat.
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