The Perfect Stranger

The Perfect Stranger

by Megan Miranda

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Overview

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Missing Girls—the gripping story of a journalist who sets out to find her missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all. “Think: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl” (TheSkimm).

When Leah Stevens’ career implodes, a chance meeting with her old friend Emmy Grey offers her the perfect opportunity to start over. Emmy, just out of a bad relationship, convinces Leah to come live with her in rural Pennsylvania, where there are teaching positions available and no one knows Leah’s past.

Or Emmy’s.

When the town sees a spate of vicious crimes and Emmy Grey disappears, Leah begins to realize how very little she knows about her friend and roommate. Unable to find friends, family, a paper trail or a digital footprint, the police question whether Emmy Grey existed at all. And mark Leah as a prime suspect.

Fighting the doubts of the police and her own sanity, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Megan Miranda delivers a deep, dark and twisty novel just as thrilling as her New York Times bestseller All the Missing Girls.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501108006
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 01/02/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 12,292
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls. She has also written several books for young adults, including Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, Soulprint, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. The Perfect Stranger is her second novel of psychological suspense and The House Guest is the latest. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter, or visit MeganMiranda.com.

Read an Excerpt

The Perfect Stranger

CHAPTER 1


Character, Emmy called it, the quirks that came with the house: the nonexistent water pressure in the shower; the illogical layout. From the front porch, our house had large sliding glass doors that led directly to the living room and kitchen, a hallway beyond with two bedrooms and a bathroom to share. The main door was at the other end of the hall and faced the woods, like the house had been laid down with the right dimensions but the wrong orientation.

Probably the nicest thing I can say about the house was that it’s mine. But even that’s not exactly true. It’s my name on the lease, my food in the refrigerator, my glass cleanser that wipes the pollen residue from the sliding glass doors.

The house still belongs to someone else, though. The furniture, too. I didn’t bring much with me when I left my last place. Wasn’t much, once I got down to it, that was mine to take from the one-bedroom in the Prudential Center of Boston. Bar stools that wouldn’t fit under a standard table. Two dressers, a couch, and a bed, which would cost more to move than to replace.

Sometimes I wondered if it was just my mother’s words in my head, making me see this place, and my choice to be here, as something less than.

Before leaving Boston, I’d tried to spin the story for my mother, slanting this major life change as an active decision, opting to appeal to her sense of charity and decency—both for my benefit and for hers. I once heard her introduce me and my sister to her friends: “Rebecca helps the ones who can be saved, and Leah gives a voice to those who cannot.” So I imagined how she might frame this for her friends: My daughter is taking a sabbatical. To help children in need. If anyone could sell it, she could.

I made it seem like my idea to begin with, not that I had latched myself on to someone else’s plan because I had nowhere else to go. Not because the longer I stood still, the more I felt the net closing in.

Emmy and I had already sent in our deposit, and I’d been floating through the weeks, imagining this new version of the world waiting for me. But even then, I’d steeled myself for the call. Timed it so I knew my mother would be on her way to her standing coffee date with The Girls. Practiced my narrative, preemptively preparing counterpoints: I quit my job, and I’m leaving Boston. I’m going to teach high school, already have a position lined up. Western Pennsylvania. You know there are whole areas of the country right here in America that are in need, right? No, I won’t be alone. Remember Emmy? My roommate while I was interning after college? She’s coming with me.

The first thing my mother said was: “I don’t remember any Emmy.” As if this were the most important fact. But that was how she worked, picking at the details until the foundation finally gave, from nowhere. And yet her method of inquiry was also how we knew we had a secure base, that we weren’t basing our plans on a dream that would inevitably crumble under pressure.

I moved the phone to my other shoulder. “I lived with her after college.”

A pause, but I could hear her thoughts in the silence: You mean after you didn’t get the job you thought you’d have after graduation, took an unpaid internship instead, and had no place to live?

“I thought you were staying with . . . what was her name again? The girl with the red hair? Your roommate from college?”

“Paige,” I said, picturing not only her but Aaron, as I always did. “And that was just for a little while.”

“I see,” she said slowly.

“I’m not asking for your permission, Ma.”

