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Necessary People

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  702 ratings  ·  155 reviews
A propulsive, "chilling" (Lee Child) novel exploring the dangerous fault lines of female friendships, Necessary People deftly plumbs the limits of ambition, loyalty, and love.
One of them has it all. One of them wants it all. But they can't both win.

Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they met in college, they knew their roles. Beautiful, privileged,
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
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3.85  · 
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 ·  702 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An interesting novel about what happens when two friends clash. Stella and Violet are polar opposites. Stella has it all - beauty, money, personality. Violet has ambition and brains. She comes from the wrong side of the tracks, not just a lack of money but the mother from hell who doesn’t even want to see her daughter succeed. She’s doing everything she can to put her past behind her. Initially they bonded at college and bolstered each other. After college, Stella takes off to travel the world b ...more
Susanne  Strong
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4 Stars

Two women who are oh so different, yet each has what the other wants. Is it love or is it hate? Why it’s “Necessary People.”

Stella is gorgeous, rich and popular, with family everyone wants. Violet is pretty, intelligent and hardworking. Stella is jealous of what Violet achieves; Violet is jealous of who Stella is. Best Friends and frenemies who meet in College, without each other, they cease to exist. Violet is down to earth, kind and decent. Stella is unreal, wealthy, snobby and well, r
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is everything I want in a novel. I savored every single page. In one word - AMAZING!!!

Violet and Stella meet in college and quickly become best of friends. The two young women come from very different backgrounds. Violet, couldn't wait to escape to college from her poor upbringing in the middle-of-nowhere Florida by neglectful parents. A quiet but determined young woman she's the perfect friend for the flighty Stella. Stella,
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love, absolutely LOVE, reading about ambitious women. In the context of this book, we’re talking about women who put their careers before anything else—romances, friends and even family members. Because not everyone can do it. Putting something above anything else requires sacrifice. Strength. Knowing what you want from and in life and going for it and not stopping until you reach your goal.

If what you want is a husband and children and you do everything and ANYTHING to have them and work har
Brenda - Traveling Sister
Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak explores the complicated toxic relationship between two very different best friends. They live very different lives but are intertwined together by their ambitions.

I was drawn into this character study into the dark side of friendship family and privilege. I loved the dynamics here between two best friends Violet and Stella. Stella is rich, privileged and ambitious when it comes to besting her bestie. She really thinks she is pretty special. Violet is struggling
Kim ~ Traveling Sister
May 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Frenemies anyone? Holy crap if these two girls are best friends as they claim, I would certainly hate to be their enemy. Absolutely scandalous is what this book is! This was a buddy read with myself and one of my best book buddies Brenda from Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee. Please pop over to her blog and check out what she thought. It was a great buddy read because there was a lot to talk about!

Stella Bradley gets every thing she wants....always. She comes from a wealthy family and never seems to
May 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Bottom of the 9th
2 outs
3 balls
2 strikes
Pitcher throws a fast ball right over the plate...
Batter swings for his life, this is going to be the homer of his career...
he swings so fucking hard that the bat flies out of his hands and soars into the stands, knocking out a toddler in the 4th row.

That's how bad this book struck out for me.

This was my May 2019 BOTM choice and it's the first time I haven't loved the book I recieved. 😕
DNF @ 170 pages
I have been trying to get into this book for weeks. I keep picking it up and putting it back down again and I really wanted to love it but I just feel so meh about it. I love thrillers, especially thrillers that revolve around female friendships where there i a competitive nature between them - it's one of my favorite tropes to read about. But I was just so bored out of my mind reading this and it felt like nothing was happening. They literally tell you in the description that Ste
Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm, Myrtle Beach
I thought Necessary People was great. I spent the whole book rooting for Violet and kind of hating Stella, which I think was the point. The author did a great job of showing how "necessary" they each were to each other and why their toxic friendship continued for so many years.

(view spoiler)
This will be a short but very enthusiastic review. Necessary People is a real treat, an absolute delight, and I devoured it in a blissful haze. It's a sophisticated, glossy, smooth-as-silk literary thriller about ambition, rivalry and privilege. Two college 'friends' – one poor and driven, the other wealthy and devious – end up working for the same TV network, where the competition between them turns poisonous. I was rooting for our heroine, Violet, all the way; her rival, Stella, is a true love ...more

Necessary People is like most contemporary suspense-thriller offerings: It’s page-turning; it’s really easy to read; and it’s exciting. But that’s it. I took a chance on this book because author Anna Pitoniak once worked as an editor at a major publishing house. I figured this kind of author is more likely than most to write something that’s a cut above. Unfortunately, it’s just another mindless soap opera-ish read in the genre. I kept thinking “airport,” as in, well-suited
Book of the Month
Why I love it
by Cristina Arreola

Most people, I’m willing to bet, have experienced a friendship that exists on a spectrum of love and competition, where the marking point could exist, perversely, at both ends at the exact same time. Violet and Stella, the protagonists of Anna Pitoniak’s Necessary People, epitomize that type of relationship—the kind where adoration and jealousy mix together in a toxic tonic that both women are only too ready to drink.

Violet, our narrator, grew up poor and emotiona
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Oh good laws almighty, these girls.... Why is it so difficult to get out of toxic relationships? Here we have a story that we have seen before. Stella, the rich, entitled girl who is used to getting everything she wants. Money is no object and neither of people Violet, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks who lives in Stella's shadow. Low self esteem but a drive underneath.

The thing with girls like these is that it's SO hard to find any sympathy for either girl. Stella who shits on everyon
Cody | codysbookshelf
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Well, this book was gloomier than I anticipated. I expected a frothy, passable — and at least somewhat predictable — thriller. One I would finish and rate three stars, one I would forget about soon after moving on to something else.

Necessary People is one of the finest contemporary thrillers I’ve read in some time. I could not put it down; no, I could not . . . nor did I want to.

Anna Pitoniak has crafted a searing and sinister look at the politics of female friendships and broadcast news, and w
Cassie-Traveling Sister-
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow this book is a dark twisted tale of how a female friendship can turn ugly , and lead to some very scary consequences and how far one friend will go to cover it up while working in primetime news. Stella and Violet are best friends they met while attending college. Stella who was born into a wealthy family and craves the spotlight and has never heard the word no, overshadows Violet who has worked her butt off to get into college, and achieve her goals into working in the news industry. When V ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Everyone wants what they don't have. Everyone wants more."

I loved Necessary People! This was such an entertaining read, and I found Anna Pitoniak's portrayal of a competitive female friendship to be pretty damn accurate. I wanted to scream at Stella and Violet so frequently, but I also found them to be relatable. This is an excellent drama / suspense story, and I highly recommend picking it up this summer. I would recommend this one for fans of Social Creature, but they are still very different
Lolly K Dandeneau
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
via my blog:
'You pay attention because you have to pay attention. The world isn’t going to unfurl itself for you. You have to pry it open.'

College, that place that draws people from all walks of life together, broadens your world view, lets the priveledged and working class rub shoulders and be better for it, this is the meeting place for one hell of a story. For Violet Trapp it was her intelligence and hard work, not her parent’s money that lands her at th
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
Despite a slow start, Necessary People presents a story of frenemies and power. None should the two meet.

Once the book found its pacing, the story entertained me. I could not stand Stella and wished for the best for Violet.

Odd how I got what I asked in this story. 3/5
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, general-fiction
I couldn’t put Necessary People down.

This book was fantastic - a fast but great read.

I found myself frustrated, worried/stressed and flat out angry with and for the narrator. One theme kind of struck home with me and agitated me more than most. The theme of entitled (rich, in this case) taking advantage of someone working their way up and treated, essentially, as paid ‘help’. This is something that has happened to me before and isn’t always easy to stand up to. The author wrote that, and wrote
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
4.5 RTC
“Of course the world is a zero sum. Every gain demands a loss.”

Power plays can make for compelling reads—this is no exception!

Violet befriends Stella. Violet is a girl from the wrong side of the track. You’ve met her before: smart, ambitious, good-natured—a survivor (of family, of circumstance).

