Customer Reviews for

And She Was (Brenna Spector Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Great story line - kept me guessing.

Alison Gaylin is an exceptionally good mystery writer. Characters are interesting and believable. I really liked the twists and turns of the plot. Looking forward to her next release.

posted by cohlie on February 29, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

The book blurb reminded me of the TV show Unforgettable, where D

The book blurb reminded me of the TV show Unforgettable, where Detective Carrie Wells remembers everything she sees. In fact, that's one of the reasons I wanted to read this one! Brenna Spector is a little like Carrie, only her memories don't seem to be as controlled an...
The book blurb reminded me of the TV show Unforgettable, where Detective Carrie Wells remembers everything she sees. In fact, that's one of the reasons I wanted to read this one! Brenna Spector is a little like Carrie, only her memories don't seem to be as controlled and she can sometimes drift away into the past. While fascinating, this ability also sounds like an incredible burden. Some things are better left to hazy recollections, softened by time.

Brenna is an investigator who specializes in missing persons. While I kept comparing her to Carrie Wells at first, she soon became her own person. She seemed more vulnerable than Carrie, maybe because she had less control over her memory? While reading, I wasn't sure if I liked Brenna or not, but wound up liking her by the end and wanting to learn more about her and her life!

The mystery itself is rather strange. Carol Wentz blames herself for the disappearance of a little girl eleven years ago and has been obsessing about it ever since. That didn't ring true for me, as it wasn't really Carol's fault and I didn't believe that she would do some of the things she did. Then Carol disappears, and her wallet is found in the missing girl's old house. Curiouser and curiouser....

Found myself more interested in Brenna, her struggles with living with her Super Memory, and how it affected both her personal and professional life than in Carol's disappearance. I didn't really like Carol, Carol's husband, or any of the other characters involved in the disappearance and just wanted to get back to Brenna. Because of that, I gave this one a 3/5 as while I liked it, the main plot kept getting in the way! Really liked the main character, but didn't care about the mystery. Does that make sense?

posted by alexia561 on April 1, 2012

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  • Posted April 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The book blurb reminded me of the TV show Unforgettable, where D

    The book blurb reminded me of the TV show Unforgettable, where Detective Carrie Wells remembers everything she sees. In fact, that's one of the reasons I wanted to read this one! Brenna Spector is a little like Carrie, only her memories don't seem to be as controlled and she can sometimes drift away into the past. While fascinating, this ability also sounds like an incredible burden. Some things are better left to hazy recollections, softened by time.

    Brenna is an investigator who specializes in missing persons. While I kept comparing her to Carrie Wells at first, she soon became her own person. She seemed more vulnerable than Carrie, maybe because she had less control over her memory? While reading, I wasn't sure if I liked Brenna or not, but wound up liking her by the end and wanting to learn more about her and her life!

    The mystery itself is rather strange. Carol Wentz blames herself for the disappearance of a little girl eleven years ago and has been obsessing about it ever since. That didn't ring true for me, as it wasn't really Carol's fault and I didn't believe that she would do some of the things she did. Then Carol disappears, and her wallet is found in the missing girl's old house. Curiouser and curiouser....

    Found myself more interested in Brenna, her struggles with living with her Super Memory, and how it affected both her personal and professional life than in Carol's disappearance. I didn't really like Carol, Carol's husband, or any of the other characters involved in the disappearance and just wanted to get back to Brenna. Because of that, I gave this one a 3/5 as while I liked it, the main plot kept getting in the way! Really liked the main character, but didn't care about the mystery. Does that make sense?

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    “And She Was” by Alison Gaylin is billed as a novel

    “And She Was” by Alison Gaylin is billed as a novel of suspense (on its cover, anyway), but it doesn’t quite fit that billing. Nevertheless, it’s a satisfactory enough read. Gaylin can write. That’s never in doubt. She turns many phrases beautifully but sometimes to the point where the language detracts from the story.

    A little background: the story is basically about PI Brenna Spector investigating a years-old disappearance of a child named Iris and a modern-day disappearance that may be connected. Add to that the fact Brenna’s sister disappeared when they were kids, Brenna was a witness and the trauma caused Brenna to have a condition in which she remembers everything perfectly. So, a lot of the book is filled with flashbacks triggered by a certain sight, smell or taste. Yeah, it’s annoying. It disrupts the flow. But that’s kinda the point, isn’t it? This is what Brenna has to live with, and it’s disruptive as all heck for her.

    So, anyway, a bit more on the bad: I didn’t particularly care about many, if not most, of Brenna’s flashbacks. Skim land there. This also happened for other swaths of the book (especially where there was some fancy language, the only point of which was to show Gaylin can write). The mysteries also get too convoluted about 3/4 through.

    The good stuff: Brenna has an awesome assistant named Trent. He’s like a kinda intellectual “Jersey Shore” person. He shines. He leaps off the page, more than anyone else. I wanted more Trent! The resolution of the Iris mystery (the whodunit) was also satisfactory. I was glad to see none of the convolutions came into play there.

    There’s a sequel planned in winter 2013. I’m not sure if I’ll read it. Maybe I will if I come across it, but it’ll be nothing I put on my advance reading lists. It promises to follow up on the disappearance of Brenna’s sister, but quite frankly, I never much cared about it in “And She Was.” I wanted more on the cases Brenna was investigating, and her sister’s disappearance, in my opinion, felt like filler.

    Three stars: decent mystery, decent protagonist with an unusual memory twist.

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 1, 2013

    Good

    Enjoyed story but flashbacks were a little too detailed to move the story along. Characters were interesting but I was a little disappointed in unanswered main question at ending. Read second book to follow through unanswered question but was still unresolved. Probably won't read third.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2014

    Good read

    See full review on my blog

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    could have been great

    very good until very dissapointing ending

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Not one of My Fav

    Book did not catch me from the get go. Lost interest couple pages in and did not finish

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  • Posted August 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Kept My Attention

    Although the book kept my attention, I felt a bit disappointed with the ending, I felt like something was missing like some loose ends were not entirely tied up. But I did overall enjoy it

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