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  • We Were Never Here

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Andrea Bartz
  • Narrated by: Becca Tobin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (387 ratings)

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We Were Never Here

Written by: Andrea Bartz
Narrated by: Becca Tobin
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller • Reese’s Book Club Pick

“This book is every suspense lover’s dream and it kept me up way too late turning pages.... A novel with crazy twists and turns that will have you ditching your Friday night plans for more chapters.” (Reese Witherspoon)

A backpacking trip has deadly consequences in this “eerie psychological thriller...with alluring locales, Hitchcockian tension, and possibly the best pair of female leads since Thelma and Louise” (BookPage), from the best-selling author of The Lost Night and The Herd.

A Marie Claire Book Club Pick • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by NPR and Marie Claire

Emily is having the time of her life - she’s in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip, and the women are feeling closer than ever. But on the last night of the trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she brought back to their room attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year’s trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can’t believe it’s happened again - can lightning really strike twice?

Back home in Wisconsin, Emily struggles to bury her trauma, diving headfirst into a new relationship and throwing herself into work. But when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent past. The more Kristen tries to keep Emily close, the more Emily questions her motives. As Emily feels the walls closing in on their cover-ups, she must reckon with the truth about her closest friend. Can Emily outrun the secrets she shares with Kristen, or will they destroy her relationship, her freedom - even her life?

©2021 Andrea Bartz (P)2021 Random House Audio

What the critics say

“A book that skillfully examines toxic friendship at its most extreme.... When the reckoning arrives, it shows that sometimes, we should fear our friends a lot more than strangers.” (The New York Times Book Review

“A page-turning thriller about two best friends whose annual reunion trip goes wrong - one of them may or may not have ‘accidentally’ killed a fellow backpacker! - transforming their friendship as they once knew it.” (Marie Claire

“Bartz takes the idea of a ‘frenemy’ to new heights.... Yet another expert vivisection of female modes of communication and competition.” (Los Angeles Times

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What listeners say about We Were Never Here

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Did I read the same book as everyone else?

I was so excited to read We Were Never Here and was disappointed from beginning to end. The writing and narration were fine, but the story itself was boring, predictable, and slow-moving with zero twists or creativity. Did I miss something? Did I read the right book?? Please enlighten me.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting story

Good story but the writing was very flowery. I just found that the metaphors in every single description were a bit much.

I didn’t love the narration but upon reflection it was a good choice for the lead character.

1 person found this helpful

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Hope

Oh my gosh . I really enjoyed this book holy moly I feel like there could be a part two of this book

1 person found this helpful

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Have you ever had a toxic best friend?

I just loved this book! Best-friendship gone wrong! It explores that awkward phase in a friendship that one friend is starting a serious relationship and the other is jealous but trying to be supportive!

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WAY too descriptive

I love a good word flourish. however, this book over described everything. The way the light switch felt beneath her fingers the way her door key felt in her hand. the way that turn signal clicked on and off like the beating of a hummingbird's heart... way too many descriptions. I found myself wishing I could fast forward so we could just get to the story. because the story itself is quite good.

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Entertaining and Suspenseful

Really enjoyed the story line and narration. It was suspenseful and kept me wanting to read more.

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Pretty good, but not great!

It was decent, but not a super exciting thriller/mystery novel like I was anticipating. I found the first half of the book slow, then it picked up & got more interesting towards the end. All in all, it was good, but not great!

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great story

loved every minute of it highly recommended great read loved the suspense hope you enjoy it as much as I did

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the narration is horrible

the book itself is great, but the narrator is horrible. couldn't get through the book because of it.

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Not the best

Started off ok. Then got very predictable. At times it was so boring, I’d zone out and rewind only to realize a lot of nothing was said. The story then has a million details thrown into one chapter, and comes to an abrupt end. Regretful I bought this book.

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  • Britt Nia
  • 2021-08-06

Holy hell!

This kept me up until 1am on a school night... my mind is whirling! This is the kind of book that will make you want to keep reading everything the author has. Brava! If this isn’t made a movie I no longer want to go to movies any longer.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer W.
  • 2021-08-06

Ughhhh

I love psychological thrillers so I was really excited for this book. Unfortunately, it fell pretty flat for me. The characters aren’t very likable and the first seven hours are kind of a frustrating, slow-paced examination into this co-dependent friendship and literally nothing happens. The last three hours are better but, again, I had no one I liked enough to root for. Ha. The reveals didn’t pack a lot of punch and the ending was just like…um…okayyy. Also, if you’re finding the narration a little slow, you might try listening on 1.1 or 1.2 speed. I wouldn’t say it’s a monotone listen, but maybe a little melancholy at times. I gave it a 3 overall because it wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read; nothing is fundamentally wrong with it or anything, but you basically get the whole story in the description. It left me wanting way more.

27 people found this helpful

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  • ASCH16
  • 2021-08-06

Great Book

I’ve been striking out over and over again with my mystery choices and FINALLY found a great one. The characters are flawed but sympathetic and well fleshed out, there are no idiot stereotypes of women or relationships, the story line is captivating and believable. definitely worth a credit. I will be looking into the author’s other books

25 people found this helpful

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  • Virginia A Reimer
  • 2021-08-06

narration poor

I can not say if this story is any good because the narration was borderline acceptable and the start of the book is so weak I just couldn't get into it. I returned it.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Diane
  • 2021-08-08

Stop! Stop! Stop!

I love analogies and had to be careful when writing school papers not to over use them. The author shows promise & may just need a good editor to clean up the rough edges early on.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2021-08-09

I really disliked this book

Ridiculous and repetitive. I rarely write reviews, but this book was frustrating and disappointing after reading all the endorsements

13 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Baratta She/Her
  • 2021-08-07

Becca Tobin is an outstanding narrator

Just when you think you know your best friend from College. This book is amazing. Thank you Andrea Bartz.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Brett A. Saffell
  • 2021-08-22

too much descriptive writing.. like soooo much....

. This books is fine, the writing tries way too hard, but the story is fine. Reese Witherspoon's recommendations are not that great, I like a more critical eye when recommending a book.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kora87
  • 2021-08-07

Loved it!

I thought this was an interesting story and it had a great narrator. What happens when you can`t trust your best friend? The friend who has always been there for you? The friend who has never let you down? The friend who has been there when others have let you down? When their trip to Chile ends in the death of a backpacker, similar to what happened the year before in Cambodia, Emily begins to wonder if her best friend is really the person she believes her to be. If she digs deeper, will she like what she sees? This story kept me listening.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-08-06

For all fans…

Of Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman, although her books I prefer much more. The book is not bad, but I didn't found it that interesting, especially to be it on Reese W. Bookclub List. On the bright side- I liked it much more that The Herd.

6 people found this helpful