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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 wak 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 wake. After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she's finally free from Stella's shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow -- but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet's new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce -- and taking all the credit. Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn't giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she'll go to get what she wants -- even if it means destroying the other person along the way.


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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 wak 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 wake. After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she's finally free from Stella's shadow. In this fast-paced world, Violet thrives, and her ambitions grow -- but everything is jeopardized when Stella, envious of Violet's new life, uses her connections, beauty, and charisma to get hired at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce -- and taking all the credit. Stella might be the one with the rich family and the right friends, but Violet isn't giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, each reveals just how far she'll go to get what she wants -- even if it means destroying the other person along the way.

30 review for Necessary People

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    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 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 but Violet is still using Stella’s coattails to maintain a certain standard of living. She carves out her own niche as she gains traction on a cable news show. Pitoniak gives us an insider’s view of the world of cable news - the dynamics, the interaction of the team, the pressure. It was the perfect industry for these two to face off. What struck me as odd is that Violet, for all her intelligence, doesn’t see Stella for what she is - a spoiled brat. But maybe that’s 63 year old me seeing what the young cannot. And like a typical spoiled brat, Stella wants what she doesn’t have. Jealous of Violet’s job, she immediately gets an entree into the same network. The title is spot on perfect. Stella needs/uses Violet. Even Stella’s family uses Violet like some hybrid family servant. Remember those horror movies when you’d be screaming at folks on the screen not to do something? I found myself doing that with Violet. And that was even before things took a wild, wild turn. And after the turn, well I can honestly say I didn’t know how I wanted this to end. Great writing and characters, too, on top of the fast paced story. Just a fun read that I didn’t want to put down. My thanks to netgalley and Little, Brown for an advance copy of this novel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    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 an 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 and she knows how to kick you under belt! And let’s meet her sidekick, best friend ( at least Violet thinks like that but she has to know, a narcissist person like Stella, who thinks she is the center of the universe can only love and admire herself so she can never have real friend) Violet! She’s hard worker, dependable, trustworthy, genuine, good hearted, helpful friend who always save Stella’s ass without taking any thank you or you’re the best friend compliment in return! Violet was used by Stella and her family. She was still patient with their obnoxious antics because she loves them and her own family was the worst who were real verbal abusers! Violet starts to work in network channel as intern and with her passion, hard working and talent, she starts to climb the stairs faster that any of her associates expected! But then Stella gets bored from her European vacation so she shows up! She sees Violet’s dedication to her work and she gets jealous of her! So she steals her spotlight by working at the same network channel! She also steals her research which can bring Violet lifetime achievement and big promotion! She’s relentless, ruthless and getting nastier each day! So I got pissed and rooted for team Violet and wished she took what she deserves and stands up for herself! I don’t want to give spoilers but I can only say, when Violet literally applies the term “ payback is bitch” on her own life and turn her name as “ Violent “, everything will never be the same! Do I approve her actions? Well not every one of them but this book is amazingly depicting the work rules of network channels. The rules are strict, merciless, tough! You gotta have rough skin to be last one standing and do whatever it takes to win! So Violet learns to survive even she loses her humanity in each moment! This book is harsh, realistic, gripping but also entertaining and educating one! I enjoyed most parts of it ! At least last twists and ending was satisfying! blog instagram facebook twitter

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    ****HITS SHELVES TODAY!!! DON'T MISS THIS GEM OF A NOVEL!**** 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, ****HITS SHELVES TODAY!!! DON'T MISS THIS GEM OF A NOVEL!**** 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, on the other hand, was raised in a wealthy family with little care and regard for anyone or anything around her. Beautiful but reckless she adores it when Violet swoops in to save her time and time again. When Violet finally gets her foot in the door at a cable news station it seems like a dream come true. With hard work, ambition, and endless determination she quickly begins climbing the corporate ladder. So what happens when Stella returns from traveling the world and sees just how successful Violet has become? "This wasn't my role in our relationship. She could only stand the spotlight being on someone else if that spotlight was unflattering." Stella, jealous of Violets success and her endless hours at work, decides to make a few phone calls that ultimately land her a job at the same cable news station. While Violet frets behind the camera it appears that Stella's own star is beginning to rise in front of the camera and casts a shadow on everything that Violet has worked so hard for. When best friends become rivals someone is bound to win and someone is bound to lose. OMG!!! I loved this. I should mention I have always been intrigued by journalism and reporters and all things news so this was just so delightful to read about. It was the perfect juicy, scandalous, let's pass the popcorn type of read. I really can't praise this one enough. 5 Delicious stars! Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    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 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, rude. They go together like oil and vinegar, so different and yet, it’s like pure perfection. “Necessary People” is drama and a thriller rolled into one. It’s fast-paced and edgy. It’s character driven and full of angst. What else is there to say except that it was hella good! Thank you to NetGalley, Little, Brown and Company and Anna Pitoniak for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on Goodreads and Netgalley on 2.26.19. *Will be Published on Amazon and Twitter on 5.21.19.

