Cover Image: We Are Not Like Them

We Are Not Like Them

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Member Reviews

Perhaps it’s due to her reporter background, but author Jo Piazza seems to have her fingers on the pulse of contemporary American women better than nearly any other author today. In books like Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win (review), Fitness Junkie (review), and Love Rehab (review), Piazza creates strong, relatable heroines who feel completely grounded even while their plots feel ripped from the headlines. Now Piazza has teamed up with editor Christine Pride in creating We Are Not Like Them, a heartbreaking story of the lifelong friendship between a White policeman’s wife and a Black news anchor that’s torn apart by a police shooting. 

To read the complete review, click on the link below.
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Thoughtful, timely debut from this duo. A lifelong bond altered by one moment - or was it really hundreds of little moments eclipsed by one? Readers will see themselves in these characters.
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Thank you @netgalley and @atriabooks for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. 

‘We Are Not Like Them’ is centered around the friendship of two women, Jen and Riley, who have been best friends since they were kids. Jen is a newly pregnant white woman married to a police officer and Riley is a black woman who is a news broadcaster. Their friendship is tested when Jen’s husband is involved in the shooting of an unarmed young black teenager. The story follows the outcome of the case and how their friendship is altered due to this tragic event. 

I struggled with how I felt about the book and the characters. I understand why many people feel this would be a good choice for a bookclub book as it is an opportunity to discuss race, friendship and other dynamics in life. I respect the purpose and what the two authors are trying to accomplish. However, I felt it was a bit like a college ‘intro to race’ type of reading. I felt that there were a string of talking points and standard tropes that were connected together to fit the plot. They touched on a lot of issues without really diving too far into it which is where things fell flat and bit surface-level for me. However, I can acknowledge how certain points that might be standard for me might be eye-opening for someone else depending on your lived experiences. 

I did like how the two authors wrote their characters from their level of understanding so it was interesting to see two different perspectives consistently throughout. 

I know I this book is being received pretty well by many and I overall did enjoy the easy read. I was engaged and curious to see how everything was resolved and felt the ending was a combination of idealistic and realistic. 

It would be a great starting point for those that are looking for an introduction to having conversations around race while also including storylines around motherhood, family dynamics and romantic relationships.
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I am a bit confused over the attention this one is getting. It was good but I think it could have been so much better if "she went there" ..but she didn't/
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A friendship between a white woman and a black woman is best told through those authentic voices as Christine Pride and Jo Piazza show us in We Are Not Like Them. Riley and Jen have been friends forever until the unthinkable happens. Jen’s husband shoots a black kid while he’s on duty as a cop. Riley, as a news anchor is called on to cover the story. Riley and Jen’s friendship is tested through brutal confrontations of race and justice.
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I took me a while to rate this book yet as I needed some time removed to work through my feelings.

While I found myself gravitating to this book (instead of the few others I was reading), it made me pretty aggravated, and I am not sure it was in the way intentioned by the authors. At points I felt that there were too many "issues/topics" thrown into the story just to say "hey, look at what we did" and I felt that I would have personally appreciated the story more if it would have covered off in depth a few of those topics alone. What I did appreciate was how the topic of social justice was handled and seeing the relationship between two best friends during that difficult time. 

I do think this book would be a great pick for book club as the many discussions that will come after are important topics. 

A big thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me to read a copy of this book!
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A story meant to explore issues of race in America came across as pretty superficial and written to sell books. The friendship between supposed best friends Riley and Jen seemed odd because they never seemed to talk about race. The pace and narrative structure was pretty slow at times. I also wasn't into the infertility aspect of the story. Overall, I didn't connect with either woman and didn't care much about what happened by the end
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A powerful and thought provoking novel that provides a hard, realistic look at issues of race, relationships and policing.  Jen and Riley have been best friends since childhood.  Riley is black  and an up and coming news reporter. Jen is white, pregnant and married to a police officer.  Their friendship is tested by a devastating incident when Jen’s husband shoots an unarmed black teenager.  The story is told from both women’s point of view; this dual voice helps the reader understand how differently both see the tragedy.  The dual perspective is authentically conveyed by the books dual authors.  The intensity and divisiveness of the incident and each characters internal struggle make this a compelling, important read.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Finally we get to read stories like We Are Not Like Them. It’s insightful and interesting while not being cliché. The only drawback for me was that Jen & Riley’s friendship came across as too simplified. I’m looking forward to the next book written by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza.
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There's been a lot of buzz about this book, and for good reasons. The main characters are likable and the subject is complex. This would be a great book club pick.
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I really have enjoyed Piazza's work in the past, so I wanted to like this. It felt contrived, the relationship unbelievable. I wasn't able to finish.
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4 Stars!

