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You Were Made for This

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A gripping page-turner for fans of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, Michelle Sacks's You Were Made For This provocatively explores the darker sides of marriage, motherhood. and friendship. Doting wife, devoted husband, cherished child. Merry, Sam, and Conor are the perfect family in the perfect place. Merry adores the domestic life: baking, gardening, caring for her infant son. Sam, formerly an academic, is pursuing a new career as a filmmaker. Sometimes they can hardly believe how lucky they are. What perfect new lives they've built.

When Merry's childhood friend Frank visits their Swedish paradise, she immediately becomes part of the family. She bonds with Conor. And with Sam. She befriends the neighbors, and even finds herself embracing the domesticity she's always seemed to scorn.

All their lives, Frank and Merry have been more like sisters than best friends. And that's why Frank soon sees the things others might miss. Treacherous things, which are almost impossible to believe when looking at this perfect family. But Frank, of all people, knows that the truth is rarely what you want the world to see.

341 pages, Hardcover

First published June 28, 2018

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About the author

Michelle Sacks

8 books160 followers
Michelle Sacks is the author of the story collection, Stone Baby, and the novels, You Were Made for This and All The Lost Things.

She was born in South Africa, and holds a master’s degree in literature and film from the University of Cape Town. Her fiction has been shortlisted twice for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and for two South African PEN Literary Awards.

She lives in Berlin.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 834 reviews
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.6k followers
November 9, 2018
This utterly addictive and downright disturbing domestic thriller is impossible to set down for any length of time. The author’s unique writing style and the unsettling reality of living life through the eyes of this cast, sparks a page-turning frenzy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you saw us you’d probably hate us. We look like the cast of an insurance commercial: shiny, happy us. The perfect little family, living the perfect little life.

In search of a fresh start and a simpler life, Merry and Sam relocate from the hustle and bustle of New York City to a remote cottage in the Swedish countryside. Merry is the quintessential stay-at-home mom and loving wife—maintaining an abundant garden, preparing her own baby food, whipping up chef-style cuisine, and all while doting on her infant son, Conor. A proud papa bear and husband full of compliments, Sam has struck out on a new career path, leaving behind the life of a professor and pursuing filmmaking. It’s domestic bliss at its finest—or is it?

A spur-of-the-moment visit from Merry’s best friend starts to chip away at the veneer of the perfect little family. Frank is, after all, the one person who truly sees Merry. Having grown up together, as self-proclaimed sisters, they’ve taken rivalry to a dark place. Using one another as a barometer of sorts, jealousy has been known to rear its ugly head. This is a jarring tale, one riddled with lies and tightly held secrets, that serves as a reminder: things aren’t always what they seem.

For me, it wasn’t so much the twists, I actually saw quite a few of them coming, but the execution of the story that made this unputdownable. Michelle Sacks has an interesting style, one that I think will divide readers. There will be those, like me, who appreciate the delivery and others that I predict will be turned off by the choppiness of her writing and lack of frilly overtures. Thrusting the reader headfirst into the minds of these three characters doesn't always equate to linear thoughts and extensively crafted sentences. It’s often messy, blunt and at times even frighteningly honest. You have to ask yourself though, isn’t that why we read—to experience life through someone else, even if it does prove to be unnerving?

*Thank you to Little, Brown and Company for providing my copy.
Profile Image for Kendall.
633 reviews632 followers
May 29, 2018
Oh my GAWD... what a crazy ride this was!! I LOVED IT!!!!

Michelle Sacks delivers a stunning debut filled with lies, sex, jealously, greed, and suspense that will leave you on the edge of your seat. BUCKLE UP.. this is a definitely a ride that you want to experience.

There were so many things that I loved about this book. Multiple POV's from our three main characters: Mary, Frank, and Sam.

Let's meet Sam and Mary. They appear to be a loving and happy couple with their new beautiful baby boy. Sam and Marry have recently moved to Sweden from New York City... definitely a different setting from New York. Sweden appears to fit perfectly for the couple... Mary is a picture perfect wifey with new baking skills that give Martha Stewart some competition ;).

But, of course not everything is as it seems in Mary and Sam's perfect world of marriage and motherhood. The seams start to unfold fast in this dark web of deceit... and it just continues to fall... fall... fall..
But OH Sacks you make it so beautiful to be part of this dark web of deceit... I can't get enough of this addicting book.

Be prepared..there are some scenes that may make you uncomfortable (don't want to get into too much detail for spoilers).

But, oh you ask who is Frank? Frank is Merry's lifetime friend since she was a little girl. Just as we think it can't get any darker with this tail... oh be prepared my friends when Frank comes into this picture perfect marriage. Frank visits Merry in Sweden for some quality "girlfriend time". No ONE knows Merry better then Frank.

Let me tell you something... you will not like any of these characters and this is a perfect storm that plays out beautifully! I could not get enough of this nasty little gem of a tail.

