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I'll Be You cover art

I'll Be You

Written by: Janelle Brown
Narrated by: Julia Whelan,Kate Rudd
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Publisher's Summary

Two identical twin sisters and former child actors have grown apart—until one disappears, in this “cleverly crafted and psychologically nuanced” (Time) suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Things.

“An addictive thriller that will keep readers burning through pages . . . sneakily hypnotic.”—Los Angeles Times

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Public Library, PopSugar

“You be me, and I’ll be you,” I whispered.

As children, Sam and Elli were two halves of a perfect whole: gorgeous identical twins whose parents sometimes couldn’t even tell them apart. They fell asleep to the sound of each other’s breath at night, holding hands in the dark. And once Hollywood discovered them, they became B-list child TV stars, often inhabiting the same role.

But as adults, their lives have splintered. After leaving acting, Elli reinvented herself as the perfect homemaker: married to a real estate lawyer, living in a house just blocks from the beach. Meanwhile, Sam has never recovered from her failed Hollywood career, or from her addiction to the pills and booze that have propped her up for the last fifteen years.

Sam hasn't spoken to her sister since her destructive behavior finally drove a wedge between them. So when her father calls out of the blue, Sam is shocked to learn that Elli’s life has been in turmoil: her husband moved out, and Elli just adopted a two-year-old girl. Now she’s stopped answering her phone and checked in to a mysterious spa in Ojai. Is her sister just decompressing, or is she in trouble? Could she have possibly joined a cult? As Sam works to connect the dots left by Elli’s baffling disappearance, she realizes that the bond between her and her sister is more complicated than she ever knew.

I’ll Be You shows Janelle Brown at the top of her game: a story packed with surprising revelations and sharp insights about the choices that define our families and our lives—and could just as easily destroy them.

©2022 Janelle Brown (P)2022 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“Her twistiest and tightest work yet . . . I’ll Be You is a cleverly crafted and psychologically nuanced yin and yang, complete with crackling observations about celebrity, California cults, wellness culture, the fertility industry, and the undertow of addiction.”Time

“An addictive thriller that will keep readers burning through pages . . . sneakily hypnotic.”Los Angeles Times

“Sharply insightful, relentlessly suspenseful and simply unputdownable, I’ll Be You is Janelle Brown’s best novel yet.”Bookreporter

What listeners say about I'll Be You

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyed the story

all in all it was a good listen. enjoyed the voice of Sam. few wtf shocking moments. good story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

not half bad

kind of predictable, really, but oh well! it was an entertaining story, but i found it difficult to actually like either of the twins?

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unputdownable!

A brilliant story about loyalty, intuition, unconditional love, all wrapped up in a riveting mystery.

impeccable narration from Julia Whelan and Kate Rudd.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story, ending uncomfortable tho

This story is excellently written in every sense of the compliment and performed perfectly. The character and plot development is some of the best I've ever written and any "twists" or "reveals", you absolutely do not see coming, which is hard to achieve nowadays. I really did love both the conceit and execution of this book.


SPOILERS
However, the ending sat poorly with me. Although I think you should have sympathy for the sister and I don't believe in prison so it's not that i wanted her sent to jail, the trauma done to the girl and her family is undeniable - even though they return her in the end, physically unharmed, she developed strong attachments to people during her formative years that she'll always remember on some level but not consciously. Also her parents thought she was dead for 4 months, as if that's not gonna wound the family. Lastly the idea of a monied white woman stealing a brown baby (because that's what she was) with no accountability despite the context is unpalatable to me. There was no real wrestling with these issues, too, and it made the ending feel uncomfortable.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AFH
  • 2023-03-24

Another Great Story

This book was beautifully narrated and well written.
Had me wanting to listen for the next chapter.
Very thrilling and great story line.
I enjoyed it very much.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JOY
  • 2022-09-02

Keeps you interested

A most unusual book. I read it in no time so I guess that means I liked it🎉😀

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  • Pink Amy
  • 2022-04-28

The near perfect book

I’LL BE YOU hadn’t been on my radar, but when I heard that my favorite narrator, Julia Whelan was narrating (with Kate Rudd), then read the blurb, I knew this was my kind of book.

I have an over 50 year love affair with all things twins and who doesn’t want to know about the inner lives of former child stars. I’LL BE YOU was practically written for me.

Told mostly from recovering addict Sam’s point of view, I was annoyed or judgmental about her cringeworthy messiness. Neither twin had the perception of the other that she had of herself, but who isn’t biased evaluating self and others.

I didn’t know how much I needed to listen to this story of sisters until after I listened to this perfectly narrated novel. I’LL BE YOU made me cry and cheer. I will want to relisten to this special story.

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24 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura Lea
  • 2022-05-01

Disappointing

I loved loved her earlier book, “Pretty Things.” I struggled to finish “I’ll Be You.” It is definitely not a mystery nor is it a thriller. The narration is top notch - doesn’t get better but stellar narration cannot compensate for a weak story and flat, under developed and cliche characters. It isn’t a terrible book but if you are expecting the quality thriller of Pretty
Things, we will have to hope for her next one.

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20 people found this helpful

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  • Britta
  • 2022-05-05

Worth a credit!

Great book! Highly recommend. One of the best books I’ve read in awhile. I couldn’t stop listening!

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13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sfumato
  • 2022-12-09

Do they have to throw in animal cruelty

Was really enjoying this book until almost at the end when they bring up a case of extreme animal cruelty I don’t know why these authors think that is something that anyone would want to hear about or have as part of their story

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9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr. Kim Green
  • 2022-06-02

Struggling through this...

This story line is so dry. I'm really struggling through it. The only reason I'm sticking with it is b/c I paid for it.

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9 people found this helpful

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  • Megan D
  • 2022-04-28

Great Twin Saga...

...but, as with many suspense stories, one of the main characters is unbelievably gullible, to the point of ridiculousness. Still, a really good story and worth the wait.

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9 people found this helpful

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  • dana
  • 2022-04-29

Worth the credit!

Interesting and engaging. The story is solid and the narrators are top f the field. This one won’t disappoint!

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6 people found this helpful

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  • liz
  • 2022-05-17

only on chapter 7 about ready to give up.

possibly a spoiler. I. only on chapter 7 was good so far. UNTIL the possibility of CULT activity.
I will give it a bit but if that's where thos goes ... I am out and online for a refund. cult storylines are not my cup if tea at all.
nite to readers if reviews. if course I could be completely off base , if possible cult active is your thing then bonus for you , prior to this I was enjoying book.

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  • Julie S.
  • 2022-05-06

Worth the wait!

I couldn’t wait for her next book and this one did not disappoint! The performances were great and the storyline was exciting. I was a little concerned in the beginning about Sam‘s story being a bit cliché but those concerns were gone early on in the book. Someone should pitch it to Reese Witherspoon to make it into a movie!

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  • Clarissa Laws
  • 2022-05-02

Fantastic. Loved every second.

This author never lets me down!!! This was something I spent my whole weekend listening to I couldn’t stop!!! It’s amazing. Enjoy!!

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5 people found this helpful