More Like Her by Liza Palmer
Published by HarperCollins
Publish Date: April 17, 2012
What really goes on behind those perfect white picket fences?
In Frances’s mind, beautiful, successful, ecstatically married Emma Dunham is the height of female perfection. Frances, recently dumped with spectacular drama by her boyfriend, aspires to be just like Emma. So do her close friends and fellow teachers, Lisa and Jill. But Lisa’s too career-focused to find time for a family. And Jill’s recent unexpected pregnancy could have devastating consequences for her less-than-perfect marriage.
Yet sometimes the golden dream you fervently wish for turns out to be not at all what it seems–like Emma’s enviable suburban postcard life, which is about to be brutally cut short by a perfect husband turned killer. And in the shocking aftermath, three devastated friends are going to have to come to terms with their own secrets . . . and somehow learn to move forward after their dream is exposed as a lie. –(summary from Goodreads)
My Thoughts: OH YAY, More Like Her by Liza Palmer! You attracted me with those awesome red shoes on your pretty cover and then WOW’d me with your story on the inside. You have the makings of a book that I will share with my in-real-life friends and that is a really great thing. But first, let me share with my blog friends why I found you fascinating.
More Like Her opens with a literal BANG! when the Prologue begins as a 911 distress call. It appears there’s been a shooting at a school and there is blood everywhere. The caller is frantic, of course, but we really don’t get much information except something dreadful has happened. And…END SCENE. WOW.
The first chapter opens, however, calmly and quietly – way before the dramatic event of the prologue. So as we begin the story we KNOW something is coming…we just don’t know when or why or to what degree. You guys, that was – to me – an awesome way to begin a book. Because there was this fun underlying tension the entire time I read the actual story.
And the story goes something like this: Frances Reid is the storyteller. She is a bit insecure, feels unloved, and has absolutely no qualms about telling us this. She’s just out of a relationship that was unhealthy – not by her choice, mind you – but she has great friends, and they are trying to help her muddle through the slap of sudden singleness. All the while, she and her friends are
a little bit jealous of Mara Dunham, the Headmistress at the school where Frannie is a speech therapist. And who wouldn’t be? Mara is perfect, has the perfect life. Perfect house, perfect husband. She even has a perfect dog.
But suddenly all of Mara’s imperfections are exposed when Mara’s husband comes to school with a GUN. Suddenly her perfect life isn’t really perfect, and Frances can hardly believe it.
For me, the REAL meat of More Like Her happens after the big shooting. Frances and her two best friends struggle to regain their footing after their world has been shaken. After all, they were present during the shooting. They were THERE – in the middle of the whole thing! Not only that, but mixed up in the middle of all of this, Frances is trying to come to terms with who she is as a person – is she loved or unloved, and can she find a person to complete her? Does she NEED a guy to complete her? Or can she just be happily alone forever, scared to open her heart to this guy that she kinda-loves? Because exposing her heart to the potential pain that may or may not accompany that kind of exposure may be more than Frannie can handle…
The story is compelling with good pacing. The characterization is wonderful – these characters are people that we could all know. And the author has a unique, fun style of writing that made what was a potentially heavy topic really a fun book to read. I will be recommending Liza Palmer’s More Like Her to my bookish online friends as well as my in-real-life friends. It’s just a great story that I really enjoyed reading.
(with YA Crossover, in my opinion)
Stories About Friendship
Stories With Issues (in
this case, possible-PTSD related to school shooting)
More Like Her by Liza Palmer
is currently available for purchase.
**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours!