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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,798 ratings  ·  368 reviews
The new tenants have a terrible secret. So do the landlord and his daughter…

Ever since Lucy was two, she’s been on the run alongside her mother. She’s never understood the reason for a lifetime of paranoia, aliases, and lies. All she understands are the rules: never lock eyes with strangers, never let down your guard, and always be ready to move on.

Finally, after thirteen
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Thomas & Mercer
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Virginia Yes, I skimmed over those parts. The writing on the whole was confusing and there were too many characters in that part of the story. I was also throw…moreYes, I skimmed over those parts. The writing on the whole was confusing and there were too many characters in that part of the story. I was also thrown by the number of people who had 2 names. (less)

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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,798 ratings  ·  368 reviews

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Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it


Ohhh Gretchen.

A lot of us knew a Gretchen back in school.

In my case her name was Francine Sharp (please don't let her be reading this and come butcher me in my sleep). Gretchens are friendless, awkward outcasts with a tendency to glob onto anybody that shows them the least little bit of attention. Oh, and lest I forget, they are always BATSHIT CRAZY.

As fun as Gretchen is she's not the MC. That would be Lucy and it's been awhile since I've loved one as much as I did her. She'
Chelsea Humphrey
How do you neatly shelve a book that defies genre boundaries and stands in a league all on its own? Well, you clearly create a new genre titled WTAF! Also? I mean that in the highest complimentary way, because it made for an absolutely unputdownable read. Gretchen is the title of the book, but the story really focuses on things from Lucy's perspective of her tumultuous life thus far. While this is being billed as a psychological thriller, and it is one by all means, I think it falls neatly into ...more
j e w e l s
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-bejeweled

“…Mag, I hope this isn’t weird, and I truly mean it as a huge compliment, but I think you’re a Jenny too. Maybe even the truest Jenny.”

Are you a Gretchen or a Jenny? Sometimes a Gretchen can BE a Jenny. And vice versa. Got that?

Shannon Kirk is an outstanding writer. She cleverly weaves together a mirrored double plot line that has the reader climbing a ladder of suspense. You had best hold onto tight to each rung because when you reach the top, watch out!!! You’re about to
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 What Did I Just Read Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 😳

What is it about psychotic children that is so creepy yet appealing? Gretchen took disturbed to a whole new level.

15 year old Lucy and her mother have been on the run for 13 years. 11 states and endless hours cross country in their car later they end up in an isolated, fortresslike place in the New Hampshire woods. Their new landlords are a pianist, and his lonely daughter, Gretchen. It would be ideal, if each of these families weren't harboring so ma
Jul 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs

If I wanted to be mean I'd call this book a steaming pile of horse shit but instead I'll be nice and say that this simply wasn't my cup o' tea.
Shannon Kirk is the queen of W.T.F.


I fell in love with Kirk's writing last summer with her release of In The Vines. In fact, In The Vines was one of my top 10 novels for 2018! So when I heard the fabulous Shannon Kirk was coming out with a new novel for this summer, I knew I needed to drop everything and read it. Kirk's upcoming horror novel Gretchen continues to follow in In The Vines's footsteps as she ventures further into the gothic suspense genre. Both In The Vines and Gretchen hav
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
Audio 5 stars
Story 3.5 stars

This story was weird, chaotic, gripping and again…weird! But I couldn’t stop listing to the audio because I wanted to know where the story was going. For that alone, I have to round up my rating.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just WOW! a creepy thriller a read done with a Buddy Read on Instagram. The first part was slow though I’d leave it but thank god i stuck with it.
The beginning was weird had weird characters especially the relationship between mother and daughter it was so strange it made you think are they really but the following parts you found out the truth about everything! It does leave you wondering what happened to a few major characters! I do recommend this book!
Kimberly Belle
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Let me just say, I'm so glad I read this during the daytime, when the sun was shining and I was in a plane full of people bc OMG. This book is creepy in the best possible way, and waaaaaay scarier than what I'm used to reading. The poor lady sitting beside me had her arm grabbed more than once because we've all known a Gretchen, a strange loner who turns out to be a batshit loon, only mine was named Pamela. Pamela, if you're reading this, I'm talking about a different Pamela. 😬 Five terrifying s ...more
Erin (from Long Island, NY)
Ughh. What a shame! The beginning was so creepy & fun... I couldn't put it down! I loved certain characters & thought maybe i was going to be an outlier- & was getting excited cuz i could totally see it being a great 1!! But then i got bored.. The middle felt tedious & repetitive, & then the last bit was utterly ridiculous. Such a tease to have such an intense, creepy setup... & then bam, silliness. & did i mention that parts of the "mystery" (the parts that weren't pure fantasy!) were totally p ...more
I received Gretchen: A Thriller by Shannon Kirk as a Goodreads Giveaway. My sincere thanks for the free book, and I’d love to be able to write a positive review, but it’s so awful I couldn’t finish it. If it were a physical book, I’d at least skim through it, but I find skimming ebooks to be difficult so I’m abandoning it because life is too short to read books this incredibly bad. There is nothing I like about this book. The plot is ridiculous, the dialogue is terrible, the prose is terrible a ...more
Jamie Rosenblit
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs
2.5 Stars for Gretchen by Shannon Kirk.