HUGE fan of this author! Pre-order this one!! I can't wait to see what she comes out with next! :)

4.5 strong stars for this brilliant debut!

Thank you so much to Little Brown and Company and Netgalley for an advanced arc in exchange for my honest review.
Published to GR: 5/28/18
Publication date: 6/19/18
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,007 reviews15.7k followers
June 20, 2018
4.5 Dark and Disturbing Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

from the blurb... a dark look at marriage, motherhood,And friendship... don’t always agree with the blurb, but this one is spot on! Michelle Sacks did a fabulous job of painting a disturbing picture.... this book will make you look twice at the closest people in your life...

Sam and Mary have moved to Sweden from New York, and appear to be loving a quieter lifestyle... Mary is the picture of domesticity... baking, cooking, gardening, cleaning, and taking care of her adorable infant son Connor... Sam is taking on A new career and seems more than pleased to have Mary at home playing the loving wife...

This book was told from three different points of view... Mary, Sam, and Mary’s longtime friend Frank who comes for a visit... wow! Looking back my first impressions of these characters sure did change by the end... don’t want to say too much, but none of these characters were terribly likeable.... and a lot of their actions were down right despicable..... One minute I’d be feeling sympathy for a character and then they’d do something and all sympathy went out the window.... and the friendship between Mary and Frank? With friends like that who needs enemies? This book left me feeling as though I needed to take a shower (and not a cold shower)...

This book made you realize things are never quite as they seem.... you only know somebody as well as they allow you to know them.... and everybody has some kind of secret.... A very well done dark and disturbing thriller filled with plenty of characters to dislike!*Warning* some of the content in this book might be a little hard for a more sensitive reader....

Absolutely recommend to fans of a strong psychological/domestic thriller with a darker side....

*** Many thanks to Little Brown for a copy of my book ***
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
307 reviews2,341 followers
May 28, 2018

When Sam inherits a cottage in the Sweden countryside, he and his wife, Merry, pack up their hectic lives in NYC and begin a brand new life in an cold, isolated country with their infant baby.

In Sweden, they are the very picture of domestic contentment. Merry gardens and bakes with a fervor that would put Martha Stewart to shame. Sam begins working at his dream career as a film documentarian. Their adorable baby is a fat little cherub, at the family’s center of adoration and devotion.

Sounds so beautiful and la-dee-da perfect. However, after this setup, we are in for a shock as Merry and Sam take turns narrating their own short chapters. Buckle up. What you are about to learn becomes more alarming with each page. (This may be a good time to warn you there are definite triggers throughout for a sensitive reader.) Dark, twisted, painfully disturbing.

Just as we are learning about Sam and Merry’s shaky foundation, Merry’s best friend from childhood arrives for a visit with the young family in Sweden. Her name is Frank (Frances) and she knows Merry better than anyone else in the world. She immediately sees right through Merry’s phony happy homemaker act. At this point, Frank joins in the narration with her own chapters and we start to see that Frank has her own ugly secrets. These three characters are positively nasty and the perfect storm is set into motion. AS THE UNRELENTING SUSPENSE BEGINS, YOU CANNOT TURN YOUR EYES AWAY FROM THE PAGE. I LOVE IT!

Michelle Sacks has written an almost perfect psychological thriller. She writes in a fluid, spare manner- the kind of dialogue without quotation marks, yet it is absolutely cloaked in a haunting, dread-filled mood. Sacks is an intelligent writer and I have great appreciation for her sophisticated style. You know how I love to go deep in these sicko character profiles, and Sacks boldly goes to the deepest corruptions possible. And she doesn't even blink.

If what I’ve told you hasn’t scared you away-- then you, my friend, are in for a treat!!! Highly recommended for lovers of books like The Perfect Nanny, Unraveling Oliver, The Visitors and White Bodies.

YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS hits the shelves June 19, 2018. Thanks so much to Little, Brown Publishers for my gorgeous copy! All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
717 reviews4,626 followers
December 31, 2018
This dark & disturbing psychological thriller is not for the faint of heart!

I found You Were Made for This to be both enthralling and difficult to read. I don't think I have ever read a book where every character was so psychologically damaged, wretched and despicable. The story is told in 3 alternating point of views and there was no respite - not one of them had any redeeming qualities. Page after page, things went from bad to worse.

The book was like a train wreck that I couldn't pull myself away from. I literally read pages with a feeling of revulsion in the pit of the stomach. Yet, I continued turning the pages. Drawn to the sadistic world these people had created for themselves.