*Thank you NetGalley for providing a free e-arc copy of this book in return for an honest review.

We are Not Like Them follows the story of two women who have been best friends since Kindergarten. Riley, who is black newscaster asked to be the person to cover the story of an unarmed black boy that was shot and killed by a police officer, and Jenny, who is Riley’s white best friend who is married to the police officer that killed the unarmed boy.

The story is told in alternating points of view and we see what happens in the community and what happens to the friendship after tragedy hits the town. I felt like this book had moments of eye-opening statements, and I think it’s a powerful read. The alternating points of view allowed us to be in the minds of both women, and I found myself sympathizing for both women.

It’s a story about friendship but also tackles social issues. I really enjoyed this book, and I think it would be good for a book club choice. The discussion topics that could come out of this book would be just as memorable as the book itself. The only reason this book didn’t get 5 stars from me is because I didn’t care for Jen’s chapters nearly as much as Riley’s chapters. I also found the chapters to be pretty long, and the book overall was very predictable. But that’s okay…I felt like this book had a different message and a different point to make, and I think people should read this book.

This was a very powerful and timely read. I think people are going to love this story!
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I have super complicated thoughts about this one. We Are Not Like Them is about the friendship bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is forever altered by a tragic event. Jen and Riley have been friends since they were kids. Jen is a white woman who is newly pregnant and married to a police officer. Riley is on her way to becoming one of the first Black female anchors at a news station in Philadelphia. One day when they’re out for drinks together, Jen gets a call that her husband has been involved in a shooting, and it’s of an unarmed Black teenager. Riley, being in the media, gets tapped to report on this. 

One of the authors is Black and the other is white, and it seems like they wrote this book as a way to get the reader to explore race in America today through the friendship of these two women. I think it’s worth mentioning that I am very close to this topic- my husband is a Black man, and he’s also a police officer. As you can imagine, reading this brought up some stuff for me.

What I liked is that I think this book will be very good for initiating conversation. I see what the authors were trying to do, and I think this will sell a lot of books. I appreciated that both characters were flawed and that they try and get the reader to think about these tough issues from all sides. I also liked the behind the scenes about how news is made- I liked reading about Riley’s role in the media.

My problem with it was that it’s so heavy-handed. To me, it read like they had a list of talking points and stereotypes they wanted to make sure got on the page, and went down the list one by one. Every single troupe was there, from the “having to work twice as hard to get half as much” to the “my best friend is black” defense. I wanted more from the characters themselves- it didn’t read like a real friendship at all- the women almost felt like charactures. It felt like they were circling the issues and mentioning them without ever really unpacking things. There was one beautiful section where a Black politician in a room full of donors at a fundraiser if they’re willing to give up their privilege and power in order to move the needle on racism… that really spoke to me.  To me it felt like they didn’t trust the reader to critically think about some of the issues they brought up and instead spoon fed them talking points. 

