25 January 2012
Book Review: More Like Her by Liza Palmer
Frannie has spent her life disguising who she really is for fear of falling short of other people's expectations. And when she meets her new boss, Frannie can't help but wish she was just a bit more like her. Because Emma has it all: the job, the lifestyle, the happy marriage... even the perfect dog.
But everything is not as it seems. And Frannie's about to find out - in the hardest way possible - that chasing perfection isn't necessarily the route to the happy life that she's always imagined it to be.
A heartbreaking and romantic story about love, life, friendship and the true importance of chasing your own dreams."
I haven't actually read any of Liza Palmer's books as of yet, so when I was sent a copy of her new book More Like Her for review, I was really determined to read it because it sounded really interesting and a few American reviews of it made it sound like a book not to be missed as well. I have to confess to not being mad on the cover, I find the (awful) coloured boots to be a strange choice as well as the odd flooring, I think the publishers could have made so much more than this, but really don't judge this book by the cover because it is so much that what I had expected from the cover. It is chick lit but with a difference - it's meaty, and its got a plot that you don't see coming without a doubt!
The main character is Frannie, a woman who is somewhat lucky in love after yet another break up with boyfriend Brad. She's fed up and is determined to find a guy who loves her for who she is not, and not who they want her to be. I really liked Frannie, even if she did frustrate me at times because of her woe-is-me attitude and constant bickering with the lovely Sam, the male lead in the book. Sam was lovely, very affected by what he had to do in the book but this made me feel even more sympathetic towards him. Frannie is a bit stand-offish towards him, you can understand why in some respects but at the same time, I wanted her to wake up and see what a good guy Sam was! Emma doesn't appear heavily in the book, but in some ways she's the most important person in the book. Her life isn't what she wants everyone to think it is, and it's going to have huge ramifications for everyone she knows.
I'm not going to go into any detail about the events in the book, because it's best to read them as they unfold, and be shocked by them as I was when I read the book. Palmer writes the surprising storyline really well, with great emotion, detail and a lot of compassion for the characters who are going through these issues. I felt the reactions of all involved to be very realistic, from Grady and Lisa's relationship twists and turns, to Sam and Frannie's upset and nightmare to Jill's denial as well. It isn't something I would expect to read in chick lit, yet it really made me think about things, and the issues involving Emma too, the woman Frannie wanted to be like her. It's a sad story, and one will certainly stay with you for a while.
I found it very easy to read, and get into, and Palmer's writing style was a joy to read too, slowly unfolding the story, and setting up a good amount of background for the main story to start being told as well. It's a very emotional book, that's perhaps more about the inner turmoil and struggle of the characters, and how they come about rescuing themselves from it than anything else, but it's compulsive reading that will have you wanting a happily ever after for these poor characters. If you want chick lit with a difference, something that packs a bit of a punch and is a meaty read, then look no further than a copy of More Like Her. It'll have you wondering whether everyone else's lives are the dream world that they outwardly appear to be.
You can buy More Like Her in both paperback and as an eBook now.