There wasn't much backstory here and I feel like that was deliberate. I don't think we are meant to fully understand why Merry, Sam and Frank are they way they are. Sacks drops hints here and there into the story and we know they were damaged in their childhoods but that's not the emphasis for this story. The story is deeply rooted in the tragic present. In the tangled web that is their current lives. There is almost a sadistic dependency on each other between Merry & Frank and Merry & Sam. So much hate intertwined with their dark need for each other. It's as if they fed off each other - for better or worse. Unfortunately, these relationships were nothing but destructive, taking the one good thing between them and ultimately destroying it.

My momma heart could not bare to see how baby Connor was treated by these people. That poor innocent child did not stand a chance with these cruel sociopaths. The parts involving the baby left me feeling repulsed, angered and heartbroken.

The fact that Michelle Sachs was able to evoke so many emotions from me make this an unforgettable read. I was pulled in from the onset and the story never let up. The last line - it will haunt me for a long time to come.

Thank you to Michelle Sacks, Little Brown and Company, and Netgalley for the copy to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,082 reviews30.1k followers
June 20, 2018
4 “life is not always a bowl of cherries” stars to You Were Made for This! 🍒🍒🍒🍒

This was a book I had to read based on reviews from my friends, including Jewels, Kendall, and Michelle. And of course they were right- this one was good!

Merry, Sam, and baby Conor are living in the idyllic countryside of Sweden after a leap of faith move from NYC. This is a shiny, new life for them, and it’s almost too good to be true. Merry is fulfilled taking care of the household, while Sam has started filmmaking.

Frank is Merry’s childhood best friend; they are as close as sisters. She visits Merry in Sweden and instantly adds to the family becoming quite domestic at once. And it is Frank who recognizes that things are not as perfect as they appear. Frank also has her own share of deceit.

There was a lot to love about You Were Made for This! The chapters were quick, and I heard from Mary, Frank, and Sam. Multiple points of view hold my interest, especially in suspenseful novels. None of the characters are likable once the truth comes to light, and it.does.not.matter. Because once the layers started peeling away, I was on board entirely with this shocking, sick, perfectly-paced, original, extra dark thriller. There was no turning away even as my stomach flip-flopped. It was hard to believe this was a debut!

ETA Triggers: hunting scene and elements of abuse.

Thank you to Michelle Sacks, Little, Brown and Company, and Netgalley for the copy. We Were Made for This will be published on June 19, 2018.

My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,537 reviews24.6k followers
May 31, 2018
Michelle Sacks writes an intense claustrophobic and harrowing psychological thriller that treads disturbing and sickening territory with protagonists that have little in the way of redeeming qualities. New York university professor, Sam, is married to set decorator, Merry, with a infant son, Connor. Sam comes into an inheritance, a remote cottage in a rural part of Sweden. They move from their frenetic and busy lives in Manhattan to Sweden, shedding their old lives with Sam aspiring to be a documentary maker. Sam is the type of man who has clear ideas of what a wife and mother should be like, and Merry is seemingly happy to pander to them. They settle down, a picture of domestic bliss, with Merry the ultimate domestic goddess. As so often with the appearance of perfection, this is barely skin deep, poke around a little and its paper thin surface cracks to reveal all is not as it seems. This is a story of marriage, friendship, betrayal, treachery, abuse, lies, secrets and deception.

This tale is told through the perspective of Sam, Merry and her childhood best friend, Frances aka Frank. Frank comes to Sweden to visit Merry, a woman she knows so well. She finds Merry's persona as the perfect wife and mother rather hard to swallow and it does not take her long to see through it. The women have a competitive relationship, Frank has had unsuccessful relationships in the past and Merry can't help but feel superior to her, with her marriage and son. Frank herself is a woman with her own darkness and secrets that festers inside her. The unlikeable trio of characters embark on an unpalatable course of actions and behaviours that you can just feel is going to end up as an almighty car crash. This is an atmospherically compelling and entertaining read with strong undercurrents of menace pervading the narrative, with rich descriptions of the Swedish countryside. This might not be a book for everyone with its elements of abuse and the characters that might not appeal. Otherwise, it is a novel that quickly claws its way into your psyche leaving you horrified, but unable to stop reading, waiting with bated breath to see exactly how things will unfold. Many thanks to Harlequin for an ARC.
Profile Image for Shirley Revill.
1,197 reviews236 followers
September 4, 2018
Warning. Please take seriously.
I would like to issue a warning should you chance to read this book. You won't be able to put this book down. Nothing will get done and your family will either starve or live on fast food.
Suggested reading after would be books on how to unclutter, Tips on cleaning and was the cleaning fairy a figment of my imagination.
I have been listening for most of the day and it's too good to put down but please remember you have been warned. 😊
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.4k followers
July 6, 2018
4 Stars.

Weird, Wild, Intriguing and Full of Suspense!

Merry and Sam live quite the life. The best life, the happiest life. They couldn’t ask for more. They left their pasts behind: everything, bad, horrible and sinful and made their great escape to Sweden. To a new life, filled with light, love and new possibilities. Merry life’s work has become building a home for her family. She wakes every morning, making baby food and homemade jam and bread and she keeps a perfect home, all while her husband Sam goes off to find work each day. (Does a Stepford Wife come to mind? That’s what I thought of too!)

