Who We Were by B. M. Carroll ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Published: May 7th, 2020
Publisher: Viper
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Who We Were. Thank you to Viper Books for the invitation to take part and the eBook ARC.
Photo by Mrs Cooke’s Books.

Viper asked us to share a little bit about what we were like at school at the start of our post so I’ll start with some school memories and then pics for you to have a good giggle at.

I wasn’t the popular girl, the pretty girl, class clown or the sporty girl. I was the awkward  and shy ginger girl who was rubbish at sports. I had quite a few friends and was happy to talk to anybody, but I certainly wasn’t cool or popular.

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Me aged 11. Mum convinced me to have a perm and being ginger I ended up looking like Annie. Believe it or not this is one of the flattering pics.
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My English teacher, Mrs Ball. She helped me through hard times and encouraged my writing.

When I was twelve we moved to the south coast and I went to an all girls school. You can imagine how bitchy it could get with hundreds of hormonal teenage girls all together. I did struggle with bullying for a time but I came out the other side, accepted their apologies, and some of those girls are still my friends today. I do have a lot of fond memories: school trips, sleepovers with friends, being part of the school production of Jesus Christ Superstar and the French exchange trip are just a few that spring to mind.

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France, April 1993
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Trip to France, April 1993
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Jesus Christ Superstar, November 1994
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Mole and badger in drama class

This book certainly brought back memories and I could recognise people I knew back then in some of the characters. Though I went to school in the 80s and 90s in the UK I felt that the author captures the secondary/high school experience perfectly.

Me on leavers day, May 19th 1995

SYNOPSIS:

If you looked the other way, should you be punished?

Twenty years after they went their separate ways, friends and enemies are coming together for their school reunion. Katy, who is desperate to show that she’s no longer the shy wallflower. Annabel, who ruled the school until a spectacular fall from grace. Zach, popular and cruel, but who says he’s a changed man.

And Robbie, always the victim, who never stood a chance. As the reunion nears, a terrible event that binds the group together will resurface. Because someone is still holding a grudge, and will stop at nothing to reveal their darkest secrets…

MY REVIEW:

High school drama at its best; this compelling thriller is Dawson’s Creek with a deadly twist. 

It’s twenty years since Annabel, Grace, Melissa, Katy, Luke, Zach and Robbie left Macquarie High and went their separate ways. Their favourite memories, worst moments, hopes and dreams were recorded in their high school yearbook, a lasting reminder of who they were at that moment in time. With their twenty year reunion approaching, Katy thinks it would be fun to create an updated yearbook, an idea that soon turns sinister when someone begins to send distressing, personal messages to some of the group. How does this person know their deepest secrets? As the day of the reunion draws closer, it becomes clear that someone is holding a grudge and looking for revenge. But who? And why?

I flew through this book in just a day. Impossible to predict or put down, I couldn’t figure out who was behind the messages and had to keep reading until I knew the answer. Under the surface of this readable thriller, is a book that deals with some sensitive and hard-hitting issues, such as bullying, drug use and mental illness. The flashbacks to their school years also address how cruel and callous teenagers can be and the long lasting effects that can have. The author writes about these issues with sensitivity and has created richly drawn, authentic characters that are full of depth. I was completely immersed and invested in their lives, particularly Robbie’s heartbreaking story and Annabel’s struggles with her teenage son. 

Running parallel to the drama of the character’s personal lives is something much darker and more ominous. At first it seems like it is just a cruel prank, but as the story goes on it is clear that they could be in real danger. Everyone is a suspect: wives and husbands, life-long friends, new lovers. How do you protect yourself from a threat when you don’t know who they are or what they want? The tension and fear radiated from the pages and I was on tenterhooks as we approached the dramatic climax.

Emotionally-charged, dramatic, twisty and surprising, this riveting thriller keeps you on your toes from start to finish. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ber Carroll (also known as B.M Carroll) was born in Blarney, a small but famous village in Ireland. The middle child of six, she often retreated from the chaos of family life by immersing herself in books. She has fond memories of the mobile library bus that used to pull up outside their house in Blarney and the dozen or so books she would borrow at a time, some quite inappropriate for her age.

Ber moved to Sydney in 1995 with her boyfriend (now husband) Rob. She got a job as a finance manager in the IT industry and began to climb the corporate ladder. The exciting and dynamic work environment captured her imagination and inspired her first novel. When Executive Affair was published, Ber flatly denied it was in any way auto-biographical. She now admits that the novel did have a lot of her in it, and suspects that half the people who purchased the book were her ex colleagues, to see if they were in it too. Ber gave up her finance career when she realised that she couldn’t hold down a demanding job, be mum to two small children and write books to contractual deadline. She now writes fulltime, but says that she misses getting dressed up for work and being around people who listen to what she has to say, unlike her kids!

Ber is the author of nine novels, including Just Business, High Potential, The Better Woman, Less Than Perfect, Worlds Apart and Once Lost. Her most recent novels The Missing Pieces of Sophie McCarthy and Who We Were (coming May 2020) are published under B.M. Carroll.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

Website
Twitter

BUY THE BOOK:

Amazon
Waterstones
Book Depository
Google Books

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