Cover Image: We Are Not Like Them

We Are Not Like Them

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A powerful and emotional story that is told through the eyes of two best childhood  friends-one black and one white- who have to navigate their friendship after a tragedy rocks the city. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this story really makes you think and relate the issues discussed to your own life and community around you. It was intense, thought-provoking and would make an excellent book club discussion.
Was this review helpful?
I was given an advanced copy of this text by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This was a fantastic read! Very timely for the modern political culture in the US and the characters were well developed. Looking forward to recommending this novel to many people.
Was this review helpful?
Heart wrenching, honest, and immersive.  In the same vein as Picoult, Pride and Piazza explore all sides of a galvanizing topic in a way that breads unity rather than divisiveness.  

Riley and Jenn’s richly layered bond was forged in early childhood and deepened over time.  
Jenn knew Riley’s lofty career aspirations as well as her drink order.  Riley adored Jenn’s aggressive friendliness.  But when tragedy happens, both realize that so many things have gone unsaid over the years.  And now, they must reckon with the one thing that threatens to divide them.  

This story is told in alternating POV between Riley and Jenn, allowing us to see them distinctly as individuals. In so many areas, they are in sync and of one mind.  But on this, their perspectives are as different as night and day. 

Pride and Piazza adeptly utilize Jenn and Riley’s friendship to open this seemingly insurmountable dialogue in a way that permits empathy and understanding.  These issues can be so polarizing.  Yet in friendship, the issues are experienced through a lens of connectivity rather than divisiveness.  Friendships, deep and intimate, have always provided me the best platform for tackling some of the most complex issues in life, which makes the premise of this book ring true and very relatable.  

This book showcases the full gamut of experiences and perspectives, giving a full picture to both sides of this divide (which at times becomes quite heavy).  Through Riley and Jenn, this book allowed me to walk through both of their lived experiences, broadening my understanding and compassion.  

This book begs to be read with friends or in community.  It will make you feel and reevaluate.  And then it’ll make you want to connect.  I ruminated on this book for several hours upon reading the last page. Then I immediately reached out to a friend that had also recently read this book.  Our dialogue enriched my experience and solidified new perspectives.  

The connection between prologue and epilogue give a fullness to the book that is worth note.  

It would be easy to read the description of this book and think… “Nah. I hear enough of this in the news.” Or to think, “My mind is already made up.” But that would be such a disservice to you and this book.  This is a book we need.  It is a book I needed.  

Thank you Christine Pride, Jo Piazza , Atria Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘧, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘵, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘶𝘯𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴?

𝗪𝗘 𝗔𝗥𝗘 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗟𝗜𝗞𝗘 𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗠 is one of our #readspinrepeatbookclub picks for October and it's made for discussion. 

Speaking of... Riley and Jen have been close since they were little kids, more like sisters than friends. But their relationship is tested when Jen's husband, a white Philly police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Riley, a local reporter on the verge of becoming one of the city's first Black female news anchors, is assigned to cover the story. Pride and Piazza explore how this tragedy impacts not only the community but the bond between the the two women, raising important questions about racism and empathy.

This is a timely book that addresses these divisive times. The scenes related to the shooting and the teen's family are truly gut-wrenching but this isn't the story of a family's loss. It's the story of Jen and Riley. 

The authors note that "the majority of people (nearly 90 percent) say they don't have a close friend of another race or ethnicity" so through alternating POVs, we get Jen's (white) and Riley's (Black) experiences in the shooting's aftermath and see how their views change because of it. Their story of their friendship made me think but unfortunately, it didn't make me feel. It seemed liked they'd already drifted apart by the time we meet them which kept me from being fully invested. 

Despite that, I highly recommend this book. It addresses issues we should be talking more about and I'm glad it opens to door to do so.

Thanks Atria Books and NetGalley for the copy to review.
Was this review helpful?
This book would be a top pick for any book discussion/book club choice! Two best friends really get their relationship not only tested but layered back to uncover some hard truths about themselves and each other. One friend is white, with a husband that is a cop and the other friend, is. black, is a news reporter and tasked with covering a very race-fueled crime of an unarmed black boy that was fatally shot by the cops (one of the cop's is his best friend's husband). If that is not enough of a hook for you, then I don't know what is! I loved how this book was set up with alternating narratives between the friends - Pride and Piazza nailed the perspectives and inner struggles of each woman. This book really dove deep into friendships and racism and how racism can exist even at a surface level with those whom we love best.
Was this review helpful?
What a powerful story of an interracial friendship whose strong bonds from childhood are tested by a devastating incident. This book took me on a gut-wrenching & emotional roller coaster through each of the narratives & their different perspectives. I highly recommend this thought-provoking book!
Was this review helpful?
This book is so timely!  It is the story of two women, Rye and Jenny. Rye is a black newscaster, Jenny is her lifelong white best friend, pregnant and glowing. Their world is shattered when, once again, a young black child is shot and killed by a policeman. Worst of all, the policeman is Jenny’s husband. 

