My Thoughts On: More Like Her by Liza Palmer

Posted May 2, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 18 Comments

More Like Her by Liza Palmer
Published by HarperCollins
Publish Date: April 17, 2012
309 Pages
Source: HarperCollins/TLCBookTours

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)

More Like Her by Liza Palmer

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.

Some Notes On More Like Her

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…

Friends, I realize that this book may sound a bit like an adult fiction/women’s contemporary, and it really is. But I really think there is some crossover appeal for the older YA-reading crowd. There are absolutely some of the same themes in More Like Her that we read about all the time in YA books, which is why I think some of my YA-reading friends would love More Like Her.

I personally loved More Like Her because while it is contemporary, it also has a tiny twist of thriller thrown in too, which makes it interesting. For the first half of the book, I was in complete anticipation-mode while I waited for the big event to happen, not really even knowing what it was. For the second half of the book, I was happily watching these friends grapple life and love and relationships and friendships – a perfect contemporary, for you contemporary-lovers! – with perfect character development in every case.

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.

More Like Her will appeal to fans of:

Chick-Lit/Adult Contemporary Fiction
with YA Crossover, in my opinion)

Character-Driven Stories
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! 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


18 responses to “My Thoughts On: More Like Her by Liza Palmer

    • It was good. At first glance and when I first read the summary I thought it was another chick-lit type of book, but the shooting and the trauma/drama from it made for a super interesting story. I just thought the cover stood out because it was so pretty and because of the red shoes, and yet it still represented the book really well.

  1. This was recommended to me by some book site as being similar to Attachments (which I loved!), but every time I've tried to read the description my eyes have glazed over at something about being jealous of someone's perfect suburban life. Luckily, your review makes this book sound like so much more, and I may actually want to read it now!

    • I'm not familiar with Attachments!

      Yes, there is a component of jealousy in the story, or maybe not so much jealousy as it is AWE at this other life. And then SHOCK because they thought they saw a life that really didn't exist, as was played out with the violence at the school. There is plenty of depth to the story, but it is told in a way that had me chuckling while I was thinking – such a great, fun writing style. I can see why Liza Palmer's fans are loyal to her. I recommend it.

  2. " a perfect contemporary, for you contemporary-lovers! – with perfect character development in every case."

    Sold! This sounds like it would be a great book club read for those of us that aren't part of a 'strictly YA' club (like me:) And yes,I definitely see the "crossover appeal" you spoke of. Seems like it's a book about relationships and friendships first and foremost, and those are always winners with me:) And that cover!! I LOVE it! I want all three pairs of those shoes (especially the red ones!) Lovely review Asheley!

    • Heather this is a great book for when you need a little break from YA. But it isn't too heavy, even though there is a 911 distress call in the prologue. I just thought was written well – fun but it still was through-provoking and with a great cover – all things I enjoy from a YA-break. 🙂

  3. Yeah, at first glance I thought this was typical female fiction…but after your description of the beginning scene, it's obvious this book has a serious edge. Great review! This book is probably coming to the beach with me this summer 🙂

    • Hey Allison! It's a neat book and I think you would like it, especially since I've noticed from GB&GW that you read a wide range. It isn't YA but like I mentioned, I think there is crossover appeal. I recommend!

  4. I love books that open up with a bang!!! Ill have to add this to the TBR for my summer reading…

    kicking self for not signing up on the tour….argh!!

  5. Soooo…I was on your blog the other day looking for something (what? I don't remember!) and totally skipped over this review because of the cover. I was like, "Total chick-lit here." and moved on. HOWEVER, today I cam back, with a little more time and a little less purpose for being here, and read your review…And I kinda want to read this book now. Not huge on the chick-lit mess, but this sounds really compelling. And dare I say, I'm going to add this to my TBR to read at some point in the future. Awesome review, Ash!

    • Dying laughing.

      1. "Total chick-lit here." –> It's the shoes, right? They're really great shoes.
      2. "…chick-lit mess…" —> clutching my side, gasping for breath…

      It's a great book. Yes, there are gals in it, but there are dudes too. I wouldn't call it a man-book like you outright called the Iron Druid series (or something like that) but this one is good. And I'm sure Rebecca would like it too.

    • Thank you Heather! This has been my favorite TLC book so far…but I've got some really great ones coming up soon. I'm hoping tons of people will read this one…it seems like a good summer read and a good YA crossover, even though I am the only one that really seems to be pushing that. 🙂

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