They are just so lucky. It seems too good to be true doesn’t it?

When Merry’s best friend Frank visits from America, everything becomes even more blissful. Frank sees everything that has been missing from life. Yet Frank notices things about Sam and Merry’s relationship that others wouldn’t: cracks. To be healed or split wide open?! The truth is not pretty, but then it never is, is it? Everyone has secrets and Frank is determined to unearth them, friendship be damned.

Demented and dark, intriguing and harrowing, shocking and suspenseful, “You Were Made For This” is a thriller that is multi-layered and out there. The characters are despicable and dastardly, yet I was drawn in regardless - it happens rarely but it happens. I was hooked from the start and I think you will be too.

Disclaimer: “You Were Made For This” is a novel that I recommend with caution due to the extreme content.

Thank you to NetGalley, Little Brown and Company and Michelle Sacks for a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on NetGalley, Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon on 7.6.18.
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,563 reviews5,859 followers
August 11, 2018
3.5 stars.

Nope, I think my idea of a good time is to find characters who are even worse than I am. And these suckers in this book totally fit that bill.

You have happy little family Merry, Sam and baby Conor all living the dream life in Sweden. Merry is that perfect mom who makes all her own baby food and gardens and all the crap. I hated her from the first second. I'm totally judgey like that.
Sam the husband is just wonderful..until you scratch beneath the surface and realize that the whole reason they are living the "dream" is because he couldn't keep his weiner in his pants. *not a spoiler*

Then you start getting to know them. And realize....

Merry's lonely and so her friend Frank decides to come visit and soak up all the wonderful living. Once there she starts to realize that those smiles are pasted on like super glue between your teeth.

So ask yourself. Do you like poking your head into someone's window who has a heart as black as coal? These are your characters if so...and it's pretty decent.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review
Profile Image for ReadAlongWithSue .
2,646 reviews170 followers
May 2, 2018
Merry, Sam and their baby, Connor. A perfect little family in the perfect little setting.

Sam who has the perfect little wife, Merry bakes blueberry pies, cooks well, cleans and sees to the garden.

The Mother who loves and adores her baby. Sam who wanted nothing else but to have a homely wife and a child of his own in the most idyllic of settings.

They have it all.

But is Merry all that she appears to be?
Then along comes Frank, she is a long standing friend of Merry's from her past. They used to be like sisters.

The plot thickens really well, the characters are well developed and driven.
Easy story to follow at the same time keeps you on your toes.

The ending was most unusual and something that I would have have guessed in a million years.

My thanks to HQ for my early copy and Net Galley
Profile Image for Michelle .
860 reviews1,219 followers
June 13, 2018

It's books like this that make my cold black heart happy. I'm astonished that this is Michelle Sacks debut novel.

If you want to meet a cast of unsavory characters then this is a book for YOU!!!

Sam & Merry are married and madly in love. They recently moved from New York City to live in idyllic Sweden. Here is where they plan to raise their new son Conor.

Merry loves their beautiful cottage. She spends her days with Conor, tending the garden, and cooking up lavish meals. Sam travels a lot for work so he cherishes his time with his family when he has it.

They've been in Sweden for just over a year when Merry's best friend Frank decides it's time for a visit. Frank is a successful business woman that travels the world. She's had many lovers over the years but has never settled down. She's curious to see Merry's new life. She never imagined she'd become so domesticated.

Does anyone truly have the perfect life?

I know the above is incredibly vague but I really can't say much more about the plot without giving away spoilers. This book is so juicy. Seriously! My jaw was hanging open as I turned page after page. This book is the definition of a page turner!

If you like shiny happy people with feel good endings then do not even attempt to crack the cover of this one. You will be horrified. Alternately, if you like to toe the murky waters of the dark side then this is one I'm sure you'll devour. ALL THE STARS!!!

I would like to thank Little, Brown, and Company for sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Suzy.
328 reviews207 followers
July 2, 2018
1.5 stars - rounded up for quick chapters

Easily the worst book I’ve read in 2018 - so far.

I’m definitely in the minority amongst most of my GR friends, but I couldn’t stand this book. I did not like the writing style. It read like someone talking in monotone. The 1/2 star given was for the multiple POV’s (which I am a big fan of) and the quick chapters (also a big fan). Other than that, I couldn’t wait to finish this book. I almost gave up about 3-4 times, but stuck it out. Why you ask? I have no freaking clue.

The characters in this book are some of the absolute worst, most sick and twisted individuals I’ve ever read. I love psychological thrillers and have read some shady and deceitful plots and characters in my day, but this was just too much. There is NOT ONE redeeming quality in any of these freaks. The only character I liked was Baby Conor and he didn’t even speak.

The last line in the book disgusted me to the fullest extent possible. At this point, I was wishing harm on Sam and Merry and couldn’t be happier that it as over.

Thank you to NetGalley, Little, Brown and Company and Michelle Sacks for an advanced copy in exchange for my review.

Profile Image for Holly  B (busy month catching up).
798 reviews1,796 followers
December 24, 2018
So hard to listen to the icy-cold momma, but also hard to stop listening! The narrator was Fantastic....

Boy, this is one disturbed family unit! The abuse was infuriating and the coldness was palpable.

Sam and Merry and baby Conor.... Appearances are definitely not everything! They pack up and move their seemingly perfect little family of three and move to Sweden to a cottage Sam has inherited. A sense of dread is in the air.

Sam and Merry alternate in narrating this dark tale, with Frank joining in later. Frank is Merry's best friend and knows Merry better than anyone. She also sees beyond the surface of her relationship with Sam. Can Frank possibly "save" them?

While they seem to be living the perfect little fairy tale life, little tidbits begin to crack the surface and the darkness starts spilling out! It is dark, twisted and alarming!! I just knew this train was heading for a collision, but I couldn't stop listening until the haunting end.

Lots of triggers, and unlikeable characters, evil minded and up to no good. Dare I say...I loved hating them!! read it at your own risk.

This author knows how to keep you flipping the pages and wondering how such evil people can seem so perfectly normal. Eek!
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,050 reviews597 followers
July 12, 2018
4 Stars

Merry has a perfect life with her perfect family, her husband and the baby. They are happy and enjoying their life. Her husband is proactive and she admired it and in return, she is the exact woman he wants. After so many years not seeing each other, Frank, Merry’s childhood friend decided to see her and her life. They’ve grown up with each other and more like sisters. When Frank came to their life, she feels at home, she is so intimate with the husband and like a second mother to the baby. But Frank is the only one who sees the cracks in Merry’s life and tries to help her. But what if her help hasn’t needed!? What if her help ruin/worsen everything!? Or maybe Frank is what Merry needed in her life!?!

I had an idea in mind about the plot but it wasn’t completely right and the story went beyond that! The story was a bit disturbing and somehow made me uncomfortable. I’m not a big fan of the writing and yet I couldn’t read it faster. It was a page-turner and yet again the short chapters were in my favore! Told in multiple POV, 1st person. It’s a standalone novel. My only problem was the ending with Frank! I didn’t like that! Overall, it was as good as its cover but not as delicious and hope you like it as well!
Profile Image for Lou (nonfiction fiend).
2,771 reviews1,615 followers
July 8, 2018
Although this is apparently a debut, I could've sworn i've heard the name Michelle Sacks in reading circles before this. Maybe it's just me, must be. One of the aspects that drew me to the book was the setting - the Swedish countryside, somewhere I would love to visit, sets the scene for this dark and disturbing read.

Merry and her husband and young baby, are creating their dream life in Sweden, far from the events that clouded their lives whilst living in New York. Then Merry's childhood friend, Frances, comes to stay but Frances finds that she hardly recognises her friend. Soon cracks begin to appear in Merry's carefully constructed fairy tale. And Frances starts seeing things that may not be so apparent to others, treacherous things. And then a terrible tragedy unfolds.

"You Were Made For This" is a difficult book to rate as there were both good and bad parts to it. It is slow to build, exploring the relationships between the three main characters - Sam, Merry and Frances - and is told from those three points-of-view. The synopsis really only gives you a slight glimpse of what might be involved in the novel, you are in for a shock! If you don't like disturbing, dark, and oppressive stories then I would advise you to avoid this one. I also found the writing style pretty hard going, it was sometimes hard to follow, something I don't usually have an issue with. The characters are incredibly unlikable, but I don't mind that if it adds to the narrative, as here.

If you enjoy thrillers overflowing with lies, secrets, murder, abuse, and unhealthy relationships, you'll likely appreciate this. But be warned - this is far more chilling than the blurb indicates!

Many thanks to HQ for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,414 reviews7,408 followers
August 2, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I really only have one reaction to share with you all regarding this book . . . .

I have never read something that made me so uncomfortable. If you know me, you know that’s saying a lot. You should also know that means I might maybe want to marry or at least be best friends with Michelle Sacks now. I just can't NOT love an author who is so willing to commit to going balls out into crazyville like she has done here.

Allow me to introduce you to Merry, Sam and their baby Conor . . . .

“If you saw us you’d probably hate us. We look like the cast of an insurance commercial: shiny, happy us. The perfect little family, living the perfect little life. Wasn’t that another perfect day? is what we always say at the end of days like these. A confirmation. A promise. A warding-off of any days that might be anything less.”

My Kindle note: “OH YOU KNOW THESE PEOPLE ARE ASSHOLES!” <<< Quite the wordsmith, aren’t I?

