You Can’t Hide by Sarah Mussi
When Lexi wakes up in the Hudson Medical Center, barely in one piece, she is unable to recall how she got there.
Nobody seems to be able to tell her.
Disturbing memories haunt her daylight hours. Nightmares stalk her sleep.
With huge unanswered questions, like where is her Mom – why doesn’t she visit? What’s happened to her boyfriend Finn – and who is this friend, Crystal, who visits her a lot and of whom she has no recollection? Lexi sets out to discover what’s happened.
But the more she searches for answers, the deeper and darker the mystery gets.
And as she begins to piece the fragments together, she remembers one thing: I MUST HIDE FROM CHARLIE.
But the question is: who is Charlie? And is he still out there?
I will start by saying that this book requires trigger warnings: domestic abuse, violence, sexual content, gaslighting and similar. (Also mentions amnesia due to an accident)
This review will include small spoilers (not the two main plot things) so decide to read ahead at your own peril.
This is a tough book. Lexi has woken up int he hospital and starts to try to write down to Finn about what is happening. She’s forgotten why she’s in an accident but one thing she hasn’t forgotten at all is that there is imminent danger and that she may not be safe even in the hospital.
To try to help herself recover those memories, she backtracks to the moment they arrived to the US from the UK after having fled from her abusive father (they being her and her mum). And throughout what Lexi writes of her memories after the exodus (as she titles it) we also get flashback scenes on things that happened when she was younger.
The flashbacks can be a little brutal, and many brought memories to my mind, so do be careful when reading this to be prepared (the book doesn’t throw stuff without building up to it). But it was well done, and as we unravel what is happening and what is true and what isn’t things aren’t as clear as they seem.
One of the things that reduced stars for me from this is that Lexi stalls and does a lot of descriptions. I understand this is because that’s probably what someone with amnesia might do as they are anchors. But it became boring and I would skip a lot of her “in the US” descriptions (you don’t miss much).
Probably the best part is her trying to be a stronger self, one that isn’t bullied and pushed like her mother and like herself when they lived int eh same house as her father. That was interesting as was the build up to how they escape, and the build up to what the danger is.
All in all, if you can and want to read this book, it is very brutal and very honest, and does a good picture of domestic violence (and why it is hard to leave, why you don’t see it until it is too late, etc).