Except I kind of was. She knew it. I knew it.

“Come home, Leah. Come home and let’s talk about it.”

Her guidance had kept my sister and me on a high-achieving track since middle school. She had used her own missteps in life to protect us. She had raised two independently successful daughters. A status I now seemed to be putting in jeopardy.

“So, what,” she said, changing the angle of approach, “you just walked in one day and quit?”

“Yes,” I said.

“And you’re doing this why?”

I closed my eyes and imagined for a moment that we were different people who could say things like Because I’m in trouble, so much trouble, before straightening my spine and giving her my speech. “Because I want to make a difference. Not just take facts and report them. I’m not doing anything at the paper but stroking my own ego. There’s a shortage of teachers, Mom. I could really make an impact.”

“Yes, but in western Pennsylvania?”

The way she said it told me everything I needed to know. When Emmy suggested it, western Pennsylvania seemed like a different version of the world I knew, with a different version of myself—which, at the time, was exactly what I needed. But my mother’s world was in the shape of a horseshoe. It stretched from New York City to Boston, swooping up all of Massachusetts inside the arch (but bypassing Connecticut entirely). She was the epicenter in western Massachusetts, and she’d successfully sent a daughter to the edge of each arch, and the world was right and complete. Any place else, in contrast, would be seen as a varying degree of failure.

My family was really only one generation out from a life that looked like this: a rental house with shitty plumbing, a roommate out of necessity, a town with a forgettable name, a job but no career. When my father left us, I wasn’t really old enough to appreciate the impact. But I knew there existed a time when we were unprepared and at the whim of the generosity of those around us. Those were the limbo years—the ones she never talked about, a time she now pretends never existed.

To her, this probably sounded a lot like sliding backward.

“Great teachers are needed everywhere,” I said.

She paused, then seemed to concede with a slow and drawn-out “Yes.”

I hung up, vindicated, then felt the twinge. She was not conceding. Great teachers are needed everywhere, yes, but you are not that.

She didn’t mean it as an insult, exactly. My sister and I were both valedictorians, both National Merit Scholars, both early admissions to the college of our respective choice. It wasn’t unreasonable that she would question this decision—especially coming out of thin air.

I quit, I had told her. This was not a lie, but a technicality—the truth being that it was the safest option, for both the paper and me. The truth was, I had no job in the only thing I’d trained in, no foreseeable one, and no chance of one. The truth was I was glad she had given me the blandest name, the type of name I’d hated growing up. A girl who could blend in and never stand out. A name in a roster anywhere.

EMMY’S CAR STILL WASN’T back when I was ready to leave for school. This was not too unusual. She worked the night shift, and she’d been seeing some guy named Jim—who sounded, on the phone, like he had smoke perpetually coating his lungs. I thought he wasn’t nearly good enough for Emmy; that she was sliding backward in some intangible way, like me. But I cut her some slack because I understood how it could be out here, how the calm could instead feel like an absence—and that sometimes you just wanted someone to see you.

Other than weekends, we could miss each other for days at a time. But it was Thursday, and I needed to pay the rent. She usually left me money on the table, underneath the painted stone garden gnome that she’d found and used as a centerpiece. I lifted the gnome by his red hat just to double-check, revealing nothing but a few stray crumbs.

Her lateness on the rent was also not too unusual.

I left her a sticky note beside the corded phone, our designated spot. I wrote RENT DUE in large print, stuck it on the wood-paneled wall. She’d taken all the other notes from earlier in the week—the SEE ELECTRIC BILL, the MICROWAVE BROKEN, the MICROWAVE FIXED.

I opened the sliding doors, hit the lights at the entrance, rummaged in my bag for my car keys—and realized I’d forgotten my cell. A gust of wind came in through the door as I turned around, and I watched the yellow slip of paper—RENT DUE—flutter down and slip behind the wood stand where we stacked the mail.

I crouched down and saw the accumulated mess underneath. A pile of sticky notes. CALL JIM right side up but half covered by another square. A few others, facedown. Not taken by Emmy after all but lost between the wall and the furniture during the passing weeks.

