Book Review: I’ll Be You

I’LL BE YOU | Janelle Brown
04.26.2022 | Random House
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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As children, Sam and Elli were two halves of a perfect whole: gorgeous identical twins whose parents sometimes couldn’t even tell them apart and once Hollywood discovered them, they became B-list child TV stars, often inhabiting the same role. But as adults, their lives have splintered. 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. Now she’s stopped answering her phone and checked into a mysterious spa in Ojai. Is her sister just decompressing, or is she in trouble? Could she have possibly joined a cult? 

I’LL BE YOU is a fascinating look into the connected lives of twins, with our main characters, Sam and Elli. Brown wisely lets both twins take a turn at narrating the story, delving into their present situation, as well as how the past impacted who they are today. I greatly enjoyed getting to know both Sam and Elli and watching their lives unravel. Brown has included an interesting cult aspect to this story in relation to Elli’s life. If you’ve watched a documentary on NXIVM then this cult will feel very familiar to you. I was hoping that Brown would expand more on this topic, but it ended up sharing less of the story spotlight than I had hoped for. While there are thrilling moments throughout I’LL BE YOU, I wouldn’t necessarily market this story as a thriller. To me it felt more like a character study filled with interesting twists to keep the reader hooked to the story. 

🎧: I opted for the audio version of this book and it was absolutely perfect! I loved the narrators and thought they did a fantastic job of making the characters and story come to life.

A huge thank you to Random House for my gifted copy!

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