Category Archives: Stephanie Wrobel

Review: This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel

Title: This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From the USA Today bestselling and Edgar-nominated author of Darling Rose Gold comes a dark, thrilling novel about two sisters—one trapped in the clutches of a cult, the other in a web of her own lies.

Welcome to Wisewood. We’ll keep your secrets if you keep ours.

Natalie Collins hasn’t heard from her sister in more than half a year.

The last time they spoke, Kit was slogging from mundane workdays to obligatory happy hours to crying in the shower about their dead mother. She told Natalie she was sure there was something more out there.

And then she found Wisewood.

On a private island off the coast of Maine, Wisewood’s guests commit to six-month stays. During this time, they’re prohibited from contact with the rest of the world—no Internet, no phones, no exceptions. But the rules are for a good reason: to keep guests focused on achieving true fearlessness so they can become their Maximized Selves. Natalie thinks it’s a bad idea, but Kit has had enough of her sister’s cynicism and voluntarily disappears off the grid.

Six months later Natalie receives a menacing e-mail from a Wisewood account threatening to reveal the secret she’s been keeping from Kit. Panicked, Natalie hurries north to come clean to her sister and bring her home. But she’s about to learn that Wisewood won’t let either of them go without a fight.


This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel is a captivating mystery featuring two slightly estranged sisters.

Natalie Collins is hard-working career woman who goes in search of her sister Kit after receiving a threatening email. Natalie has not heard from Kit since she went to Wisewood, a self-improvement retreat on an island off the coast of Maine. The sisters’ lives have been completely different with Natalie focusing on her career while Kit cannot quite seem to find her niche. Despite their lack of contact, Natalie is not only worried her sister learning her secret. She is also very concerned about Kit’s well-being. In hopes of bringing Kit back home, Natalie immediately sets off for the isolated island.

Natalie is not exactly welcomed by the other members of the retreat. The people are reluctant to provide her any information about Kit nor will they direct her to Wisewood’s owner. Natalie has the eerie sensation someone is watching her in her cabin and while on the retreat grounds. She is also unnerved when she discovers someone has been in her room. The weather is not aiding her cause as a storm threatens her departure.

Passages from Kit’s perspective detail the journey that led her to Wisewood. Despite Natalie’s disapproval, she keeps firm in her decision to spend six months at the retreat. Kit is soon taken under Wisewood’s owner’s wing and she is soon taking on more duties. She is at peace for the first time in a long time and Kit does not miss the outside world.

Chapters from an unknown person’s point of view reveal shocking abuse for two sisters. One sister is more acquiescent than the other so she experiences less cruelty at the hands of her father. The other sister can never do anything to please her malicious father. She finds an outlet that she hopes will be her escape from her family. Her rise and eventual fall eventually span several decades and her identity is not revealed until around about halfway into the story.

This Might Hurt is a riveting novel that moves at a fast pace. Natalie and Kit are well-drawn women whose relationship has always been strained. The unknown woman’s story arc is interesting and a little better developed than Natalie and Kit’s. Wisewood is somewhat creepy and the worsening weather adds another layer of tension to the story. With well-placed plot-twists, Stephanie Wrobel brings this suspenseful mystery to a shocking conclusion.

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Filed under Berkley, Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Stephanie Wrobel, Suspense, This Might Hurt