You Were Made For This is the story of what happens when Merry’s lifelong friend Frank comes to visit, and the truth about Merry’s “perfect” life starts to come out.

I’m pretty sure I read at least half of the book like this . . . .

I’m not a big believer in posting spoilers (because I myself have no self-control and tend to click the reveal button only to kick myself for ruining everything) so I’m not going to post one here. However, I will say that this book features 100% vile, irredeemable characters engaging in deplorable acts. If you don’t think you can handle reading something like that, stay far far away because you will want to bleach your brain.

4.5 Stars and really the half star deduction is because that cover is F.U.G.L.Y.

Denied this ARC which goes to show that the powers that be don’t know me too well, because THIS mah fah was a squicky trainwreck that I absolutely could not put down. My librarian always got my back, though ; )
Profile Image for Ken.
2,131 reviews1,317 followers
March 4, 2019
What appears from the outset as a perfect happy family starting a new life together, soon unravels as a friend from the past is about to shatter that illusion.

As Merry and Sam alongside baby Conor having started a new life in Sweden together, they soon have to confront their past as Merry’s closet friend Frank visits from America.

Along with secrets surfacing from the past, the reader is soon alerted that the status quo is about to change in this chilling thriller.
The book tackles a dark issue that I felt was well signposted earlier on.
Some readers might find the second half a little to tough, but I felt the author had given plenty of warnings.

The story is told through the three adult characters, who all revealing to be awful horrible people.
Though their was something quite compelling that kept me want to continue, even though it was clearly going to end in tears.

The Scandinavian surroundings added an ambiance to the plot.
It’s gritty and dark but addictive, it certainly hand its hold over me.
Profile Image for Jan.
423 reviews249 followers
July 10, 2018
I feel the need to warn that this book contains scenes of child abuse. It's not easy to read, but if you can get past it, there is a solid domestic thriller here.

This book shocked me with it's directness and unsympathetic way of highlighting the darkness that resides in people. The characters are shallow, selfish, jealous, manipulative and down right horrid, but the face they put on for show every day hides it all from the world. They smile, hug, and put up appearances that mimic loving and caring people, all the while using their words to tear down and weaken those around them.

So what's the story about?

-2 women, each wanting what the other has.
-One man, who wants it all.
-In the middle; an innocent baby.

Sounds so boring, but this story is anything but. If you are willing to venture into the darkness of these characters, be prepared to want to take a shower to clean off when it's all over.

Tough read but really well written. I do look forward to more from this author!

ARC provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Helga.
840 reviews121 followers
November 6, 2018
This book was so disturbing on so many levels and the characters so hateful and nauseating, that I couldn’t bring myself to write a review immediately after finishing it. In fact, I don’t know how I kept on reading till the end.
Don’t get me wrong, the book was very-well written and in my opinion a book which stirs you emotionally, makes your heart pound faster, loosens some unwelcome butterflies in your stomach and doesn’t leave you in peace after The End, is a book worth reading, albeit being dark and exasperating.

Sam, Merry and their little baby are living their perfect, happy and peaceful life in a quiet countryside in Sweden. That is, until Frank, Merry’s childhood and best friend, arrives to spend her holidays with them. Then the shiny and smooth veneer of this blissful family is wiped away a layer at a time and we glimpse the real, dark and ugly truth that soon would poke its head out to show us that appearances can be deceptive and some people can be pure evil.

Profile Image for Shannon.
166 reviews325 followers
April 25, 2018
Thanks to Little Brown and Company for sending me You Were Made for This by Michelle Sacks. Wow, that was something wild! Pretty disturbing if you ask me which of course I am fan of. As for my review, I won’t be saying too much to avoid spoilers *BUT* I will say there is a possible trigger within the story.

Your Were Made for This is told in three different POVS. We hear from Merry, Sam and Frank.

Merry and Sam have recently moved to Sweden from NYC. They are happily married and have a baby boy. When Merry’s best friend, Frank, decides to visit their new home Merry & Sam’s lives will forever change.

Frank and Merry have been best friends since childhood. They know each other better than they known themselves. When Frank visits she starts seeing what’s really going on the perfect life Merry is living.