Emmy didn’t have a cell because her old one was still with her ex, on his phone plan, and she didn’t want an easy way for him to trace her. The idea of not owning a cell phone left me feeling almost naked, but she said it was nice not to be at anyone’s beck and call. It had seemed so Emmy at the time—quirky and endearing—but now seemed both irrational and selfish.

I left the notes on the kitchen table instead. Propped them up against the garden gnome. Tried to think of how many days it had been since I’d last seen her.

I added another note: CALL ME.

Decided to throw out the rest, so it wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Perfect Stranger includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

After a controversial journalistic decision compromises her reputation, relationship, and career, Leah Stevens leaves her life in Boston behind and moves to Pennsylvania with an old roommate, Emmy Grey. Eager to start fresh, she abandons her reporting work and gets a job teaching at a local school, but trouble soon follows when mysterious emails begin to arrive; a young woman who resembles her is found mortally injured nearby; and Emmy disappears without a trace. As the investigation picks up—along with a fiery relationship with the case’s lead investigator—Leah falls under suspicion when it becomes doubtful that Emmy Grey ever existed at all. To prove her innocence and reveal the truth that will set her free, Leah must revisit her past and all she had hoped to escape in order to determine how well she really knows herself and those around her. Fast-paced and haunting, The Perfect Stranger barrels forward with explosive momentum, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the story reaches its shocking conclusion.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Evaluate the opening of the book. How does the author use the Prologue to set up the story, foreshadow, and create an immediate sense of suspense? How do elements of the setting contribute to an air of uncertainty and unease? What themes or motifs are introduced in this section?

2. Who narrates the story and why do you think the author chose this narrator particularly? How did the choice of narrator influence or shape your reaction to the story? Would you say that the narrator is a reliable narrator? Why or why not? How did your assessment of the narrator change as the story progressed, and what caused these changes?

3. Why did Leah decide to leave Boston? What was her controversial article about, and why was it considered problematic? What rule or rules of journalism was Leah accused of breaking?

4. In Chapter 7, Leah says: “I had long believed that life was not linear but cyclical. It was the way news stories worked, and history” (page 57). What does she mean by this? Do you agree with her? Why or why not?

5. Consider the theme of trust—or mistrust. Would you say that the characters in the novel are very trusting of one another or very mistrustful? What does trust seem to be built upon? Alternatively, what erodes the characters’ trust in one another? What does the novel ultimately seem to suggest about trust?

6. Mitch believes that the local crime is due to the population doubling in size and the presence of outsiders, but what does the book suggest is more threatening—the unfamiliar or the familiar? Discuss.

7. What does Leah say is “the desire of all mankind” when it comes to stories? What, in her opinion, do people demand, and how does this influence the judgments and assessments people make when faced with a mystery or the unknown? Where do we find examples of this in the text?

8. Explore the theme of truth. Does the book ultimately indicate how one can discern what is true and what is not? Leah believes that truth always rises to the surface like bubbles in a pot of boiling water. Do you agree with her? Explain.

9. Leah believes that she has relocated to a place filled with people who share at least one thing in common with her. What does she believe is the commonality? What same commonality do Leah and Kyle share?

10. Do readers ever learn who the unnamed source was in Leah’s article? Why did Leah protect their identity? In the final confrontation of the novel, why does Leah go on her own even though it endangers her? Who does Leah believe she owed it to?

11. Leah’s mother believes that her daughter uses her talents to give a voice to the voiceless. Discuss the concept of the anonymous or voiceless victim that recurs throughout the novel. Who are these victims, and what do they share in common? Why, for instance, does Leah believe that no one will pay attention to the ultimate fate of Bethany? How did Leah believe people would react if something happened to her or any other person staying at a motel?

12. At the start of the story Leah believed that fate had brought her and Emmy back together after several years apart, but as the story progresses Leah’s point of view shifts and she says: “Things come back around because we go looking for them. That’s why they seem to pop back up over and over, like fate” (page 302). Does the novel ultimately support or refute the idea of fate? Discuss.

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Consider how the book treats the subject of the relationship between suspicion and false assumptions. What is a false assumption or assessment that you have made about someone else in your own life and what led you to make it? How did you come to realize that your assumption was wrong, and what did this teach you about judgment?