What should have been a slow burn gothic thriller turned into a tedious, dragging story with twists that I saw coming a mile away.

Mother daughter duo are on the run - from what exactly we don't know - but they rent a cabin from Gretchen and her father. Gretchen seems to lack any sense of social convention and oversteps boundaries more than frequently. Told in alternating perspectives from mother and daughter (Lucy), we begin to unravel why they are runnin
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
The winter owl banked just in time to pass and save herself from breaking window glass. --Robert Frost

Fellow readers, I honestly don't know how I feel about this book. My gut seems to be leaning more negative than positive. There were just so many competing story lines, at times, it felt...tortured. You know what I mean, right? Like, when you keep curling your hair, but it's not laying the way you desire, so you curl it some more...then some more...and pretty soon, you're rocking a f
Aga Durka
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Gretchen... Gretchen...Gretchen *shaking my head*...what have you done?!

There is a SPECIAL kind of CRAZY for people like Gretchen, that’s for sure! I have read a lot of crazy, twisted, far-fetched, rolling my eyes kind of psychological thrillers in my life, but this book is on a quite different level, way over the PSYCHOLOGICAL line.

Ok, so here is the thing: I really thought this was a pretty good read, like 4 stars good (which is very good for a book in this genre, since there is so many of t
I had no idea what this book was about going in. As I was reading, I kept thinking the story reminded me of a twisted episode of The Twilight Zone. I raced through most of the story but was a bit disappointed in the ending.
Emily Carpenter
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gretchen terrified me, made me laugh, made my jaw hit the floor. How can a book do all three? I’ll tell you how, because it comes from the brain of Shannon Kirk, one of the most gifted, original horror writers working today. This book is a nightmare, a delight, and a mischief-making, nasty-nice fairy tale pixie, all wrapped into one insidious package. As I got lost in the book, like in Gretchen’s puzzle-like hallways of her uber-freaky house, I had to wonder what kind of sorceress Kirk is, to ha ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
How crazy was this book????? I think I still have vertigo from the nosedive into the insanity of Gretchen’s world and the events that took place in the last 25% of Kirk’s latest creation. After reading IN THE VINES last year, I knew I would be in for a treat, but had little idea of what exactly I was letting myself in for with this one.

I immediately liked Lucy, the 15-year-old MC who is narrating most of the story. Lucy and her mother have been on the run for 13 years, ever since Lucy was two. S
Christi M
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, thriller
Gretchen is a gripping thriller that is extremely creepy and disturbing at times. It was so good that I read most of it in one sitting. If you enjoy thrillers, don’t miss out on this one.


Although the book is named Gretchen, the main character is actually Lucy. Or at least, the book is seen and told mostly from her perspective and not Gretchen’s. The other perspective the book is told from is Lucy’s mother – shifting back and forth between the two, but most of the time the story is with
Well, this was a weird story. I loved Kirk’s “Method 15/33” and I was really looking forward to this book. In “Method 15/33” we met a genius girl who used what she got at hand to free herself from her kidnappers. In “Gretchen” we meet at last 4 females who are capable of extraordinary things.

At first this story seems to be the one of a girl who is always on the run with her mother. She has to keep her head low, has to wear contacts to hide her violet eyes. Her mother fears constantly that someo
Ludwig Reads
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Readers: Shannon, how much are you planning to disturb, unsettle and creep us out with your next thriller?

