This Might Hurt – Stephanie Wrobel

Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 336
Release Date: February 22, 2022

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 is a slow burn thriller that lacks the unsettling atmosphere a novel like this depends on and is so slow paced a novel that it was difficult to get through.

This Might Hurt has an interesting premise and is the reason I requested the novel, however it falls flat with the lack of atmosphere despite the setting. Natalie receives a cryptic email and feels compelled to track her sister down at Wisewood, a private island community committed to becoming their Maximized Selves. This is where the lack of atmosphere becomes painfully obvious. Natalie really only experiences two weird things then seemingly ignores them only to freak out and be suspicious of Wisewood later to ratchet up the tension as the novel comes to an end.

This Might Hurt has three POVs and it is not readily apparent who each of these characters are as the story progressed. I’m not sure what Wrobel was trying to accomplish, but I feel like it would have served the novel better had it been clear from the beginning.

It wasn’t until around 80% mark of the novel where the slow paced evaporated and the plot came together. This last 20% is the reason I rated the novel three stars instead of two. The ending was exciting and would have landed better had the previous 80% of the novel set up the ending properly.

Overall, The Might Hurt has an interesting premise but falls flat in its execution. It’s a slow paced thriller that takes too long to hook readers.

*** I received an ARC via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


Will you be reading This Might Hurt?

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