2. Compare The Perfect Stranger to another psychological thriller such as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl or Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train. How do the authors build suspense throughout the story? How do the stories meet or defy your expectations as a reader? Discuss what the books have in common including any shared themes.

3. Visit Megan Miranda’s website at www.meganmiranda.com to learn more about her and her other works, including All the Missing Girls, The Safest Lies, Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, and Soulprint.

Customer Reviews

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The Perfect Stranger 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lots of characters that keep you guessing until the end!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading this one. Well written with good, likeable characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book; try the sample!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Weird, pointless and depressing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A main character who needs to start over. A friend who wants to do the same. Mixed in are other characters in a similar situation. A morsel at a time, the author reveals why or allows the main character to figure out why. A little romance with a detective finding it hard to both follow his heart & the rules of his job. Some unexpected surprises. I really liked the style and plan to read "The Missing Girl."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Teally enjoyed this. Kept you guessing throughout.
Samantha1020 10 months ago
When I think of this book the first word that comes to mind is page-turner! I started reading this book and was finished it with it in a matter of days which doesn't always happen (even though I would like it to). I just couldn't stop reading as I always felt compelled to see what was going to happen next. My favorite thing about this book was that feeling that I never knew quite what was going on. As I was reading I wasn't sure who Leah could trust and who she couldn't. There were just constant questions and I was never sure of any of the character's motivations which it made it that much more interesting. It also made it that much harder to put down! It almost felt like there were two mysteries within this book. The mystery of what was happening in the present and also the mystery of what had happened in Leah's past. I enjoyed how we were given parts of Leah's past in pieces throughout the book. It added to the suspense and had me questioning Leah's motivations as well. I hit a point in this book where I just knew that I wasn't going to stop reading as I had to see how it would all end. I will say that it was a pretty satisfying conclusion even though I had started guessing pieces of it. It ended up being a really solid read for me - an easy four stars! This is now the second book that I've read and enjoyed by this author. The first book I read of hers was a young adult novel and I enjoyed that one just as much as this one. I'm excited that I have other books of hers to look forward to! This was a really great standalone thriller which is a type of book that I just don't read enough of. I'm a series girl for the majority of the books I choose but books like this make me want to stretch and read more standalones! I love a book that keeps me reading late into the night and this one definitely did! I think that fans of both suspense and thrillers should give this book a try! I can easily recommend it and am looking forward to reading more by this author because of it! Bottom Line: A suspenseful read that I couldn't put down! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. Thoughts on it are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The novel The Perfect Stranger, by Megan Miranda is a thrilling and mysterious fiction book. The novel is from the main character, Leah Steven’s point of view. Leah Stevens is a girl who is trying to get away from her past and start a new life in Western Pennsylvania. She moves in with an old roommate named Emmy Grey, and one day her roommate disappears. As Leah struggles to find out what happened to her roommate, she soon realizes she doesn’t really know her roommate at all. Soon she figures out that the little information she thought she knew about Emmy was all a lie, and that there is a girl who looks just like her and is trying to steal her identity. This novel was well paced, with Leah Stevens being the protagonist and Emmy Grey being the antagonist. Leah Stevens was the protagonist because she was the main character through out the novel, and Emmy Grey was the antagonist because she was the opposing force against Leah. The major conflict between Leah and Emmy was that Emmy had set Leah up and was planning on stealing her identity. My favorite character in this novel would be Leah Stevens. I admire the bravery and courage she had when she sought out to seek the truth about her roommate. Another reason I have come to love this character is because of the way she sees others. In the novel Leah thinks that seeing the good in others can be a weakness, but I feel that it is not. If I had the opportunity, I would change minor details in this novel, such as they way they describe the death of their characters. Overall, I enjoyed this novel a lot and more than I had expected to. I would most definitely recommend my novel to readers who love thrillers, mysteries, and suspense. I would even recommend this novel to people who don’t like to read, to young adults, and teen just so they can have the same reading experience that I had.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very nice way of writing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SmithFamilyInEngland More than 1 year ago
Having never read any books by the popular author Megan Miranda previously or the highly successful "All The Missing Girls" I was looking forward to trying out this author by reading her latest offering "The Perfect Stranger". Leah is a determined journalist who always strives for the truth. When something goes wrong with an article she writes - having got a little too close to the possible truth in a series of suicides - she ends up leaving Boston under a cloud. Moving to western Pennsylvania with her old friend Emmy to work as a teacher, she makes what she believes is a fresh start in an idyllic town, leaving her past behind. However, after not seeing Emmy for five days, Leah becomes concerned for her safety after an attack on another young girl occurs. Leah is helped by a handsome detective to help find out where Emmy is and after realising she really knows nothing about her and that all the documents relating to the move and the house are all in her own name she begins to suspect if Emmy actually existed at all. I wasn't blown away by the plot in the story but that could just be me, it was a decent enough read that I wanted to see through to the end and for a lazy afternoon reading this fits the bill perfectly. I did doubt the fact slightly that Leah knew so little about Emmy, it's common practice that you learn things about someone the more you spend time with them and she had lived with her twice. I'm happy I've read "The Perfect Stranger" and I would read more by this author, I am planning on hopefully reading "All The Missing Girls" someday and I would happily recommend this book to readers with the caution that if you have read her previous books this may not quite be up to the standards you are expecting. 3 stars
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
The biggest problem with this book is that the author is trying so desperately hard to make it an edge-of-your-seat ride that it all becomes rather confused. There are red herrings aplenty but I lost faith when we are trying to trace the true identity of Emmy Grey and it starts to look as though Bethany Jarvitz could be her real identity - in the opening scenes our heroine, Leah, is shown a photograph of the battered girl so she clearly knows it isn't Emmy. The writing style is not clear leading to the narrative becoming muddled and contradictory. Multiple pages are given over to overwrought emotional meanderings of the "poor me" variety as Leah tries to ratify her previous work as a Journalist in Boston and it's rather epic demise with her new role as High School teacher in a sleepy Pennsylvania town. The characterisation is rather flat and I never felt that we had a good idea of who anyone was. This is an intrinsic part of the plot where Emmy Grey is concerned but Kyle Donovan and Leah herself are major player sin the book and yet they are no more than words on a page. Early attempts at tension are related to what caused Leah to lose her journalism post but by the time it is revealed I really couldn't have cared less. To be honest I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been her incessant whining that caused it; instead it appears that it was her overarching ego and determination that she was right gosh-darnit that caused the loss of that job. How she leapt from that to a teaching job is blurry but just about believable. What isn't is her complete gullibility. With a poorly executed plot, barely there characterisation and rambling, muddy narrative this has to very much go on the "could do better" pile. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a fan of Megan’s from the beginning and after being mildly obsessed with All the Missing Girls, I was excited to get to her next adult story. Somehow, I just never actually got around to it. I really liked Leah. She’s smart and savvy and tenacious. I enjoyed how she got a thread of a story in her head and ran with it. There are a few other characters, but it felt like we only got the surface of them. And that was highly effective for the story. Plot wise, I’ll admit to expecting something a bit more murdery. The reveals were deliciously slow, but by the time we got to the last chapters, the partial reveal wasn’t as satisfying as I expected. There were answers of course and a resolution of sorts, but there weren’t full answers and that was mildly disappointing. Overall, it was a great story with so much fantastic tension and it kept me guessing until almost the very end. I can’t wait to see what Megan writes next. **Huge thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing the arc free of charge**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Hard to put down!
Rebecca Petruck More than 1 year ago