  5. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    Stella and Violet, who met in college, are the best of friends despite coming from two very different backgrounds. They are necessary to one another for very different reasons: Violet, who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, needs Stella for her wealth and connections, while Stella needs Violet for constant validation. “There was the misery of having too little, but there was also the misery of living among those who believed there was no such thing as too much.” But just how strong is thei Stella and Violet, who met in college, are the best of friends despite coming from two very different backgrounds. They are necessary to one another for very different reasons: Violet, who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, needs Stella for her wealth and connections, while Stella needs Violet for constant validation. “There was the misery of having too little, but there was also the misery of living among those who believed there was no such thing as too much.” But just how strong is their friendship? Is it true? The friendship is tested when Stella returns from a post-college extended trip abroad, while Violet stayed behind, worked hard, and rose through the ranks at a cable news station. When Stella returns and sees how successful Violet is, guess who wants to steal the show away from her “friend”? With friends like these who needs enemies? As the story unfolds we see just how far the other will go to get what she wants. “To be selfish. To be cruel, at times. To harden your heart so that you need no one else. When you realize how powerful this makes you, you keep it to yourself.” I thought I had this one figured out pretty early on, but was pleasantly surprised to find out I was wrong. I loved the characterizations of both Stella and Violet and I loved the cut-throat newsroom setting. Very well-written, this was a thoughtful look at the haves and the have-nots, as well as ambition and drive and friendship and morals. The combination made for an explosive page-turner that I highly recommend for fans of character-driven thrillers. There is a lot of nuance and commentary that makes this deeper than it appears at first glance, while not letting up on the tension for one moment. I'm only sorry I let this BOTM choice gather dust on my shelf for far too long.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brenda ~Traveling Sister Book Reviews

    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 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 to stay afloat and is dependent on Stella’s family. She really is trying to be something special at her job. This made for an interesting dynamic between the friends. Both characters are unlikable and I was on my toes guessing who was more the toxic one to each other. I couldn’t feel any sympathy for either character and didn’t find too much to relate to with either making it hard for me to figure out who had the power over who. I had no idea where the story was going or where it could possibly go until that twist at the halfway mark and the story started to come together and I was turning the pages as fast as I could to see how this one wrapped up. I read this one with our Traveling Sister Kim and blogging buddy from It’s All About The Thrill We really enjoyed reading this one together and discussing it. I highly recommend. Thank you to Little, Brown and Company and Hachette Canada for my complimentary copy. For our blog post https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com/2...

  7. 4 out of 5

    L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~

    “I had learned the danger of beautiful things.” ⤷ First book of the year = success 💫 This was fun. Even though I spent half the book waiting for Stella to get her comeuppance at every turn. 🎧 audiobook narrated by Vanessa Johansson.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    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. 😕 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. 😕

