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My Friend Anna: The True Story of the Fake Heiress Who Conned Me and Half of New York City

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  7,099 ratings  ·  832 reviews
Sex and the City meets Catch Me if You Can in the astonishing true story of Anna Delvey, a young con artist posing as a German heiress in New York City—as told by the former Vanity Fair photo editor who got seduced by her friendship and then scammed out of more than $62,000.

Vanity Fair photo editor Rachel DeLoache Williams’s new friend Anna Delvey, a self-proclaimed
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Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.53  · 
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 ·  7,099 ratings  ·  832 reviews


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Katie
I struggled between two and three stars for this book. It was a really hard read, for reasons I'll outline, but at the end of the day, the juiciness of it tips it over into a three-star. A fast, easy read for summer, at least, even though it genuinely stressed me out and sort of disgusted me.

I found myself having an incredibly hard time with the narrator. It was, to put it mildly, extremely difficult to have a lot of sympathy for her. And this may be because I, too, lived my twenties in NYC,
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Julie
My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams is a 2019 Gallery Books publication.

Several weeks ago, this book popped up on my radar by way of Book Riot. I seem to be on a true crime kick lately, so I checked the book out from the cloud library. Although it hardly lives up to the gushing hype, the story still left me shaking my head, not so much in disbelief that someone would fall for such a scam, but at the unconscionable behavior of people who deliberately set out to con someone.

In this case,
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Emily
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been chewing on this book for a while. Not because I liked it, although I did like it, but because of its unbearable bleakness. Look, this book was always bound to be bleak despite the tawdry true-crime appeal of Anna Delvey. But I truly could not have anticipated a more demoralizing or dystopian portrait of youth in the big city in twenty-first century. Williams’ world is one where everyone is underpaid and overworked, to the point where people abruptly drop off the map, where dream jobs ...more
Julie Christine
What a short, strange trip it's been.

Quick read, a little sad, a lot icky. Although I have not read the viral Vanity Fair article by Ms. Williams that launched this book, I have a feeling My Friend Anna is simply a more fleshed out version of the 2018 exposé, if the transcripts of endless texts can be considered flesh. Publication of this true crime narrative coincided with the title character's conviction of larceny and theft of services just this spring. But Anna Delvey née Sorokin was not
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Elizabeth
Aug 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ugh
The real mystery here is how someone managed to keep her job assisting with photoshoots at VF and get a book deal after being scammed by an obvious con artist (Anna is supposed to come across as malevolent but she mostly seems like someone who acted like she had money and rode that wave until she couldn't.) Rachel's story is a lot of padding wrapped around the few months she spent with Anna living it up until Anna couldn't hide her lack of funds and Rachel was shocked (shocked, I tell you!) that ...more
Yasmin ✨
description

That a person can go through all of this and still be so shallow and vain is incredible - in a bad way. I couldn't enjoy any of this because Williams is so busy trying appear like a saint. People are calling Anna a bad person, but jeez, did Williams learn anything at all from this? I doubt it. It's actually pretty sad how insecure Williams is. RTC cause I got a lotttt to say about this.
Rachel Smalter Hall
This was everything I wanted it to be and more. Rachel took me on a JOURNEY. For those who didn't follow the Anna Delvey criminal case, here's the short version: Anna "Delvey" is a 28-year-old con artist who moved among the NYC fashion scene and was eventually convicted for fleecing hotels, banks, etc. out of over 200K, plus another attempted 1MM. Along the way she conned her friend, Rachel, into paying 70K that she didn't have for an "all expenses paid" vacation to Marrakech. It ruined Rachel's ...more
Dennis
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I am completely shocked that My Friend Anna is a real story! This non-fiction book has been optioned for a Netflix show, produced by Shonda Rhimes. I read My Friend Anna in ONE SITTING folks, one sitting! That hasn't happened in forever. Read the synopsis and then jump in!

