I’ll Be You, Janelle Brown

A silhouetted tree sits amongst pinks and oranges in the background

Told in semi-alternating viewpoints and timelines, I’ll Be You tells the story of twin sisters Sam and Elli. Former actresses, they’ve moved on with their lives, or at least, they’re trying to. Sam turned to drugs and alcohol, and Elli turned to her husband and dreams for her family. But when Elli doesn’t return after a spa weekend, Sam must step in to help, even if she feels unwanted, even if it’s triggering her sobriety.

For me, I liked Sam’s chapters more than Elli’s. Their mother is pretty much toxic garbage, and I can see why Sam has felt like such an outcast. While not a justification, it explains so much why she has turned out the way she is. I felt so much more for her and felt invested in her life.

The blurb on Goodreads states that this is a “magnetic thriller,” and it’s not a thriller. It doesn’t state that on retail sites, so perhaps they realized it wasn’t. I would pin it as a family drama or women’s fiction. Either way, this is a great read, with a fun storyline and rich characters. Thank you, Random House Publishing, for sending this along!

I’ll Be You is available for preorder on Amazon, Bookshop, and B&N, it releases April 26th.

Read and like this review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

About the Book:
“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.


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