Stella is the kind of girl privileged girls call privileged. Beautiful, wealthy...wanting for nothing.

These two depend on one another. For Violet, Stella gives her access to a normal family, to a kind of
Andrea Bartz
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book. THIS BOOK. It’s a dark and intricate and muscular and scary tale of female friendship and ambition set against the drumbeat of primetime news, and I devoured it whole over a couple of days. I can't stop thinking about it and its brilliant writing and poignant commentary on class and status and social climbing. I will be recommending this to everyone when it's out!
Mar 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
Necessary People is seriously messed up! Meet college girls Stella and Violet. Stella is the beautiful, rich goddess type. Violet is plain, hard working and modest. This is a story of frenemies at its best. Each girl envies something about the other. This makes for a volatile friendship. You can be best friends but actually hate each other. It's a girl thing, especially college age when you're still establishing your identity. The story slowly builds with all this underlying tension, and you jus ...more
Debi Hawkes
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
"I was nineteen years old the first time I saved Stella Bradley’s life."

This one was fun, great opener.

It is a well written psychological thriller, with interesting settings, and nicely developed characters who are not necessarily likeable but you like them anyway!

Definitely worth reading.

Thank you NetGalley and publisher for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Donna Hines
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Ambition is a power!
Violet and Stella are quite remarkable characters with their own flaws to set forth this novel in motion.
They met in college and have been inseparable both seeking a charmed and privileged life.
Social class separations are highlighted in a world based on greed in moving to the top.
As Violet enhances her power our protagonists gets a dose of reality as she welcomes the role of the leading lady.
With success comes danger in this kill or be killed scenario.
Ruthless comes to mind
Diana Iozzia (Bookworm Banter)
“Necessary People”
Written by Anna Pitoniak
Review written by Diana Iozzia

Ambition is a powerful thing. So powerful that it can become consuming, but it also can manifest in ways that we do not typically expect. This psychological thriller is first and foremost about ambition and jealousy, but not in the way that we usually find in this genre. This book is eviscerating; it consumes everything you could possibly imagine and the fire just keeps spreading.

We meet Violet, our ruthless protagonist and
Kate (kate_reads_)
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read this book. I went into it with no idea what it was going to be about - I knew I had added it to my TBR because I was interested in the synopsis I'd seen, I knew it was a BOTM pick, I knew it was coming out soon - and that was it. I didn't reread the synopsis, I just decided to dive in and let it unfold. If possible - I suggest you do the same. Stop reading this review right here. Don't read the synopsis or other reviews - just read the book without any expectations.

However, if you need a l
Up All Night Book Addict
I really wanted to love this book. The early hype for it had me itching to read it. I had expected to devour it...

This was one of those books that started out extremely slow, then it got really good, then it just fell off for me. I got whiplash from the slow to fast throughout the story. I wasn't sure I liked it or not at different points of the book. I think I am somewhere in the middle.

The main focus on this book is social status and what people will do to ensure their get it and/or keep it. I
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of social climber stories
Necessary People is a great look at the line between friendship and mutual usury. As taut as a tripwire and as piercing as a scalpel.

While I find ingratiating social climbers fairly repulsive, I have an undeniable pull to stories that center around them and the insiders who give them access. And so here, Violet Trapp recounts the story of how she and socialite Stella Bradley meet, forge a friendship and ultimately progress to loathing and contempt. Stella has the money, charisma & physical b
Denise  Reed
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This was my May BOTM, and I was so excited to lose myself into a highly-rated psychological thriller about two best friends with a deeply conflicted relationship, and a few crazy twists and turns along the way - but I'm sad to say that it honestly turned out to be a struggle to even finish the book. The book started out slow, then picked up some steam, and then completely fell off for me.

The constant theme throughout the book seemed to be social status and the separation of classes, but it was v
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Anna is the author of Necessary People, coming in May 2019, and The Futures, which was named a best book of 2017 by theSkimm and Refinery29.

Anna worked for many years in book publishing, most recently as a Senior Editor at Random House. She graduated from Yale, where she majored in English and was an editor at the Yale Daily News. She grew up in Whistler, British Columbia, and now lives in New Y