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s time to get spooky

    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 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 have a consequence for her actions, not matter how outlandish. She is reckless and has self proclaimed that she is "rich and lazy." You get the picture. She is gorgeous and everyone wants to be her and be with her. Her family supports her no matter what she gets herself into. Violet is the polar opposite and it is interesting when they become friends in college. Violet has to work hard for everything and has no family support. Soon Stella and her family become her support system, except they always seem to find it necessary to remind her of it. There was a very odd dynamic to this relationship between herself and the Bradley's but it certainly kept me intrigued. As their relationship evolved over the years one of them is overtaken with jealously. Their friendship is replaced with a competitive, nasty, back stabbing situation that will leave your mouth hanging open. I was enthralled from start to finish with this toxic relationship these girls had. Will one of them go too far?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    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 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 Stella gets a job at the same place Violet does and then that doesn't even happen for more than 100 pages in, so the description low key kind of spoils you which I hate and why I never like to read the descriptions when I read thrillers. But Stella just felt like the typical spoiler brat of a character, there was nothing particularly interesting about her or our main character Violet. We don't get to see much of their friendship before Stella disappears and we are left with Violet dealing awkwardly with Stella's family. I don't know, I wanted to love this but this book was putting me in a slump and I couldn't care less how it ends at this point.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    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!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    ***SPOILERS HIDDEN*** 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 ***SPOILERS HIDDEN*** 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 for plane reading. The story is about two friends: humble Violet, who comes from a poor family and is ambitious, and conceited Stella, her opposite. Violet narrates, and, as an “everywoman” type, is immediately likable. Stella, as viewed through Violet’s eyes, fits all the clichés of the filthy rich; she’s selfish, narcissistic, and spoiled. These two nonetheless strike an unlikely friendship from the moment they meet, though it’s an unusual one, marked by an undercurrent of resentment. It exists only because of a dysfunctional symbiosis. Violet is in awe of rich Stella and enjoys the tastes of wealth she gets while with her, and Stella relies on Violet’s responsible nature to get her out of jams and generally take care of her. Events are set in the years immediately following graduation until the women’s late twenties, but the story opens with the two meeting on a college-campus tour. In what I suspect was the result of overzealous editing, Pitoniak skipped the college years save for one somewhat-interesting incident from that time. The fast-forwarding is an obvious mistake; in doing so, the author eliminated vital development of the two solidifying their friendship. As Violet and Stella establish themselves in the working world, Stella embodies the adage “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know,” when she snags plum assignments at the same news station where her frenemy works, eventually surpassing her. Here, there’s interesting implied commentary on how a beautiful woman’s looks and charm frequently give her an unfair career advantage. I got emotionally invested early on, feeling mostly rage: enraged by Stella’s usurping of Violet’s territory, enraged by her passive-aggressive treatment of Violet, and enraged by her cutthroat behavior. I liked how dramatically Pitoniak illustrated the adage--while recognizing that she did seriously strain believability. (The friend may be beautiful, charming, and well-connected, but surely experience and education in a chosen field is essential. Pitoniak expected me to accept that although Stella is an utter newbie in her field, she effortlessly shoots through the ranks to become a celebrity news reporter.) I just had to go with it. More than anything, I was disappointed in (and surprised by) how flat and stereotypical all the characters are. There’s the sweet Southern co-worker; the snobby rich parents; the dangerously possessive boyfriend; the phony star reporter; and more. They’re lively for sure but not at all nuanced. Pitoniak’s trouble with characterization stands out most, however, in her depiction of wealthy versus poor. The wealthy are entitled, self-serving, and materialistic; the poor are humble, industrious, and relatable. I was unreasonably annoyed by the wealthy stereotyping--not because I feel bad for wealthy people but because this portrayal in particular is so lazy. Three stars for Necessary People feels right, if a tad generous. Maybe Pitoniak aimed for better, but she ended up producing insubstantial, escapist fare. The plot isn’t brilliant, but I was entertained. The writing is lackluster, but I was frequently impressed by Pitoniak’s insights. The characters are stereotypes, but I was interested in them. The conclusion is tidy, and some parts are undeveloped, such as Violet’s poverty-stricken upbringing, while other parts are way too-conveniently resolved (view spoiler)[such as Violet’s relationship with possessive Oliver who becomes a menace right before he vanishes from the story entirely (hide spoiler)] , so a forgiving attitude is a must while reading this. I don’t know that I’ll remember Necessary People very well a few months from now, but I enjoyed the escape.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ “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 Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ “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 me it was this . . . . Meets this . . . . My friend Elizabeth makes a fitting comparison in her review to Social Creature. Both feature the collision of the worlds of haves and have nots where the desire to achieve overrules all. Set in the fast-paced environment of cable news this familiar tale comes with a fresh new edge as Violet and Stella compete to be top dog. Oh and NetGalley? You can probably go ahead and delete my pending request since I read my library copy a month and a half ago.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Claire Jefferies