Stayed up late to finish this book which, in retrospect, was not a good idea. I have a little too much in common with Leah: alone in the woods, a recent transplant to a new town where I don't know many people and wouldn't be missed for some time. I woke up in the night several times, creeped out, and ended up sleeping with the big Mag-Lite in case I needed to temporarily blind someone and bonk them on the head. In other words, A VERY GOOD READ! The plot and character twists were unexpected and compelling. The writing is sharp. And the ending spot on. If you like a tense thriller with complications, that's not TOO creepy (unless you also live alone in the woods), then this book is The Perfect Read for you, too.
AReadingRedSox More than 1 year ago
I loved these books so much. Megan Miranda's writing is spectacular, and the stories she weaves are fantastic and suspenseful. I couldn't put this one down. See more reviews at my blog! http://areadingredsox.blogspot.com
MysM More than 1 year ago
Taut Psychological Thriller A new author to me, Megan Miranda, has created an intense psychological thriller here. The Perfect Stranger is the first person narrator, Leah Stevens, who reconnects with her friend and former roommate Emmy at a turning point in her life. Leah has royally ruined her career in journalism by refusing to name a source and, in the hope that rumours of a civil suit will disappear, agrees to quit her job on the Boston Post. Looking to reinvent herself, an accidental meeting with Emmy, who is running from a violent ex-fiancé, finds the pair off to a small town in rural Pennsylvania where Leah will teach high school English and Emmy will work part-time night shift at a motel and do some daytime cleaning assignments. Life slowly comes off the rails when first, the basketball coach from the high school (married) tries to put the moves on Leah. Then, she starts to get phone calls late at night with suggestive messages and heavy breathing. A neighbourhood woman — a Leah look alike — is found by the lake with her head bashed in. When Leah realizes she hasn't seen Emmy for several days and none of the sticky messages she's left for her have been picked up, she alerts the police to her disappearance. As Leah tries to piece together information about Emmy for police detective Kyle Donovan, it begins to dawn on her that she hasn't a lot of hard information on her roommate — Emmy has left no paper trail: no name on a lease, no vehicle registration, no participation in the Peace Corps, no credit cards, nothing. Then, Emmy's battered up station wagon is pulled from the lake with her current boyfriend in it — his throat cut. As Leah starts to connect the bits she remembers, the new pieces she's discovering, and the parts she overlooked along the way, she begins to have a new perspective on her relationship with Emmy and who she really is. When Leah looks at it from the police perspective, she realizes it appears as if Emmy is a figment of Leah's own imagination and that she herself is the prime suspect in two murder investigations. She becomes more resourceful and confident as she starts following a vague trail Emmy has left for her and soon realizes how she had been the perfect stranger for Emmy. She learns more about herself, her family, and how her own openness made her incredibly vulnerable in so many ways, and how, despite the terrifying events that have marred her first semester, her fresh start will be even better than she had first hoped. This story is fraught with tension from the very first page and builds slowly and carefully, as the author fills in Leah's personal past and what little she knows of Emmy. It is further complicated by a budding relationship with the handsome, young Detective Donovan, the mysterious attitudes of some of her students, the story of the campus suicides that she's convinced were murders, and the tenuous thread between Emmy and an arson/manslaughter charge the first murder victim had spent 8 years in prison for committing. I'll definitely be reading more of this author.
LacrYmosa_Wolford More than 1 year ago
Megan Miranda does it again. I loved All the missing girls, and this book was pretty damn good. I enjoy Leah Stevens even though half the time I kept screaming "I know you're not this stupid!" Lol. Aside from that I enjoyed her need to find the truth maybe next time she could stop jumping to conclusions and be more aware of her surroundings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book
Heather7220 More than 1 year ago
sandrabrazier More than 1 year ago
Leah Stevens is running. She really needs to leave Boston, so when she learns that her old college friend, Emmy Grey, needs a roommate, she is eager to live with her in her isolated cabin near the woods. Emmy, too, wishes to start a new life, having just left a troubled relationship. The women decide to start over together, Leah as a high school teacher, and Emmy as an employee in a hotel. When a stranger who looks like Leah is found murdered and Emmy’s new boyfriend is found at the bottom of the lake, Emmy goes missing, Leah reports her missing roommate to the police, but they can find no record of an Emmy Grey. It’s as if she had never existed. This is when Leah’s investigative skills kick in, and she begins her own investigation. This book is filled with twists and turns! Along with the realistic characters, they make this a book that is nearly impossible to put down. I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I loved "All the Missing Girls" and could not wait to reading this book. It has been sitting on my TBR pile since the beginning of the year. And, like her other book, this one did not fail to disappoint. This one had me going crazy. I was starting to wonder if there was an Emmy or not. I read the pages, Leah and Emmy had conversations. Were they her dreams or not? This was such a great suspenseful thriller. So many things stacked up against Leah. The author did an excellent job and I absolutely loved the ending. I am definitely looking forward to Megan Miranda's next offering and will hungrily grab it up and make it mine. Thanks to Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for approving and allowing me to read and review this thriller!
