Author: Stephanie Wrobel
Publisher: Berkley Books
Released: February 22, 2022
Warnings: child abuse, cults
Can we just take a minute to talk about this cover? This Might Hurt, written by Stephanie Wrobel, has an incredibly evocative cover. You can immediately tell that it’s suspense, quite possibly domestic suspense, before ever laying hands on the book.
Natalie and Kit are sisters, but they don’t always act like it. For one thing, they haven’t spoken in six months. To be fair, the no-contact for six months was planned. For Kit had found a place called Wisewood, which offered six months retreats (of a sort). During this time, no outside contact was allowed.
That time is up, but it isn’t her sister that reaches out first, but Wisewood itself. They’re threatening to tell Kit the truth that Natalie has been hiding. In a desperate hope to cut the situation off before it gets worse, Natalie intends to head to Wisewood to tell her sister the truth before somebody else can.
“Nobody cared about the pawns. They were too busy watching the queen.”
Certain books simply draw the readers in, making it look easy. I thought that This Might Hurt would be one of those books. The title, cover, and description certainly made it seem like it would be the case.
Unfortunately, while I did enjoy This Might Hurt, it wasn’t quite the story I was hoping for. Sure, it hits hard (cults and child abuse would automatically do that for most readers), but it almost felt like something was missing? I can’t quite put my finger on it.
To me, it seemed like This Might Hurt was trying to make two different points. Or perhaps it would be better to say it was trying to tell two stories? There’s the story of a child surviving an abusive family. Then there’s the story of a woman getting manipulated into a world of abuse and control (read: cult).
Actually, I’m confident this was the intent, laid out like that. The two stories connect, and that connection is a strong one for the most part. I wish there had been more overlap between the two (courtesy of some creative storytelling methods), but I can’t complain too much.
Overall, I would say that This Might Hurt is worth the read, especially for those who love delving into darker personal pasts and the horrors of cults and controlling people.
Thanks to Berkley Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.