    You don’t soak cast iron pots.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    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!!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    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 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-to-hate villain (imagine Regina George grew up to be a news anchor). It's both a smart exploration of the way different advantages (or lack of) structure one's life, and an utterly compelling tale of suspense. I loved it, and it's going to be on my best-of-2019 list for certain. I received an advance review copy of Necessary People from the publisher through NetGalley. TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    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. T 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. Told from Violet's point of view. She's driven and hardworking, but not always likable. Both women are manipulative with one another and others in their lives. While they both have traits that are unlikable, they also both have moments to sympathize with. This is one of those novels where unlikable characters really works. Even though I wasn't loving either woman, I was curious as to how their relationship would play out. An intriguing thriller about a toxic friendship. Well developed characters that make this a highly enjoyable read. Dark, complex, and compelling.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    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? I 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? If bad things happen to people who aren't very nice, or who are even out to hurt you because they can, does that make it okay? Necessary People is a fast, furious ride that explores the friendship between Stella (who has it all) and Violet (who doesn't). If you're even remotely familiar with The Talented Mr. Ripley (and who isn't) you know where this is going. But Violet--so driven, so hungry, and so human--is fascinating to read about. And how she goes from admiration and adoration to fear and anger, from taking handouts to taking advantage of a situation to calculating what needs to be done and going through with it is utterly mesmerizing. And the ending! When you have what you want, when you've gone from being somewhere to making yourself be somewhere--what if you knew just how far you would go to stay there? Could you put all the darkness that's in you, once it's been out, away? What if someone else rose up to block what you wanted, when you knew you could and would do everything and anything to stay where you are or do more, get more, be more? By the end, Violet knows she's in a great place with a good job and good friends--but she's been there before and had that threatened. Had a need for more. Can she just be? Does she want to be? Well written, with vividly drawn characters, and fantastic questions about human need and human nature, Necessary People is a riveting read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    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)[ I REALLY wish there would have been just ONE scene where Violet completely told off Stella/Anne/Oliver (basically anyone in that entire family) but I guess that was the role she played. I still got super an 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)[ I REALLY wish there would have been just ONE scene where Violet completely told off Stella/Anne/Oliver (basically anyone in that entire family) but I guess that was the role she played. I still got super annoyed on her behalf. And to be perfectly honest, Stella got what she deserved. (hide spoiler)] I think the book was about 50 pages too long, but overall, pretty darn good.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

    *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr **3.5 stars** Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak. (2019). From the moment they met in college, Stella & Violet were best friends. Stella is beautiful, privileged and in the spotlight. Violet is hardworking behind the scenes cleaning up Stella's messes. After graduation Violet begins to make a life and career for herself in cable news. But an envious Stella uses her family's contacts to get a job at the same network and quickly rises throu *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr **3.5 stars** Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak. (2019). From the moment they met in college, Stella & Violet were best friends. Stella is beautiful, privileged and in the spotlight. Violet is hardworking behind the scenes cleaning up Stella's messes. After graduation Violet begins to make a life and career for herself in cable news. But an envious Stella uses her family's contacts to get a job at the same network and quickly rises through the ranks. But Violet isn't going to give up so easily. The two women both want success - even if it means destroying the other along the way. So it seems that toxic relationships/friendships are all the rage in thrillers at the moment. I can appreciate it but when you read a lot of thrillers with similar concepts it all kind of starts sounding the same and I think I've hit that point. So while I did enjoy this book, I did get a bit over the relationship between Violet & Stella. It sounds like you guys hate each other....just stop pretending you are best friends?!?! The storyline itself was enjoyable, quite intense due to the high levels of jealousy and ambition from the two women. The book is set entirely from Violet's point of view, who very much has a chip on her shoulder due to her emotionally abusive parents that were unsupportive of her ambition. I found both Stella and Violet fairly unlikable so for me it was more the interest in who was going to come out on top of this battle rather than actually wanting one to best the other. This is an entertaining enough read that I'm sure a lot of readers would like.