wvteddy More than 1 year ago
A quote in the book from the main character Leah Stevens sums up this book. "I had believed everyone was something other than they were."I was still slightly confused as to who everyone was even after I finished the book. Leah Stevens was a reporter for the Boston Post who was forced to resign by something she reported that the paper thought was a lie. Was it?? We know some of the details but we don't really know exactly why she had to leave until later on in the book. She needs to leave Boston. She meets an old friend and roommate Emmy who convinces her by a toss of a dart to move to western Pennsylvania to start over. Leah gets a teaching certificate and takes a teaching job at a new high school. She and Emmy rent a rustic house by the lake. Sounds idyllic, right? A woman is attacked by the lake but who did it? Emmy disappears and so does a man she had been seeing. Leah thinks at first she just took off with him so she doesn't report it. Then when she does report it no trace of Emmy can be found and everything starts to point to Leah. How will Leah clear herself? Will her reporter's instincts help her? Who is Emmy? What is really going on?! I asked myself that last question several times, but everything comes together in the end. I think. This book is filled with twists and turns and makes you keep compulsively reading to try to figure it out.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
What a ride your about to begin as you turn the first page of this suspenseful book, from the first to almost the last you will wonder what is going on. Your long lost friend shows up just when you need her, and an offer to begin anew, and you accept, but before this book is finished I had to wonder if there was such a friend. Even when we travel in the shoes of Leah Stevens, Journalist turned teacher, and when she reports her roommate missing, there is no one there, or is there. As we find out what brought her to rural Pennsylvania from Boston, and all that happened there, and now what, no record exists, no fingerprint trail, what is going on, and just when you think you know the answers, don’t be to sure. I loved that there is a bit of romance for this tormented soul, but even this you have to wonder if it is really real. A don’t miss journey that once you crack the first page your hooked on finding the answers, full of surprises. I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Simon and Schuster, and was not required to give a positive review
SheTreadsSoftly More than 1 year ago
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda is a very highly recommended page-turner and I relished every one of those pages in this complex tale of suspense. Leah Stevens was a journalist in Boston, but needed to resign from her job due to a story she wrote. Now she needs to find something new to do - in a hurry. By coincidence she runs into a roommate she had years ago during a time in her life when she also needed help in a hurry. Emmy was there eight years ago when they first met and helped Leah out before Emmy went overseas with the Peace Corp. It is a shocking surprise for Leah to run into Emmy now. The two immediately bond and take up where they left off. They decide to move together to a small town in Western Pennsylvania on a whim. Leah can get a position teaching at the high school and Emmy can find a job doing something. Then a woman who closely resembles Leah is found seriously injured and Emmy has gone missing. Leah works with the police to try and help them while at the same time she tries to get them to look into the whereabouts of her missing friend. As both investigations continue it becomes increasingly clear that Leah really never knew Emmy well at all and the police are beginning to look at her as a suspect. Leah realizes that she needs to use her journalistic skills to uncover the truth about what happened and who Emmy really is. Leah is a well-developed character and I began to like her more and more as the novel progressed and doubts began to develop. She becomes more spunky and begins to show more and more of her intelligence and intuition as she begins her own investigation while the police are more focused on investigating her. The revelation of new information is wonderfully timed. It begs the question: How well do you really know other people? As Leah is desperately trying to find out what happened to her friend, you will begin to wonder if Emmy is even real and doubts about Leah's sanity will creep in. You only know Emmy through Leah, and Leah doesn't even reveal everything about her own life right away. The plot of The Perfect Stranger moves along at a gallop and never lets up. I enjoyed the fast-paced ride and twisty plot immensely. The writing is pitch-perfect in the suspenseful narrative. I really enjoyed uncovering the twisty-layers of this swift-paced, agile novel of psychological suspense. It was a pleasure to read. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Simon & Schuster.