When I tell you every character is unlikeable I am NOT lying. These people were legit whacks! But, I’m here for that! Lies, jealousy, betrayals, toxic relationships ooo my!! 4 stars and I recommend!
Profile Image for Ova - Excuse My Reading.
472 reviews358 followers
June 11, 2018
Full review here

First of all I must confess this: I read this book in one sitting. The writing is really good. The story captured my attention from the first page, I found myself dazzled switching between the viewpoints of Sam and Merry, a couple with a young baby, recently relocated to an area outside Stockholm. They left bustling city of New York and in this new settlement, the nearest public transport is 50 minutes walk away, they are in the wild, there isn"t even neighbours next door. Big change! But not without reasons...
In the beginning their life seems perfect, then you begin to realise the creases, the smudges in their smooth shiny surface... Merry isn't who she seems, so as Sam. Their relationship absorbed me and I absolutely loved the book until Frank was poured into the story. I don"t want to reveal too much about the plot, maybe I have read two many `obsessed female friendships gone wrong` type of thrillers this year- after Tangerine and Social Creature- but somewhere along the last third of the book I started to feel like we were being busy with too much "whodunnit". I wish it was kept more psychological, more tense rather than getting the attention from person to person to see what happened. And I wasn't a fan of the ending either
Still this was a very good read for me, considering the amount of thrillers that's been pushed onto the market, this is the first book in this genre this year that I haven"t dropped and read in one night. I will definitely read from the same author again, her style of writing is brilliant.
One warning, this book might contain upsetting scenes.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Jamie Rosenblit.
876 reviews497 followers
August 2, 2018
Another heart-pounding psychological thriller told in multiple point-of-views (my favorite!). You Were Made for This starts out with a couple and their young baby who have recently moved to Sweden from Manhattan and mentions an old friend of the wife Merry's, a girl named Frank. We soon learn Frank will be coming to visit and the friendship might not be as rosy as it seems.

At the risk of spoiling the fun, I'm not going to offer more plot points, but I will say that there is a reason this is a psychological thriller and fans of that genre will definitely enjoy.

Another fun buddy read with my BFF Shannon (@givemeallthebooks).

Thank you to Little Brown for an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,103 reviews1,728 followers
June 22, 2018
4.5 CHILLING stars!

Merry and Sam appear to be the perfect family, building a perfect life in Sweden. A new baby, and a fresh start.

But appearances can be deceiving.

Unless it is your oldest and dearest friend who comes to visit. Frank (Frances) isn’t buying into the facade being presented. She doesn’t believe that Merry is really enjoying pureeing baby food, and baking from scratch.

She doesn’t believe that Merry is the adoring mother she claims to be. (Warning: sensitive readers..she may not be)

After all, they share 30 years of friendship....”or whatever this might be called-
Ponytails snipped off with garden shears, dolls stolen, tales told to get the other in trouble.”

What happened back in the US to warrant this new beginning?

Short chapters (my favorite!) told from the alternating perspectives of Merry, Sam and Frank, help build the tension and suspense quickly.

These aren’t people you would want moving in next door to you.

Can any of them redeem themselves by the shocking end?


Recommended if you loved “Best Day Ever” by Kaira Rouda. And, if you have not read that one, and you do enjoy this, add that one to your TBR list as well!
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,703 reviews925 followers
April 16, 2018
Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not impact my rating or review.

Huge sigh. This book was a mess. At first I was momentarily intrigued because the book seemed to be setting up things with the husband in this story (Sam) to be sinister. All of his rules for mothers/wives seemed to be playing that way. But then you get further into the book, and when Merry's "best friend" Frank comes to visit, the book just goes freaking dark. I just needed something to break up this mess. There was nothing redeeming about a single character. You don't even get a semblance of characters getting their just desserts. Instead you know that it seems that the cycle will continue again in maybe 10 or 20 years. This book gets one star for taking place in Sweden. That's about it.

"You Were Made for This" is about a husband and wife (Sam and Merry) who move to Sweden to live in a house that is left to Sam. There are some allusions to something happening that caused the family to move. But you never get the full details. Just other characters blurting out things later on dozens of pages later.

Sam is happy in Sweden, but struggling to make ends meet. He used to be a professor at a university in New York. And now is trying to be a filmmaker.

Merry used to be a set decorator (that sounded cool and wish we had gotten more details about) but is now a full time mother to her son Conor. Merry is not feeling seen anymore as a stay at home mother. Instead she is trying to follow the rules for motherhood that Sam seems to think she needs to do (which includes making homemade baby food and scrubbing the whole house with organic ingredients). Merry I was initially sympathetic to, but Sacks blows that away pretty quickly when you find out about the darkness in Merry. Merry is dreading, but also wants her best friend Frances (known as Frank) to come visit.

Frank and Merry have a toxic friendship. There is no other word for it. I just could not with Frank once you saw everything she had done in the past, and what she currently did in this book. Her talking about being the only one to "see" Merry was just head shaking to me.

Merry wants to show off for Frank to show her "that she's won" and Frank is not worth as much since she's not married and has no children. That could have been an interesting dynamic with two women who chose two different paths. Heck even show the dark side of motherhood and talk about post par-tum depression. Instead we don't get that at all.

Sam is obviously awful, you don't really get why Merry wants to be with him. You do get why he wants to be with her though. He has someone to mold into whatever he wants. There are some hints there that something dark happened to Sam. Once again though, you don't know since the author doesn't like to spell things out. I for one got really tired of people talking past things.

