BOOK REVIEW: When I Was You by Amber Garza

Title: When I Was You
Author: Amber Garza
Publication: August 25, 2020
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Domestic Thrillers
Pages: 368

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

You meets Fatal Attraction in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

When I Was You by Amber Garza was not at all the type of thriller I would normally read. I like police drama, action, and lots of twists and turns. Surprisingly, this book had lots of twists and turns and a psychological aspect that had me hooked.

From the first page, I had questionable feelings towards main character Kelly. She was a bit different and had some peculiar behavior. It was also obvious that she had some kind of mental issues previously in her life because her friends and husband continuously hinted at it. So I was convinced from the beginning that this was going to be her having gone crazy.

Then the story really dug in where she had met this other person, younger than her, with the same name and a child that reminded her so much of her beloved son Aaron. I felt her behavior, still, was a bit creepy and it appeared I was not the only one. Garza really wrote a character with enough quirks that had me furloughing my brows and saying “What on earth?” out loud. Her behavior would have had my spidey senses tingling as a young mother.

Just as I thought I had it figured out, Garza throws you for a loop. Everything you think you know… you don’t. Every guess you’ve made… wrong. I read the last third of this book without stopping. I just laid in bed and devoured page by page because I just had to know what was actually going on. When all was revealed, the lightbulb went off and I was shocked! I love when an author can really surprise you. Not just an “oh” moment, but a true “oh my gosh!” moment. Garza had done it.

These characters were interesting, different, and the story dabbled in mental health, which I think more people should talk about. And of course, Garza couldn’t just leave me shocked once. The ending of the book had me laughing, but only because I was so surprised.

If you love a good twisty, tale with lots of shocking moments, When I Was You will do it. It was such a fun read because I was trying to guess the outcome the whole time. Was it Kelly in the library with the candlestick, or… Such a fun game for the reader to play. Pick it up, you won’t regret it. Absolutely fantastic.


Pick up your copy of When I Was You by Amber Garza on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out more from author Amber Garza on her website here.

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