I can't fault Rachel DeLoache Williams on believing Anna Delvey (real name Anna Sorokin)'s lies, because if there's one thing about New York, it's that you meet a ton of rich people all the time. New York the city with the
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Jane
Jul 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ms Williams was a parasite who leeched onto Anna for her money. Women like Ms Williams are called fake friends; she's only there for the money. Friendship is about sharing and splitting the bills. Bottom line: friendship is about 50:50. However in Ms Williams' case, it was only take, take, and take. I don't feel any sympathy for Ms Williams. Why should I? She knew what she was doing until it backfired. "Delvey is a feckless and disorganized small-timer, closer to a hipster grifter..."? Look ...more
Rachel SV
So many conflicting thoughts on this one, but here are my rough thoughts after finishing the audiobook about 5 minutes ago. I had a really hard time sympathizing with this narrator. She often seemed the picture of privilege and her lack of boundaries is not as interrogated as I would have liked. It's not that I think it's fair she was manipulated into putting thousands and thousands onto her credit cards, but she spends a lot of time painting herself as this sweet BFF who just got taken ...more
BookOfCinz
Last year I read Bad Bloods: Secret and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start-Up and I could not get over how Elizabeth Holmes pulled off one of the biggest scams of the 21st century. This year I randomly heard a news story about a fake German Heiress who scammed a lot of people and committed fraud and I just had to have my fill of white women with white privilege scamming people.

My Friend Anna Is Rachel Williams' account of her "friendship" with Anna, the woman charged with being a fake German
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Peter Monn
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll save my review for my booktube review which will be up soon on my booktube channel at http://YouTube.com/Peterlikesbooks
Frank Phillips
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic! Did not read like nonfiction whatsoever. Read it in about 24 hours! Can't believe this is actually true!!
Jeanette
It is difficult to rate this book appropriately. My first evaluation was 2 stars. But then I thought about it enough after finishing to realize that the subject matter focus was better than that rating. And that the writing itself was minutia exact and self-exposure valid enough to warrant a better level to the book as a whole.

Under 300 pages and yet it IS tedious for at least the very middle 100 pages. Because what has occurred in Rachel's life is not simpleton in the telling of lavish $$$
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Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the type of story that is easy to judge if you don't delve into the details. A young woman stuck paying for an expensive vacation she took because she thought someone else was going to pay for it? Not exactly someone's grandmother being swindled out of her life's savings! But trust me when I say, the blurb cannot capture what Rachel went through. And the most interesting part of this is the power of trust and history. I couldn't put this book down!

Rachel DeLoache Williams begins the book
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Kelly
Totally, utterly captivating, and Williams does a great job with the audio. A lot of people reviewing this book are spending more time reviewing Williams herself, as opposed to the fact she was conned, which is pretty interesting.

People duping others is, apparently, a thing I really am into. See: Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married.
Nick Jensen
Aug 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A frustratingly empty tale of a naive and common-senseless person who, despite being in her late 20s, still doesn't know how credit cards work or how to Google "tips for traveling abroad." Nobody with a functioning head on their shoulders would ever be in danger of falling victim to this basic, predictable, and low-stakes "scam."

The real victims are all of us who actually bought the book. Suckers!

Oh, and if you mention Annie Liebovitz 21 times in one book, does she appear?
Ali
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhere in the region of 2.5 to 3 stars, but I'm going to round it down to 2 stars, because having a very interesting subject for narrative, the actual narrative was desperately low quality.

A young, supposedly rich, girl, a con artist, a trickster, a manipulator, a sociopath... You good write an absolute rollercoaster but on this occasion, it was a slow wet ride on a rusty squicky sleigh...

Rachel and Anna were once friends... Or were they? I saw zero friendship. Just two girls who both
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Amanda
This was an interesting story. If you're interested in reading this, you may want to skip the audio version, which the author reads the book herself. The valley girl melody of the reading was really off-putting and I was tempted to DNF the book because of it.

I found myself vacillating with wondering how the author could be such a pushover to allow her friend to make over $60,000 in charges on her charge cards and feeling sorry for her. I mostly kept siding with the former feelings.

I like a good
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Samantha
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure how much interest the Anna Delvey story has garnered nationally, but New Yorkers like me have been captivated by it since he news of the “fake heiress” first hit the papers.

Though fascinating to follow via news outlets, the personal account presented here by Rachel Williams is even more riveting.

