Book Review: We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza #WeAreNotLikeThem @cpride @jopiazza @HQstories

Synopsis

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

My Review

The story begins with the shooting of 14 year old Justin Dwyer by two police officers. Riley is a news reporter working towards her big break when she is assigned to report on the case as the lead reporter. Jen is the pregnant wife of Kevin, one of the police officers involved in the shooting. However Jen and Riley are not strangers, they’re childhood friends who grew up together and count themselves more as family than friends. How will the events and the aftermath affect Jen and Riley’s lives and their relationship?

This was a book that I have been looking forward to reading for a while not only because of the story but because it is written by two authors. The storyline is brilliantly written and is very relevant today.

The narrative switches between Jen and Riley which was very interesting. It was intriguing to see how they perceived what had happened and what they were thinking. At times I questioned what I would do had I been in Jen or Riley’s position and the honest answer would be that both characters are in difficult positions. It was clear from their narrative that Jen as a person of white heritage and Riley as a person of black heritage have had and continue to have very different experiences and the way they are treated by others. For example there is one situation where Jen compares both she and Riley have been through and appears to believe that that their experience is the same i.e. people touching Riley’s hair as a woman of colour and people touching Jen’s pregnant stomach.

Once I’d finished reading this book I couldn’t write my review straight away because it’s a story that really makes you think. I’ve never read a book with such a shocking and disturbing prologue, but it sets the scene perfectly for the book and what is to come.

Books like this are very relevant to the issues that arise today especially since the BLM movement. It’s a brilliant talking point for both friends, family and professionals. As it deals with such an important topic I hope books like this are added to reading lists for schools, colleges and universities. It’s a book that is emotive and a topic that will either bring people together or divide them. It’s a book that can be uncomfortable to read but it deals with a topic that should make people feel uncomfortable and question their own beliefs and thoughts.

This is a haunting and powerful book about race, relationships, friendships and love.

Author Bio

Christine Pride

Christine Pride worked in publishing for fifteen years. Over the course of her career, Christine worked with a variety of established and debut writers and published many New York Timesbestsellers and critically acclaimed books including, From Scratch, Heaven is Here, and A Reason to Believe. Christine now writes full-time.

Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza is an award-winning journalist and editor who has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Glamour, Marie Claire and Elle. The bestselling author of The Knockoff, How to Be Married, Fitness Junkie, and Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, she currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two children.

We Are Not Like Them is their debut novel as a writing duo.

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