Little, Brown and Company | June 2018 | 352 pgs 
Source: Library

You Were Made for This has a gorgeous cover, but there is nothing pretty about this story as it is a domestic thriller with a cast of twisted characters. 

Sam and Merry Hurley left behind their old life and careers in New York to live in Sweden. Together with their infant son, Conor, they are often viewed as the perfect family in other people's eyes. However, behind their pretentious life Sam and Merry each harbours a secret and an ugly past which their other half is not aware of. For Sam, his switching of career from an anthropology professor to an inspiring filmmaker has actually to do with an inappropriate act he had committed in the past and his present infidelity. As for Merry, she feels bogged down by motherhood and the perfect wife image she has to hold and then, there is her past which the reader will get to know as the story unravels. The intensity and thrill only begin when Merry's best friend, Frank, decided to visit them. 

Frank (otherwise known as Frances) is Merry's childhood friend. Their friendship is so close that people often mistake them as sisters and Frank doesn't deny about it whenever she is asked about their relations. When Merry heard Frank is going to visit, she is elated. After all, she hasn't seen Frank ever since she has moved to Sweden and she thinks Frank's presence might lighten her boring life. And boy, how her visit would turn the Hurleys' world upside down. Although Merry and Frank are close like sisters, their friendship is also filled with secret envy and jealousy of each other but yet they also complement each other during their own difficult times. When their complications involve Sam, the dynamics among these three take a turn and intensify until tragedy happens. 

I mentioned in the beginning that this story has a cast of twisted characters but what most bothered me is each character in this book, including a few supporting characters, have no redeeming qualities in them (well, except Baby Conor and my heart went out to him for what he had been through). I'd say this was rather more of a case of character study kind than a domestic thriller because at some point you'd more or less figure out what'll going to happen but it's the characters who will drive you insane. The ending bothered me too, and after some thoughts after closing the book my verdict was this would be a hit or miss to readers. The writing style with no dialogue marks would either intrigue or frustrate readers, but it didn't really bother me but it did take some time getting used to it. Overall it was an unforgettable story with the characterisations and the ending would make an interesting topic for discussion.  

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12 Responses
  1. This would be a good one for a book club, from the sounds of it. Sometimes I don't mind unlike able characters--depends on the book. Thank you for your great review, Melody.

  2. Jenny Says:

    I’m now t a big fan of no dialogue marks but what’s really bothering me about these psychological thrillers is the horrible characters. What’s wrong with having a good character? Sheesh!

  3. Kay Says:

    I've decided this is the new 'thing' - horrible people with horrible lives and we get to read about them and decipher the twists. Ha! I do understand what you've said here, Melody. I've had this one on my list. Suspect I won't rush to read it. Maybe put it on my list to listen to audio at some point later. I'm doing that some with books that I might or might not care for as much. I'll get to them when I get to them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. jenclair Says:

    I prefer having at least one character to have some redeeming qualities. If the characters are a problem and the ending bothered you as well, I think I'll give this one a pass. I would have chosen it based on the cover, so thanks for the review, Melody!

  5. Lark Says:

    I don't think I'd like this one...mostly because of the characters and the fact that they seem so unlikeable.

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Unlikeable characters add intrigue to the story, and they always make an interesting topic for discussion, too.

  7. Melody Says:

    Jenny - I suppose unlikeable characters is the "in" thing now especially for domestic thrillers. ;)

  8. Melody Says:

    Kay - I agree with you on that trend, Kay. It seems like the book market is flooding with themes like that. I think listening to this one might be a good idea since you don't have to look out for those dialogue marks, ha.

  9. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Well, at least there's baby Conor here. Despite the unlikeable characters and an ending that bothered me, I felt this book will make a great discussion and I'm curious to hear what readers think about it. And that cover is the first thing that made me pick up the book!

  10. Melody Says:

    Lark - This is definitely one of those books that the reader will either love it or hate it. I'm in between, I guess, and I love that cover. ;)

  11. Iliana Says:

    Oh no the only good character is the baby! Well, I guess we at least have him to root for right? :) I'm interested in this one and thanks for the heads up on the no dialogue marks. I think I will need the physical book vs. a digital copy to make sure I'm following along!

  12. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Yes, I'd definitely recommend a physical book. Hope you'll enjoy this one despite the unlikeable cast.

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