The last 7 months or so have been a battle with my mental health and I haven’t found much joy in reading until I dove into Stephanie Wrobel’s web-of-secrets, dark thriller, This Might Hurt. Although not perfect, it definitely helped me get out of my own head and step foot into the chaotic and troubling world of Wisewood.
Synopsis for This Might Hurt
Welcome to Wisewood. We’ll keep your secrets if you keep ours.
Natalie Collins hasn’t heard from her sister in more than half a year.
The last time they spoke, Kit was slogging from mundane workdays to obligatory happy hours to crying in the shower about their dead mother. She told Natalie she was sure there was something more out there.
And then she found Wisewood.
On a private island off the coast of Maine, Wisewood’s guests commit to six-month stays. During this time, they’re prohibited from contact with the rest of the world—no Internet, no phones, no exceptions. But the rules are for a good reason: to keep guests focused on achieving true fearlessness so they can become their Maximized Selves. Natalie thinks it’s a bad idea, but Kit has had enough of her sister’s cynicism and voluntarily disappears off the grid.
Six months later Natalie receives a menacing email from a Wisewood account threatening to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from Kit. Panicked, Natalie hurries north to come clean to her sister and bring her home. But she’s about to learn that Wisewood won’t let either of them go without a fight.
First and foremost, I feel like it’s important to say that This Might Hurt has a couple different narrators and if you don’t know that or forget that, it can be hard to follow. The first time I sat down to read this I got halfway through and was really confused and realized I hadn’t been following it correctly and then restarted it. It all made much more sense after that. That was a reader-error but from what I understand, I’m not the only one who made this mistake.
I’m a sucker for thrillers and I’m absolutely captivated by cult-like stories as I find them horrifying (because they really happen and continue to happen), so it was a no-brainer that I would enjoy This Might Hurt. Although it’s your typical cult story – a family member tries to rescue their brainwashed loved one from a cult – there’s definitely key elements that make it stand out especially the cult leader. I think overall she is what makes this story intriguing and helps get you through some of the more “boring” parts of the story as many of the other characters lack any kind of personality or redeemable traits.
Some parts are very slow. It’s not a page-turner by any means, but towards the end I felt myself becoming more excited at finding out the truth about everything, however it ended up being a bit of a let down. With all the build-up I thought there was going to be some type of huge reveal and it just didn’t deliver that. It’s not the first time I’ve felt this way about a book. One of my favorite authors, Natasha Preston, came out with a novel called The Twin, and my feelings about it was very much like this as well. A bit of a struggle to get through, some exciting parts, but overall a confusing and let down of an ending. That being said, I would read This Might Hurt again. I feel like I need to make sure I didn’t miss out on anything or if I feel any different after another reading. This was my first time reading something from Stephanie Wrobel and I look forward to reading her other novels. This Might Hurt will be on sale February 22, 2022, make sure to check it out!