  21. 4 out of 5

    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 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 emotionally abused in the Florida Panhandle; Stella, her best friend from college, hails from a rich New England family. After graduating, Stella parties her way across the world while Violet throws herself into her new internship at a cable news station, working hard enough to land herself a coveted promotion. It’s here that the story takes an icy turn: Stella, jealous of Violet’s success, uses her family connections to score a job at the station, and she quickly becomes a star—among audiences, executives, and Violet’s best work friend, Jamie, who soon becomes Stella’s boyfriend. Violet simmers in silence, but when Stella takes credit for her biggest story to-date, resentment boils and the unthinkable happens. What happens when your greatest enemy is the person you love most in the world? And what happens when someone who grew up with nothing senses a challenge to the life she’s built for herself? “You come from nowhere,” the cable news station’s icy director, Ginny, tells Violet near the end of the novel. “And a woman with nothing to lose—I don’t trust her for one second.” Read more at: https://bookofthemonth.com/necessary-...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    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 da 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 dark books. Overall, 4 stars! Thank you to Netgalley and Little Brown for the arc in exchange for an honest review. Now available!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    La Petite Américaine Cash App: $Covid2020sucks

    JFC. 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 dim JFC. 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 dime on bad books—for $17 and keep me up reading til 2AM on a weeknight. (Put a warning on that sh*t next time, Anna: it’s been two days and my friends and family want to know where I am). You can find a synopsis of Necessary People anywhere, so you don’t need me to get into it. Just ignore anyone who says this is the story of two friends who couldn’t be more different—face-value that nonsense, and pay attention to the subtle hints along the way, or you’ll miss the whole point. It’s not just that the writing is decent (fine, at times, it’s on the verge of brilliant) and the pacing, surprisingly good (okay, whatever, it snatches you up like a riptide, whisking you out to sea before you have time to wonder what the hell happened). It’s not even the plot, which is almost too perfect to be believable (okay, I’m bullshitting you now—the story is shocking in its “just-fucked-up-enough-ness” to be a little too real). Half the time, bad fiction gets away with being, well, bad because of lots of nifty tricks that readers miss, or simply don’t pause to question. But I can’t even get to that point in contemporary fiction anymore—I pull the trigger much sooner. For me, it’s that pesky suspension of disbelief thing: it’s almost never carefully navigated enough to get me past page 3 in 99% of today’s novels. Maybe that’s what got me from the first page of this book: the fact that Pitoniak never once takes it for granted that we simply believe her, which makes the story immediately engrossing, (un)comfortably familiar, at times anxiety-provoking, and ultimately, totally addictive. Because when you read this book and work your way through the throngs of narcissists, sociopaths, and fuckin certifiable psychopaths, it makes you do more than wonder if the whole world has gone mad as you try to figure out who’s good and who’s bad. It has you seeing all sorts of faces you recognize: those you’ve worked for, dated, lived with, loved. Perhaps more frightening than the recognition of those you know in this story are the glimpses you’ll inevitably catch—both past and present—of yourself: who you once were, who you were on the verge of becoming, and who you are now. And no matter in which characters you see yourself—the good ones, the bad ones, the worst ones—the unsettling part is when you close the book...because you’ll realize that back here in reality, no matter who you are or where you exist in the pecking order, your real life is populated with the twisted personalities depicted in this novel. You may not be one of them, but you know who they are (most of them, anyway)—you interact with them every day. >shudder< Welp. That’s the kind of thing that’ll keep you up at night, writing a goodreads review at 3AM with your thumbs while trying to unpack what the hell you just read. Brainless beach read, indeed. (Thank God it only happens once in a decade). Unnerving AF. Unputdownable. KICKED ASS.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    “Food, water, warmth, shelter. These things are necessary to survive. It had taken me time to realize that people fit into this equation, too. Love fits into this equation, too.” I picked this as my BOTM add-on in June 2020, and while it was an intriguing look at a financially blessed character and a financially disadvantaged character and their dynamics, that was about all I enjoyed. The narrator wasn’t the worst for me, but I had a hard time caring. Like yes, some people have a leg up in life w “Food, water, warmth, shelter. These things are necessary to survive. It had taken me time to realize that people fit into this equation, too. Love fits into this equation, too.” I picked this as my BOTM add-on in June 2020, and while it was an intriguing look at a financially blessed character and a financially disadvantaged character and their dynamics, that was about all I enjoyed. The narrator wasn’t the worst for me, but I had a hard time caring. Like yes, some people have a leg up in life when they’ve done nothing to earn it. Yeah that can be disheartening when you have dreams, and they waste all the opportunities they could have. If you decide to piggy-back off of them in some ways to further your life, then don’t be surprised when they use their privilege and get even more than you even figured you could get. I don’t know. Both Stella and Violet annoyed me in ways. I feel like it’s more satisfying to get ahead without leeching off of someone else. Anyway. Less thrilling, more rags vs. riches jealous revenge contemporary fantasy? Like not fae fantasy, but a evil and disturbed true life fantasy. I don’t know. This book is hard to explain.