Shannon: Yes.


"What the ever-living hell have we gotten ourselves into?"

Another thriller, another creepy house full of secrets. A mother and daughter on the run for thirteen years.
What are they running from?
Will they finally settle at the Sabins Property, even though the owners are the oddest people they've ever met?

Leave it to Shannon Kirk to w
Tracy Robinson
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review soon! Definitely between 4-5 for me

Okay - I’ve had a few days to think this over, and I’m going to go with 4.5 rounded up to 5. I don’t really do that often, but for me this was so close to being perfect that I just couldn’t have it any other way.

I haven’t read Kirk before, a misstep I’m definitely regretting. I already have eyes on her 15/33 novel. GRETCHEN is a very dark suspense/thriller, chock full of female characters I loved, hated, and was terrified of. There are some scenes invol
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
"She feels like a tempting game. Or she and I are a tempting game. Two trains about to collide. A beautiful horror. An irresistible, bad, bad addiction. I can't look away."

Gretchen is kind of a blend of things (or a puzzle, which is a major theme in the book) - it's gothic and psychological horror, and also a suspense novel. I really enjoyed this story, and putting all the pieces together to figure out what was going on. There are several different storylines happening in this book, but everythi
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
I just do NOT even know what happened here?!? I was completely on board this crazy train for about 3/4 of the book, then it went in a direction that I can't even comprehend. I really want to give this a rating of 1 star, but the writing was good, so... ...more
Laura Peden
WTF did I just read? Idk but I liked it... This is most definitely going to be hit or miss for most people I think. It’s a hard book to review because it IS so different. I can say it’s a thriller, it has a couple really good twists, and I snickered a lot. I love Lucy and I wanna be like her when I grow up. Gretchen on the other hand....she’s such a wack-a-doodle 😱 I seriously questioned what drugs Kirk could’ve taken to come up this stuff. It’s that bizarre at times but I couldn’t put this down ...more
Brooke Sergent
Aug 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
How on earth this book received good reviews is beyond my comprehension. Legitimately was over it after a few chapters but the curiousity in me allowed me to continue on. Such a waste of time! The book had an overall pathetic plot. I found myself confused during some chapters. There was no consistency and felt transitions between time did not mesh cohesively. Much of what transitioned near the wnd felt hurried and thrown together. The ending was laughable.
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shannon Kirk does it again. Gretchen is psychotic perfection loaded with extra helpings of bizarreness and a couple of pounds of fried bacon thrown in. I loved it!
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gretchen may be a little strange, but she's harmless -- right?

If you haven't yet seen buzz about this book, believe me, you will. It's one of those that you go into without any preparation or expectation so that you can be properly blown away by it. It's not often that a book surprises me, but this was masterful writing and incredibly entertaining. I was hooked immediately and couldn't put it down until I had finished. Let my breath go. And read the supplemental material that is best saved for l
The Cats’ Mother
I have mixed feelings about this one, which I requested having seen some intriguing and quite polarised reviews. I’m not sure that I can say I enjoyed it, but I was certainly glued to my kindle to find out what the hell was going on, and then how it would all turn out. I’d bought and enjoyed Method 15/33 by this author a few years ago, but this one ramps up the WTFery with a blend of psychological suspense, horror and action that only half works.

Fifteen year old Lucy has spent her life on the ru
Lynne Lambdin
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Okay, I am going to be that NetGalley review....

Here are some of the poetic notes that I took while reading Gretchen. This is literally copied and pasted from a draft I kept. I've not modified the notes to ensure you get my raw anger and at times nonsensical typing.

75 pages in and not dick has happened. Page 93 and not dick has still happened. I’m honestly super fucking bored with the description of Gretchen and Jerry’s house. This author really drags stuff out. Lucy says “I need your help,” On
greta ☁️
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
now this, is what i call a good thriller. mind twisting, creepy, unpredictable and even cute if talking about Gretchen Bianchi and Nathan Vinet's relationship. i absolutely adored Lucy as a character for being so brave, bright-smart and sarcastic. i can't see myself being in her shoes if it was happening in real life, i think i'd be devastated, but Lucy, on the other hand, handles all this situation so well. i couldn't enjoy this story more, this is just... ugh, perfect! and Gretchen though, she ...more
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