If you’re wondering just exactly how compelling Williams’ book is...I read the entire thing in one day on a day where I definitely didn’t have time to read an entire book, and I walked
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Lauren
Sep 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This book reminded me of an episode of the podcast Reply All, in which one of the producers of the show realizes that her colleagues think they are all totally immune to phishing scams, thinking that only idiots fall for the obvious "Nigerian prince" emails. So, she hires a hacker to phish her colleagues and see who falls for it. Spoiler: a lot of them do. My impetus to read this book was similar - I wanted to know what kind of a [in this case: wealth-obsessed, power-obsessed] idiot would fall ...more
Alexandra
I was curious about this story after reading the article in VF and from having gone to college with the author. Overall, I found the book pretty disappointing. It added little to the information shared in the article and a lot of it was simplistic and not particularly well-written. More of a tabloid story. It's hard to feel much empathy for the author, though she does a good job of explaining why she gets sucked in by Anna and ultimately ends up in a difficult position. It just wasn't as ...more
Sharon Huether
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs, true-story
Rachel de Loache Williams a photo editor for Vanity Fair has a new friend, Anna self proclaimed German heiress. She was ambitious, generous , ate a the best restaurants and exercised with a
professional trainer. She appeared to have it all.

One day she announced she was taking a trip to Marrakech in Moroco and staying at a five star hotel.
Rachel was all in and some other friends were to join them.
When it came time to pay the bill, Anna's credit cards were not working. She asks Rachel to help
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Basic B's Guide
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Friend Anna

Holy heck this book stressed me out! As a self-proclaimed cheapa$$ I would NEVER hand over my credit card for $60K+ but I’m also not friends with ballers.

From the first page I was completed fascinated by the tale. I wanted to shake Rachel and scream “DON’T DO IT! As an outsider its easy to see the signs of manipulation but the reality is that we are all vulnerable in some way. Con artists just find their way through the cracks.

I’m happy that Rachel was able to make it through this
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Emily
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe going Dutch is a great idea? Such a crazy story! Loved it!! And appreciate down to earth friends
flannery
This book is both extremely entertaining & extremely tedious, and includes CSI-level detail about what people were wearing, eating, drinking, whatever, and sentences like "The food was arranged buffet style to encourage socializing." The author takes pains to identify Anna Delvey as status-seeking, name-dropping, etc., but I'm gonna be a real bitch for a second & say that you don't get to be $65k in the hole w/ A.D. without having something in common.
Suzanne thebookblondie
My Friend, Anna by Rachel DeLoache Williams (#108 in 2019)

Goodreads describes this one as Sex and the City meets Catch Me if You Can, and that's the most spot-on description I've ever heard.

Holy WHAT?! This story is true... and so wild. I've had friends who don't like to pay for things and I've had friends who always owe money, but I've never had a friend who conned me into a nearly $75k deficit. At face value, anyone might see Rachel's story and think she must have been blind to see this
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Mrtruscott
Dec 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How fitting that I wandered into this book so soon after “Wild Game,” my other recent 1* review. Lots of similarities. Both books were like reading a 6th grader’s diary.

There was a voice in my head screaming, “Who cares?” (Oh wait, that voice is me).

I make these poor reading choices myself. No one forces me to read books like this. Admitting that I have this problem is the first step to developing better taste in trashy books.
Michelle
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, new-york, memoir, audible
Fascinating memoir written by a young woman scammed by a fake heiress. It's absolutely outrageous what she got away with (for a while) and it's easy to see how the author got hoodwinked in the beginning (that she is young and insecure is very evident). This might be a quirk of listening on audio for long stretches of time, but it gets extremely frustrating when they're back in NYC and Rachel is chasing down Anna for the money she's owed. The endless excuses of "Monday" and "I'll check with the ...more
Tzipora
Meh. I’m really not sure there was ever a whole books worth of experience to write here. I haven’t read the author’s original Vanity Fair piece about her experiences with Anna but I’m pretty sure that’s all anyone really needs to read. This book goes into such excruciating and frankly boring detail. Maybe when you have all the connections to publishing that the author does plus we’re part of such a hot case, you can write whatever you want but as an example- Rachel mentions a totally random ...more
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Rachel DeLoache Williams was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Kenyon College. In 2010, she moved to New York City and landed her dream job in the photo department of Vanity Fair magazine, where she helped produce photo shoots, and worked with the magazine’s leading photographers and iconic subjects.

My Friend Anna, a memoir of her friendship and experiences with Anna
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“Act like you’ve been here before.” 1 likes
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