Maybe if the authors had tried to take on less, it would have been more impactful. I never want to yuck on someone’s yum and I’m glad so many people seem to be enjoying it, but it wasn’t for me. I think if you have ever found yourself saying ‘you don’t see color’ or if you have not had conversations in real life about race before, this could be a good starting point.
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I think the right readers will enjoy this story-it might make an engaging book club choice for a certain subset of women. For me, the book didn’t go deep enough into the issues. It feels like it didn’t say anything new about interracial friendships. I did want to keep reading to find out the outcome. But overall, this book did not live up to my high expectations.
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We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza is a riveting novel told from alternating perspectives between two 30-year old women, one black and one white about a life-altering event that directly effects them both. Riley is an up-and-coming TV news reporter who comes from an intact family. Jen is married to a police officer and pregnant and was raised by a less than attentive single mother. They grew up together and though now distant, have remained close friends since they were young children. A tragic event unfolds in the first chapter which influences the novel. Each character has a very different perspective on the event and how it effects them personally. We learn about the unspoken conversations about race that Riley has always skirted around when it comes to her friendship with Jen. The novel does a wonderful job of addressing issues about race, politics, and media in the US. It’s difficult to see beyond our own experience, so I appreciate that this book was written by two authors. I found Riley’s perspective especially compelling. Action in the novel is told in a cinematic way, that made me want to know what would happen next. The audiobook is phenomenally narrated by Shayna Small and Marin Ireland. This is one of my top reads for 2021! Highly recommended. 

Thank you Atria Books and NetGalley for providing this ARC.
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This is a powerful, powerful read and one that I highly suggest reading with a friend or a group to better analyze and discuss what you are reading.  There are so many little things to this book that can lead to great discussion and I was happy to have been reading it with a group that came from vastly different experiences and paths through life.

Jen and Riley have been friends forever and Jen was accepted as an honorary family member in Riley's family as a child due to a less than stellar home situation.  Somehow through all of the years of their friendship race has been a topic not discussed it seems, despite Jen being white and Riley being black.  This all changes when Jen's husband shoots an unarmed black boy and Riley has the chance to make her career being the lead reporter on the case for the local news media.  They must each find their way working through the situation to see if their friendship can survive.

I think this book will get a lot of mixed reviews but I recommend picking it up for yourself and making your own judgement on it.
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We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza is a novel told from the perspective of a Black woman and a white woman.  Riley and Jen are best friends, but now their friendship is being tested.  Jen's husband, a police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager.  Riley, a news reporter, has been tasked with reporting on this story.  How will they handle this difficult challenge?  I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written and very thought-provoking book.  Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital copy.  All opinions are my own.
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This book told from two different perspectives was riveting at times, but stale at others. Some parts felt dynamic and emotional but others fell a little flat for me. The subject matter was handled interestingly from both perspectives and I was often frustrated with Jen’s handling of things. I liked how it delved into a relationship that had monetary weight as well as racial differences, I just think some parts could have been deeper.
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When Justin Dwyer is shot by the husband of Riley Wilson’s best friend, a friendship that date back to early childhood is threatened. Justin Dwyer and Riley are Black. Her friend, Jen and her law enforcement officer husband are white. Riley is a news reporter for a Philadelphia TV station and is thrust right into the thick of the story. How can Riley keep her professional approach to the story and how can she keep the friendship going with Jen? For me, though, what is most important is how can people like me possibly make a connection to Black experiences. How can Jen understand what its like to be called the names Riley is called. How can we understand what it is like to have relatives who were shot violently by whites? Can well-intentioned white people ever understand. Riley is a excellent voice for the problems and she and Jen try to resolve issues that a part of America today. Alternating between Jen’s point of view and Riley’s point of view. While issues are not resolved completely, the book shows how honest dialogue is important in confronting issues of race.
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Essentially, it’s the story of two life-long best friends (one Caucasian, one African American) and a horrific death that will test their friendship.

On the streets of Philadelphia, there is a tragic shooting of an unarmed Black teenager. The two city police involved say it was an error - a mistaken identity.

Riley is the lead reporter covering the shooting, a Black woman with ambitions to become head anchor for the local TV station. Riley’s best friend is Jenny – Caucasian, and wife to the cop involved in the shooting.

Riley has a duty to inform the public of the situation.
Jenny has a loyal duty to her husband – emotionally supporting him during the investigation and from the hoard of reporters staked outside their home.

Together Riley and Jenny have been there for each other during the good and bad times, but now it seems impossible. How can they back each other during all this?

We Are Not Like Them is a racially dynamic novel. It's told through alternating chapters between Riley and Jen, allowing us to read both perspectives as they navigate their relationship past and present. 
Perfect for book clubs! This book will allow for robust discussions and would be a great read individually or as a group.

A big thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for this advanced copy.
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