Cover Image: We Are Not Like Them

We Are Not Like Them

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Member Reviews

3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

Author Jo Piazza teams up with veteran book editor Christine Pride in We Are Not Like Them. Told from alternating perspectives, this novel follows two women, one Black and one White, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event.

Jenny Murphy and Riley Wilson have been inseparable since kindergarten. As adults, they remain as close as sisters, even though their lives have taken divergent paths. Jen, who married young, finally gets pregnant after a series of unsuccessful IVF treatments, and is finally pregnant. Meanwhile, Riley, a budding television journalist, is on the cusp of becoming one of the first Black female anchors of the top news channel in their hometown of Philadelphia.

But the deep bond they share is severely tested when Jen’s husband, a city police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. Jen feels like her world is spinning out of control. Her future, her husband's freedom, and her lifelong friendship with Riley are all thrown into disarray. 

Riley is deeply aware of the implications this tragedy will have on her community and she's not sure how to navigate her friendship with Jen in the wake of such a catastrophic event.

This book contained some important truths about racism and social justice. 
I felt like there was too much preaching, like it was almost anti-white. The book is set in 2019, but Black Lives Matter and “woke” are referenced. Although both the organization and term existed then, they weren’t common nomenclature. 

Highly recommended for book clubs as it would engender spirited discussion. It was a good read, but lacked impact and was too close to today’s headlines.

** Thanks to NetGalley and publisher for a review copy of this book. The opinions expressed are my own.
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I really enjoyed this one. I have never read a Christina Pride book, but intend to read more in the future now!
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Jen is a white woman married to a police officer. Riley is a Black woman who has a successful career as a television news reporter. The two of them have been best friends since they were little girls.. However their relationship is put to the test when they find themselves at the center of a huge news story. Jen’s police officer husband was involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager and Riley ends up covering the story for the local news station. Jen grapples with her feelings of not wanting her husband to go to jail and be charged for a terrible accident, the public outcry and hatred of her family, as well as the complexities of her position of privilege as a white woman and being forced to look internally at her beliefs and biases as well as well as her husband’s. Meanwhile Riley, while covering the case, becomes close to the young boy’s family and struggles with navigating her friendship with Jen and how it can coexist with her complex feelings about racism and another police-related shooting of another Black boy.

This book has been sitting on my NetGalley shelf for over a year, and I have no idea what took me so long to read it. This book had me captivated from start to finish. It is phenomenally written and really had me thinking about the complexities of friendship, of race, and of so many of the issues our society is currently facing when it comes to race and racism. This is a book that has stuck with me and really made me reflect. When I learned that the author duo is a Black woman and a white woman, it made me appreciate this story and the perspectives they brought to the characters even more. It may only be January, but I will not be surprised if this book ends up being one of my top books of 2023.

Thank you to Atria Books for the advance copy.
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We Are Not Like Them is an incisive and intensely compelling story of racial injustice, betrayal, loyalty, motherhood, lifelong friendship, police violence and the importance of forgiveness set against the backdrop of the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Riley Wilson and Jenny Murphy have been the best of friends since they were knee-high to a grasshopper and have both managed to become successful in their respective fields.
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4/5 stars
I really liked the idea behind this book. The friendship of Riley and Jen, two woman of different races. When one night Jens police officer husband is involved in a shooting with a black teenager and Riley is asked to cover the story. I found the story to be relevant to recent events in the news and well written.
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'We Are Not Like Them'  by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza is a well-written and timely book.  It does tend to lean in to clichés a bit but certainly opens the conversation about race in America.
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Tragic, Powerful, Thought-Provoking.

Best friends since childhood: Jen, a married, pregnant, white woman.  Riley, a successful, black, news reporter.  Though they come from completely different backgrounds, they've always found common ground.

One night everything changes. The night Jen's husband, a Philadelphia Police Officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager.  As a news reporter, Riley, of course, is asked to cover the story.

Though this book is fiction, this story is unfortunately extremely prevalent. Delving into such topics as unconscious biases, racism, police brutality, and social justice.

What hit home for me while reading this book is that it's not enough to be just there, to try, and to simply just listen. There are times when we need to be called out when others need to push us to think harder and to speak and act differently, as that is the only way anything is truly going to get better. 