Navigating friendship, tragedy and rebirth, the reader follows these women. It is a fascinating trip that has a great deal to discuss and process.  This is a very readable story, written in the right time in our history. I enjoyed it and I recommend it to reading groups and seminars. 

Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to review this novel.
Was this review helpful?
We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza is such a timely book by this power duo. The book alternates the perspectives of two lifelong best friends: Jenny, a white woman married to a white Philadelphia police officer, and Riley, a black tv reporter. Their friendship begins to fracture after Jenny's husband was involved in the shooting of an unarmed black kid, and the book follows them as they work their way through this tragedy, their emotional response to it, and discussions/perspectives on race.

What worked for me:
- This book was so well handled and I felt that it everything was address in a very sensitive manner. Various perspectives, experiences, and emotions were portrayed, giving the reader a lot to think about and consider. In a society that is so divided, this book helps to give an insight into both perspectives of such a divisive issue.
- It is such an important topic. 
The characters are well-crafted and I felt I could relate to both. Jenny could be a bit whiny at times, and I wish she would have had better empathy to what Riley was going through, but they were still strong characters
- The authors didn't insert unnecessary drama (such as Riley's conflict of interest). Doing so would have detracted from the overarching message and would have felt unnecessary.

What didn't work as well:
- My largest complaint (which unfortunately is slightly contradictory to my positive about it being sensitive) was that I felt like the book played it a little safe. It toed a very fine line in an effort to be appealing to readers who fall on either side of this issue. On the one hand, this is good because I think more people need to see issues from both perspectives and I think this book will have wider appeal and everyone can take something away from it. On the other hand, as someone who has a strong opinion on this issue, I thought the book could have pushed a little harder on certain points.
- Along a similar line, I felt like some of the conversations between Riley and Jenny were a bit stilted. They felt more like a debate or a rundown of the talking points of both perspectives. I would have liked to see more passionate dialogue from two characters who are so immersed in this hot button racial issue. I also would have liked to see a bit more of their personal reflection and growth after these conversations.

Overall, I think the book was a good read that handled a sensitive issue really well. As mentioned, I think everyone can take something away from this book and I think it's a book that can be used as a tool to spark discussions and see things from other perspectives. I think it would be a great book club book! I appreciate that I had the opportunity to read it and look forward to joining group reads for it in the coming months.
Was this review helpful?
This is an innovative approach to writing a compelling and insightful story.  Told in alternative perspectives, this is a book simultaneously about two lifelong friends who relationship is tested in ways they never expected and some of the most critical issues facing society today.  An interesting and thought-provoking novel.
Was this review helpful?
This will be a great sell for book clubs. Reciting the plot alone sparks conversation! I enjoyed the characters' imperfections and the delicate touch the authors had describing awkward, ugly feelings and awkward, ugly actions -- especially race-focused ones, from across the aisle, borne out of ignorance or just self-centeredness. I liked the strong beam of hope at the end, and the emphasis on talking things through to help one another understand, to call out ignorant behavior rather than condemn it, in the context of the friendship. I'm not sure I believe in that, but the hopefulness of the idea gives the story such an uplift. This will be an easy sell for book clubs who have enjoyed grappling with racially charged themes, a la Such a Fun Age.
Was this review helpful?
We Are Not Like Them by Christina Pride and Jo Piazza is a thought-provoking story about race, friendship, and forgiveness.

This is one of the best books I’ve read this year. While I have read several fiction books that cover racial injustice, I’ve never read one like this before: a book written by both a Black and white author. As such, the novel features two key characters: Riley, a Black female reporter and Jen, a white pregnant wife of a police officer. The authors put together an exceptional novel that covers race relations, lifelong friendships, police violence, motherhood, all wrapped together. This is not an easy read in many ways but it’s quite important.

We Are Not Like Them is stunning, heartbreaking but also a hopeful novel that will make you think. It’s an ideal book club selection and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the celebrity book clubs select this for their pick (and I hope they do!). If you only have time to read just a couple more books for the rest of the year, be sure to check this one out.
Was this review helpful?
We Are Not Like Them is a very timely book. Its plot revolves around two best friends, one Black, one White, who suddenly find themselves having to take sides in a police shooting of an unarmed Black man. It is a tense, thoughtfully written book that explores race, police procedures, the media, and what it means to be a true friend. The character development leaned on stereotypes and the plot was predictable, but it didn't take away from the overall effect. It wasn't the book for me, but I do recommend it to others - I'm sure it will be really popular!
3.5 rounded up to 4

Advanced copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
*Thank you to NetGalley, Christine Pride, Jo Piazza and Atria books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Previously published at

“Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow

Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead

Walk beside me… just be my friend”

― Albert Camus

We Are Not Like Them is a novel about two best friends: Riley, a black woman and Jen, a white woman. Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were 5, when Jen was brought to Riley’s mother’s daycare. They are both living in Philadelphia now, close to their families. Riley’s career has taken a turn and now she is becoming a successful black female reporter while Jen, thanks to Riley’s loan, is finally pregnant through IVF with her police officer husband, Kevin. They are together at a bar one night when a news story breaks that an unarmed black teenager has been shot. They don’t know at that moment, but Jen’s husband is the one who shot him and their long friendship is put to the ultimate test.