  25. 4 out of 5

    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 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 everyone and uses and abuses people to get her way. Violet, being one of those people allowing Stella (among others) to treat her this way. Yet... they also provide for the other in their own way. Stella thrives on the attention that Violet gives her - the only person who sees Stella's true colors and stays loyal. Violet appreciates the opportunities Stella gives her in regards to a place to live "cheaply" and somewhat a (nicer) family that she ever really had. What it comes down to, is how much is too much? When do either of them reach their breaking point? Is one of them better or worse than the other? It's honestly really hard to say. I've seen this story before but the way the author attacks it made for a great read. This one truly sneaks up on you. While I saw certain instances coming, that added moment or two really elevated this thriller in my eyes. Watch the evolution of their sordid and toxic friendship and especially pay attention to Violet. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and the advantages in your back pocket.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Frank Phillips

    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 sid 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 side of the tracks; her family is poor and not exactly supportive of her ambitions to do better in life, so naturally Violet gravitates to Stella's lifestyle and family, who take her in as, essentially, a second daughter. For a good chunk of this book we follow the friends with Violet working her way up at a news channel and Stella traveling across the world, spending money, and partying late into the night and sleeping in well into the afternoons. When Stella, who is actually envious of Violet's work ethic and sudden career success, uses her family ties to land a position at the same news channel as Violet, things take off and get very interesting from there! About halfway through this book Stella disappears! What happened to Stella? Did she just take off on another one of her benders, or did something sinister occur here? Does Violet know or have anything to do with this? I could tell this author either worked in the news industry in the past, or did some serious research, as the depiction of this sometimes cut-throat industry was fairly accurate! The backstabbing, the politics, the triumphs and failures all rang true and had me hooked wanting to know how things developed and what drama would ensue! I was a bit surprised with the resolution to both characters' lives and really enjoyed the mystery element to this story. I found myself rooting for the 'bad guy' in this one, which is incredibly rare for me, so great job on selling this character Pitoniak! I would definitely recommend this book to any fans of mystery, suspense, drama. It was a great summer read and I will definitely keep my eye out for any other books by this author as I believe she's a major new (I think anyway) talent!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Authentikate

    “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 the type “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 the type of wealth many dream of. For Stella, Violet provides a brand of loyalty and friendship she craves. They’re both “necessary people.” When jealousy and ambition collide, their friendship suffers. Violet becomes envious of the kind of “nepotistic” access wealth provides Stella—a sort of effortless availability to networks Violet must work hard to scratch. Yet, Stella is envious too: Violet represents the salt-of-the-earth hard work and talent she knows she herself lacks; a character admired by her family. No longer “necessary” in each other’s lives , moves are made. Decisions have consequences. The moral? “To harden your heart so that you need no one else.” Because people become less necessary “when you realize how powerful this makes you...[to] keep it to yourself.” Necessary People is a well-written, fast-paced drama about friendship and jealousy. There’s little mystery here but some decent thrills. Solid read. Just didn’t “wow” me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    "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 "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 books. Necessary People is a smart book, and it went deeper than most suspense books are going right now. I'm glad I read this one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    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 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 very cliche - one friend is a social climber with ambition, who started out life poor with a raving alcoholic for a mother; the other friend is a socialite snob with no ambition, whose life seemed to consist of spending money and being snarky most of the time. Then throw in the wealthy parents, whose roles were all over the place and totally confused me most of the book, and for me, it just didn't work. I found the stereotypes to be unrealistic and disappointing. I won't even go into the plot, as it will give too much away, but it was weak - the "twists" were not unexpected, and the delivery was slow in places. I think the biggest problem for me, and looking back to past reads, I see a pattern - I just don't fancy books where, at the end, you hate everyone and there really are no redeeming characters - it just feels unsatisfying somehow. Again, I have read a lot of 4 and 5 stars reviews for this one, so maybe I'm just the wrong reader. 3 stars for me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beatrix

    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 ev 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 possible measurement, we stood at far ends of the spectrum. And there was one particular metric that clocked a vast gulf between us, that, for years, allowed us to exist in harmony. Ambition.

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