I ordered the kindle(?) version and I enjoyed it. I heard about it and may have been one of the first to read, since it wasn’t available to readers in the US when first published. I’m happy for the author in writing a first book that captures the audience, at least it did for me! The sort of book you don’t want to put down, I read it throughout the course of one or two rainy afternoons. One irritation, and this is aimed at amazon or the publishing company... was that it wasn’t available for purchase in any format in the US. Only in the U.K. Hopefully by now that has changed, but when I went to download it to my kindle/online library, I HAD to use a UK address in order to be able to download it, which I felt was very strange. Whether I provided my address abroad, a relative’s, or picked an address randomly, doesn’t really matter. Nothing was being delivered. I wasn’t looking to buy a paperback or hardcover copy; only a download! Something available to be downloaded and read should be available in all countries, particularly and especially English speaking ones, as far as I’m concerned. It was a small annoyance and easy to overcome, and the bonus was that it was a good read, especially from a first time writer and now author. I recommend this book and hope that by now people in the USA can access it without any obstacles.
My name is Anna was my first book by this author and If I'm being honest I enjoyed the first half much more than the second. Telling the story of the aftermath of a young girls abduction and the effect this has on the people impacted by these tragic events we pick up the story fifteen years after the fact. Told from two sisters POV Anna/Emily currently residing with her Mama in the USA and Rosie younger sister of abducted Emily living with her mum dad and brother in the UK. This is mainly the sister's story and as we switch seamlessly from girl to girl we start to get a sense of the differences that from the same instant in time have impacted both there lives so dramatically and while for the most part, I did enjoy this: It started to get slightly monotonous the further I progressed. I just wasn't fully on board here and I'm not sure quite why that was. It almost had a slightly anti-climactic feel to it especially the finale which for me felt a bit flat. On a sidenote, I did enjoy the Carrie references included with Anna and noticed the parallels included here almost instantly. This, in conclusion, was for me an OK read that never really took flight: hoping its a better fit for you. I voluntary reviewed an Arc of My name is Anna. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of A Girl Named Anna by Lizzy Barber from the Publisher (Mira) in exchange for an honest review. A Girl Named Anna is scheduled for release on Sept 3, 2019.
A Girl Named Anna follows two girls. Anna lives in a rural southern community with her strict mother who emphasizes purity and simplicity in their lives. Astroland (a local theme park) is absolutely off-limits. She manages to sneak in a trip with her boyfriend, and is surprised to find that things there seem vaguely familiar. A mysterious letter adds to her confusion, and makes Anna begin to question who she really is.
Rosie lives in urban England with her parents and brother. They all circle the older sister snatched from a trip to the U.S. fifteen years ago. When the trust established to search for her missing sister runs out of money, Rosie begins her own investigation.
There is a very obvious twist established by the back cover copy and the opening chapters. I was concerned that I was going into the story knowing a major twist, and also hoped that there would be additional twists piled on. I was right regarding the major twist- it is clear to the reader throughout the novel, while it is hidden from the characters. This felt a bit odd, given that the narrative was first person. There were additional shifts and twists introduced in the novel, but I was able to see them coming. There was nothing within the plot that surprised me. This became a relatively calm novel about two girls discovering secrets, rather than the thriller it was intended to be.
Throughout the novel, chapters alternate in perspective, with both girls offering us a first person point of view. For me, this ended up being one of the weaknesses of the novel. Both of the girls are in high school. While they had distinct voices, and I was easily able to tell which narrator we were with, neither of them had a voice that felt like a teenage voice. This made it difficult for me to connect with the characters and become invested in what they were experiencing. There was a sense of distance throughout the story that kept me from feeling a sense of urgency or even concern for the characters.
Lizzy Barber is clearly a strong writer. There are no gaps in the plot, the writing is clean and crisp. But this story was missing that magical something to draw me in and make me feel the story. This is her debut novel, and I would read more by Barber to see how she grows as a writer.