Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Necessary People” as Want to Read:
Necessary People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Necessary People

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  4,929 ratings  ·  709 reviews
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, and reckless Stella lives in the spotlight. Hardworking, laser-focused Violet stays behind the scenes, always ready to clean up the mess that Stella inevitably leaves in her
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Little, Brown and Company
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Necessary People, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Deb Gripp I think Necessary People was a big step above Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott. The events in Necessary People were more believable and in spite of…moreI think Necessary People was a big step above Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott. The events in Necessary People were more believable and in spite of the results, understandable. I did feel for the underdog in this story and loved her efforts to move her career forward. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,929 ratings  ·  709 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Necessary People
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 ...more
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stella and Violet, besties since college, both know their role in the relationship. Stella is rich and irresponsible, Violet is poor, ambitious and the rescuer who saves Stella from her poor choices.

This works until it doesn't, and when it goes wrong it goes spectacularly wrong.

This is tight, well-crafted story about female friendships, jealousy, and the lengths people will go to in order to hang onto what is theirs.

Thank you to my GR buddy, Michelle, for pushing me to read this. You were
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
Four conspiracy, news worthy, ambitious, passionate, eternal darkness of spotless female rivalry stars!

Meet with Stella makes you scream like Brando on Streetcar names desire but not for bringing her loved one back, it is for cursing her and putting nasty adjectives before her name! Because this character is notorious, nasty, pretentious, spoiled trust fund babe who has a family cherish all the steps she takes and literally worship her!
She always gets what she wants. She’s rich, good looking
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,
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,
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
Brenda -Traveling Sister host of The Traveling Friends
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
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.
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
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
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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“It’s not Machiavellian. It’s just survival.”

You know what’s even worse than being FORTY-THREE (*insert crying emoji*) reviews behind? Covers like this . . . .

So much same makes my brain hurt. The fact that I can remember anything about either of these books this long after reading them says a lot about the entertainment level they provided to me.

We’ll see if I ever get around to reviewing Temper, but as for Necessary People to
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stella and Violet have been friends since college. They seem like opposites, but they balance one another out. Stella is privileged and irresponsible. Violet is hardworking and serious. After graduating, Stella travels and Violet starts an internship at a cable news station in New York. When Stella returns to New York, Violet's advancements are overshadowed and threatened when Stella is hired at the same station. Violet has always been there for Stella, but Violet isn't giving up on her dreams.


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
Carol (Bookaria)
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dark, complex, and an absolutely addictive read.

It is about friendships that turns toxic with time. I loved this book and looked forward to reading it when I was away, not that it took me long to read, I finished it quickly.

Most of the story takes place in NYC. The characters were complicated, memorable, and well developed. This is the second book I’ve read from this author and I loved it as much as the first one. If you have not yet read THE FUTURES, I highly recommend it.

Overall, I loved it!!!
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read! This book really depicts the ugly side of friendship, it perfectly portrays the destructive nature of when ambition between two best friends becomes competitive. Insecurity is the plague of success and this book cleverly shows the toxic consequences of a friendship where the power of privilege overshadows everything that Violet our main protagonist attempts to achieve. It all turns very nasty quickly and it kept me hooked til the very last page. Addictive stuff!
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)
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Necessary People is everything I wanted last year's (2018) Social Creature to be. It's a propulsive, charged look at how an "outsider" (translation: poor) woman is swept into a wealthy, glittering world via friendship and decides that she wants that world. When she does, the steps she takes start off small, but get larger and darker with each one. And the questions it raises! Do we deserve things or people because we want them? How far would we go to get them? How far would we go to keep them? ...more
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 ...more
Claire Jefferies
May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
You don’t soak cast iron pots.
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
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow what a book!!!

Oh my goodness... that was pretty intense. Just how I like my novels... dark, intense, and full of gossip and juice :).

Women sometimes actually scare me haha... even though clearly I'm one myself. But, I know how we can get sometimes especially with our friends. Talk about a friendship that turns toxic over time. The characters were complex, complicated, and took just the right dark turns that I long for.

I definitely would recommend putting this one on your radar if you love
La Petite Américaine

You know those books that come along, disguised as brainless beach reads? The ones that look all innocent, but before you know it, have you swiping away obnoxious notifications (buzz off, work/kids/friends!) from your screen because you’re too busy...reading?

Know what kind of book I mean?

Yeah, me either, because I haven’t come across one in a fuckin decade.

I don’t know who Anna Pitoniak is, but I do know that it’s not nice to sink me—the fiction-hater who especially loathes spending a
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
Frank Phillips
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars for this surprising tale of a very twisted friendship!!

I had no expectations for this one whatsoever as i'd never heard of this author before, and saw mixed reviews as well. It would have received a 5 Star rating from me had the start not been juuuust a little bit slow.
This story takes its' time developing and flushing out the competitive, toxic friendship between Stella & Violet. Stella is rich, beautiful, spoiled and very ENTITLED! Violet, on the other hand, comes from the wrong
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
Bri | bribooks
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
Everyone wants what they can't have. Everyone wants more.

I'm going to be honest - what drew me to this book was the catchy cover (plus the author has a cool name). I had no idea what to expect, but I loved the story. It's marketed as a thriller, but it's not. If I had to sum up the book, I'd say it's about ambition. About ordinary people doing bad things. About derailed friendship.

I know this book will stay with me. And that's how I know I read something good, something different.

For every
/ 5

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak can be described in one word - ruthless!!

What it's about: Stella and Violet have been best friends since college and they couldn't be more opposite. Violet never had money and grew up in a small Florida town with crappy parents, while Stella has a rich family and has always been the apple of her parent's eye, not to mention someone everyone loves. These backgrounds have made Stella flippant, but Violet striving to succeed while always being around to clean
3-4*s Entertaining (kept me listening) for sure, but I didn't find it "thrillerish" or "twisty". Some Many of the characters were stereotypes, but I think "stereotypish" characters do sometimes exist in life, hence the development of the stereotype. I would have liked to know more about Violet's background (view spoiler) , and to have had some input from Stella herself. Could be I'm being nitpicky- so many people whose opinions I ...more
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Book of The Month: Necessary People 2 94 Sep 27, 2019 05:32PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Nearly Normal Family
  • Lock Every Door
  • The Whisper Man
  • Miracle Creek
  • The Turn of the Key
  • The Gifted School
  • Ask Again, Yes
  • Before She Knew Him
  • The Family Upstairs
  • Beyond the Point
  • How Not to Die Alone
  • Things You Save in a Fire
  • The Winter Sister
  • Whisper Network
  • That's What Frenemies Are For
  • Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me
  • The First Mistake
  • Summer of '69
See similar books…
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
“It wasn’t that my personality changed when I met Stella. It was that it became, it flourished, because I could say things to Stella that I wouldn’t have said to anyone back home—knowing they would only respond with bafflement, or laughter—and she always volleyed right back, sharpening me like a whetstone to a knife. I didn’t just want the friendship of this dazzling girl. I wanted the world that had made her so dazzling in the first place.” 1 likes
“Listening to him complain about Stella was as satisfying as watching a rant-filled hour of cable news that confirmed all of your biases.” 1 likes
More quotes…