Huge thank you to Atria Books for sharing this brilliant novel with me.
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A powerful story that everyone should read and reflect on. 
I have recommended this to many friends and family. Everyone should read this book.
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I loved this book and rated it 4stars.  This book was written and an easy read.  This book is relatable because of current events.
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This was a very important book to read and I'm glad that I did! There is so much to unpack and it is incredibly eye opening.
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We Are Not Like Them is a thought-provoking novel that explores race in America today. The story hits hard and has a shooting of an unarmed Black boy at the center of the plot. What happens when a white woman's husband is involved in the shooting and her best friend is one of the first Black female anchors in Philadelphia? This truly is a novel that will make readers think and sit with those thoughts. The writing is outstanding! Highly recommended!!
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This book had a lot of potential and I was excited to read this one, but it wasn't my favorite! I really appreciated the two perspectives and it was really interesting to see the same situation from two different viewpoints. I think this book was certainly written with a particular reader in mind. I wanted this book to work so badly, but ti just felt a little underwhelming. Jen was highly unlikeable and she didn't deserve a friend like Riley. I realize that is the point, to make the reader uncomfortable but I just... couldn't with Jen!
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I did really like this book, although it was heavy. Told from alternating perspectives, we hear from Riley, a black TV journalist and Jen, a white woman. The pair has been best friends since they were kids, but never discussed race. Jen represents what many white people say and do and this is done really well: "I'm not racist; my best friend is black!" Or when she says she doesn't even notice that Riley is black - she's just Riley. And Riley says that's the problem. Because when Jen's husband is involved in a police shooting of a young black boy, Jen thinks she's a victim and doesn't understand why Riley is taking it personally.

Riley, meanwhile, knows that could be her brother or father and is deeply affected by the tragedy. This drives a rift between the two friends until they finally hash it out. Their friendship is strong, but there are certainly flaws.

This books brings about many real-life issues regarding race, class, and justice. As a reader, you find yourself seeing both sides, but also recognizing yourself in some of the thoughts - from either one side or another. Jen does come across as ignorant, but I think this was intentional. Riley is a strong character and I really enjoyed her chapters the most.
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This was one of my favorite books I read in 2021. I was so invested in the story. I would read anything this duo writes.
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This was a very thought-provoking book about difficult topics. It was well written and cohesive given that there were two authors. The only issue was that I felt that there was a lack of depth to Riley and Jen's friendship, and the book didn't go far beyond the surface in discussing the important issues.
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So many issues are tackled her especially those surrounding race making for a powerful read. There was a poignancy to the writing and it always impressed by a writing duo who manages to sound like one fluid author
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Thank you to the authors, NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada and Atria Books for an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

When you read a review of We Are Not Like Them that tells by oh this is a thousand but provoking book - believe it.  

I would like to place this book in the hands of everyone I know.  It's important, I think.  
Past time for us ALL to hold ourselves accountable.  And especially important for us to hold those in a position of power accountable.
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This book definitely hit on a lot of serious topics. I appreciate what the authors were trying to do, but found it hard to balance the story of friendship with the shooting of an innocent black boy as the backdrop. We had great discussions as a result of reading this book for my book club at the library, so definitely appreciated that! And I know the rest of the group loved it!
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I highly recommend We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza. I first heard about this book through social media. I immediately hopped on NetGalley to request it. It did not disappoint at all. Honestly, this book reminded me a lot of a book that Jodi Picoult would write. 

Best friends from the time they were children, Jenny and Riley, are living their best lives until one fateful night. Told from alternating perspectives of both women, one white and one Black. Jen, married young, struggled to get pregnant for years and finally gets pregnant with the help of her best friend.  Riley, chose her dream of becoming a television news anchor and is on track to become one of the first Black female anchors in her hometown of Philadelphia. One fateful night will test their friendship and love for each other after Jen's husband, a white police officer, is involved in a shooting of an unarmed teenaged Black boy. Riley is assigned to cover the story. This is the story that can make her career, but she struggles with her own emotions, her lifelong friendship, relationships, and internal turmoil. Jen struggles with finally becoming a mother, but knowing that her husband was responsible of taking a child from his mother, losing her best friend, the loneliness of being considered a pariah, and potentially losing the only "real" family she has ever known. 

The topic of We Are Not Like Them is trivial and can be a hot button. However, I feel that both authors portrayed each sides very eloquently, thought provokingly, and compassionately. I felt empathetic towards both characters as I read this book. I continuously thought, "What would I do if I was in this position"? The sad answer is that you do not know until it happens to you.  I also thought that the book was very well researched and deep dove into a question that we hope to not have to ask. This book is definitely worth all of the buzz that it has generated. Grab it today! You will not be disappointed.
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Two best friends, one horrible and complicated occurrence. Two authors. 

I have been trying to read this book, off and on, for four months. I just can't seem to handle it or truly connect with the characters. From all the rave reviews it got, I think that it's me and not the book. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the advance copy for review.
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