The secondary characters that we get (there are barely any) don't figure into this book at all really. We have Merry and Sam's closest neighbors who are there merely to move the plot along.

I really didn't like the writing. The multiple POVs with Merry, Sam, and Frank didn't help. They all started to sound the same after a while (psychopaths with the need for instant gratification). And the book started to feel endless after a while along with being repetitive.

The setting of Sweden was the only reason why I gave this book a star. I was intrigued about the location, the mention of the lakes, the ability to be truly alone if you want to be in the place that Merry and Sam lived.

The ending was a mess. I think that Sacks should have changed the ending. It felt like such a waste to me to have to wade through this book for no reason in my opinion. I think she was going for a Gone Girl twist, but it didn't work. I just sighed really loudly at this point because you are given enough context clues that it seems the cycle would just continue for all parties.
Profile Image for Amanda.
710 reviews234 followers
January 1, 2019
Sam and Merry move to Sweden to start a new life. From the outside they look like they are living the perfect dream with Merry growing their own vegetables, baking, cleaning and bringing up their baby Connor. They describe every day as a “perfect day.”

Each chapter is from a different persons perception (Sam, Merry and Frank) we are given clues along the way that maybe Sam and Merry are both keeping secrets and are not as wholesome as they first appeared.

Kerry’s best friend Frank comes to stay with them, the saying “with friends like these who needs enemies” would be very apt as Frank is at first jealous of Merry’s idyllic lifestyle and wants it for herself, but then she notices what is really going on and this book gets darker and even more disturbing!!

Loved the way the tension kept building all throughout this book and was like a pressure cooker about to explode!!

This book will keep you turning the pages unsure what is going to happen next. A compelling, gripping and sometimes distressing book.

A must read, definitely looking out for Michelle Sacks next book, I think I have just become a fan of yours.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Jess☺️.
457 reviews80 followers
August 30, 2019
The Dark Path by Michelle Sacks is a dark twisted book of the so say perfect family life (yeah right you can feel the secrets beginning to leak already 🙄).
It's a book that can be finished in a day and you spend half that time truly disliking the characters they are just horrible people the only one I cared for was baby Connor.
It's extremely unsettling, heartbreaking and disturbingly toxic.
The pages just keep flipping whilst the story keeps getting more twisted.
I definitely recommend this book if you want a disturbing psychological thriller 📖
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,402 reviews988 followers
May 28, 2018
You Were Made For This is a beautifully written, utterly riveting and genuinely disturbing novel that ate up my morning.

Merry and Sam live an idyllic life in Sweden – but even the brightest lives hide the darkest secrets. When Merry’s best friend Frank comes to stay she sets off a series of events that lead to tragedy…

You Were Made For This is extremely absorbing – the author paints a picture with words, the sense of place is palpable and the characters pop from the page. They are horrible horrible people to be honest, don’t expect to have much sympathy for any of them but that, in itself, makes this extraordinarily compelling. The disquieting, morbid sense of it creeps up on you, leading you further into the quagmire of human nature with an absolutely captivating prose that digs you deep into the lives of these three ingeniously done characters.

It is a tangled web that unravels around you and every single moment of it is completely, darkly enchanting. It has an almost fairy tale sense to it – the type the Grimm brothers wrote if you read the originals rather than the Disney versions – the sense of horror that comes slowly but surely, leaving you melancholy and a little fretful.

Intelligent writing, a hugely gripping story, a slow burn to an emotionally horrific conclusion, You Were Made For This is definitely one of the best books of it’s kind I have read this year. I was hooked, couldn’t look away, I read first page to last in one huge gulp of a sitting.

Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Crime by the Book.
192 reviews1,593 followers
May 3, 2018
Find my full review here: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2018/4...

This is the kind of book that’s bound to spark some very divided opinions. YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS features a cast of totally unlikeable characters - reading this book felt, to me, a bit like watching a train wreck that you just can’t look away from. I ended up enjoying this one a lot, but it won’t be for everyone, that’s for sure!!
Profile Image for Roman Clodia.
2,391 reviews2,369 followers
May 29, 2018
I thought I'd reached saturation point with twisty domestic noire thrillers told through a series of revolving first-person narrators but this book persuaded me back and had me racing through to the end. While the premise is different, there's quite a strong Gone Girl vibe about this: the marriage-under-a-microscope, the toxic relationships, the twisted characters.

Sacks is smart about socially-prescribed gender roles ('devoted and all-nurturing and selfless. Without a self'), but needs to pay attention to grammar: mixing up 'we' and 'us', or 'me' and 'I' is jarring and painful to read ('I booked a hotel for Merry and I' - no!).

I was completely gripped by the first half, slightly less so by the second which shifts into murder investigation mode. All the same, a fast-paced and clever book that manages to be creepy and claustrophobic: 3.5 stars
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