A collaboration between a white author and black author writes this fast-paced and timely novel. We are Not Like Them is told from both points of view and that dual voice is necessary in this novel to understand how differently both see the same tragedy. For the first time in their 25-year friendship, race is now an issue. While it is Riley’s obligation as a reporter to cover this ground-breaking news story, Jen faces the prospect of her husband being imprisoned and also losing her best friend, who unsurprisingly is on the side of the teenager’s mother. Riley must side with the black community and cannot heed Jen’s calls for support in defense of her husband. She is especially bothered because Jen has appeared on TV stating she has a “black best friend”.

While Riley tries to see both sides, Jen’s inability to see where Riley is coming from bothers her. When she tries to explain how her life is different as a black woman, Jen cannot understand and it tears apart their friendship. Jen refuses to see “colors” but also does not understand why Riley will not come out in defense of Kevin.

Pride and Piazza’s novel is a story about friendship set with the backdrop of racism in the US and the trend of police shootings of unarmed black people. I found their relationship compelling but also heartbreaking. We are Not Like Them is an amazing and raw book with an exceptional authenticity to the dual voices that speak throughout. Being touted as one of the must-read books of the year, I found it riveting and informative.
Was this review helpful?
4.5  Definitely one of my favorite books of the year.  

We Are Not Like Them is a relevant, thought-provoking, educational, powerful, and emotional story.  It takes a hard look at so many subjects surrounding race, prejudice, and belief systems and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I put it down.  From the heartbreaking prologue to the very last page, I was hooked.  The writing, empathy, and perspectives from co-authors Christine Pride and Jo Piazza are brilliant and important.  I have already recommended it to so many and will continue to do so.  

We Are Not Them Publishes 10/5/21.  A huge thank you to netgalley and Simon & Schuster for this advanced reader copy.
Was this review helpful?
How often we read of incidents like these. But that is what we do. Read and wait for the next one.  This book opens up a new side.  What happens to the families.  What happens to friendships.  Riley and Jen have been friends for years.  Jen and Riley seem to be an unlikely pair.  One white, one black.  Jen's policeman husband has shot a young unarmed black student.  How they deal with it and try to remain friends is the story.  It is a book that needs to be read and shared.  
Thank you, NetGalley.   A special thanks to Christine and Jo for writing this.
Was this review helpful?
The premise of We Are Not Like Them is fantastic. And so real to the moment right now. It was great to see a nuanced look at at a problem that many see as black and white. I found one of the characters absolutely infuriating, but that was the point. While the writing felt a little YA to me, that's not  a knock, it is how it read. I know many will pick up this book and hopefully treat others a little kinder after reading it. I thought the ending was perfection!
Was this review helpful?
Riley, who is black, and Jen, who is white, have been best friends since they were young children. In recent years they have been separated by distance due to Riley's college and career, but she is back home and excited to see her friend. Meanwhile, two police officers shoot an unarmed black teenager. Jen's husband is one of the shooters, and Riley is reporting on the case. The situation puts a strain on their relationship, but also leads them to realities that they had not confronted. This book examines race and police brutality from both a black and white perspective.
Was this review helpful?
Where to start!

Riley and Jen have been lifelong friends and their racial differences never stood between them. Now, as Jen’s husband, a cop, stands accused of killing a 14 year old kid, how will journalist Riley respond?

This story is both profoundly contemporary and realistic. The author spent a lot of time creating realistic characters who seem believable and full.  The attention to detail really provided me with a proud understanding of each woman’s motivation and history, which proved to be significant as the events unfolded. 

Would definitely recommend this eye opening story.  It was both and important and interesting read in the current times.
Was this review helpful?
My first time to read anything by this author and I will be on the lookout for more by them. This book had great character development and a story that was very captivating. Highly recommend this read!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this book. Given what has been happening in North America, this book is timely. Two young women who have been friends since childhood, one black, one white, find themselves on opposite sides. Riley is a beautiful black news reporter and her best friend Jen, who is white, is expecting her first baby, with her husband a white police officer. 
This is where things start to get complicated. Jen's husband Kevin and his partner, Travis are in persuit of a suspect involved in a robbery. Travis, shoots the suspect and Kevin  follows suit. In reality, they have shot a 14 year old black teenager, Justin, who didn't even match the description of their suspect.  
Riley becomes the lead reporter in this investigation. Riley and Jen have never dealt with race or skin colour, or being on the opposite sides of the fence during their whole friendship. That is about to change. 
I was blown away on how the co-authors wrote what it felt like for both  sides. You can never know what it feels like to walk in someone elses shoes,  until you do. I felt like that's what I was doing, while I read this story. I felt empathy for everyone concerned. Justin's family, Jen's family and Riley's family. I think this book may help some to have some important conversations. 
It is a very well written story, current with the times.  I give this 4.5 out of 5
Was this review helpful?