Monday, March 18, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Why Can't I Be You by Allie Larkin


Why Can't I Be YouAuthor: Allie Larkin
Release date: February 26th 2013
Publisher: Plume
Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

At one time or another, everyone has wished she could be someone else. Exploring this universal longing, Allie Larkin follows up the success of her debut novel, Stay, with a moving portrait of friendship and identity.

When Jenny Shaw hears someone shout “Jessie!” across a hotel lobby, she impulsively answers. All her life, Jenny has toed the line, but something propels her to seize the opportunity to become Jessie Morgan, a woman to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance. Lonely in her own life, Jenny is embraced by Jessie’s warm circle of friends—and finds unexpected romance. But when she delves into Jessie’s past, Jenny discovers a secret that spurs her to take another leap into the unknown.



Somehow, I feel that I’ve outgrown chick-lit ages ago (it’s funny how I’ll never really outgrow YA, though), but when an opportunity arose to review Why Can’t I Be You by Allie Larkin, I felt an immediate connection and jumped at the chance to do so. There was something about the retro-looking cover that pulled me in right away, and the idea of stepping into someone else’s shoes so completely both thrilled and intrigued me.

Who of us wouldn’t want to be someone else, at least for a day? There were days when I just wanted to leave everything behind and become someone new, someone daring and social, someone who took chances on every turn or at least someone who felt comfortable in their skin. Our own skin can get too tight, and wanting to escape it makes sense in some situations. That’s what Jenny did. When the opportunity presented itself, she jumped at it and never looked back. After all, her boyfriend-soon-to-be-fiancé just left her for a girl equally average and plain – not even an upgrade, which was more insulting than anything else.

I’m not sure classifying Why Can’t I Be You as chick-lit is exactly fair. I’d sooner call it women’s fiction (there is a slight difference in quality between the two in my opinion). It’s certainly less formulaic and flaky than your average Sophie Kinsella novel, and there were some genuine emotions there felt heavier and more honest than I’d expected.

Despite its pretty simplistic plot, Why Can’t I Be You surprised me with its emotional complexity. It was thought-provoking and entirely satisfying. I loved the very subtle romance between Jenny and Fish, but even more, I admired her friendship with Jessie’s former best friend. All things considered, Why Can’t I Be You is a good way for us YA and UF readers to step out of our comfort zone and stir things up a bit.


Please visit the other tour stops too. You can find the schedule here
Thank you to AToMR Tours for organizing this tour.

33 comments:

  1. Oh I couldn't agree more! :) Even though YA is still my fave genre I can't enjoy chick-lit anymore. The characters are mostly annoying and the books are predictable. I love the cover of this book and I'm glad you enjoyed :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I actually really love chick lit so I think I would like this one. I really like the premises, it sounds intriguing and I am glad you did enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I ended up giving this one a 3 too. The plot dragged in some spots I found and I started getting kind of bored. I agree that I liked the subtle romance between Jenny and Fish. I liked that because these people didn't know Jessie for 13 years she was able to use some of her real life in the details of where she had been so they did get to know Jenny a bit along the way. Great review!

    You're reading Absent! Ahh! I really liked that one!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never heard of this one before, but I must admit I don't read that many chick-lit books that much anymore. Never have really, but you make this one sound so good! lol I can definitely agree and relate to wanting to become a new person, and that part alone caught my attention. Awesome review :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad it had emotional complexity. I def like the premise of being someone else for a day, I agree, most people would like that experience.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think one reason I love chick-lit is because of its simplistic plot - a happy ending is almost always guaranteed. Some chick-lits may not offer character development, but there are some gems which managed to surprise me with their neat plots and amazing characters. :) Anyway, I'm glad that you fairly enjoyed this book, Maja! <3 Reading chick-lit is good for your soul, I promise. ;)

    Brilliant review, hun! <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is definitely out of my preferred comfort zone, but like you said Maja, sometimes it's nice to step outside those lines once in a while and try something a little different. This sounds really cute, and there are definitely times when I think being someone who was a social butterfly and fearless when walking up and talking to new people would be awesome, as that is so not me. I'm the stand there looking terrified while praying someone takes pity and talks to me type:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds like a fun book certainly when you can step into somebody else's shoes. However since I avoid chick lit/women's fiction like the plague, I don't think it'll be for me.

    But, I'm still glad you managed to enjoy this one even though you thought chick-lit wasn't your thing anymore!

    Great review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Never heard of this book but it sounds interesting! Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't think I have outgrown chick lit sometimes it is the perfect read when you need something light and entertaining. Ha ha. I was drawn to this cover and book as well when I put it in a Friday Forecast and I thought seriously about reading it. It sounds good but I am so overwhelmed that I don't think I can squish it in anyway. You know a good chick lit book I read awhile back that I loved it was before the blog... Melissa Senate's The Love Goddess Cooking School. oh and if you have never read Sarah Addison Allen drop everything and read one of her books!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'll never outgrow YA, but I do get what you mean about chick lit. I don't read much of it and have been surprised at those that I have read. So far I've been lucky.

    I'm curious about this one but at the same time I don't know how I would feel to step into someone else's shoes. I can see wanting to be someone else, but a new invented self. So, I'm curious as to how this plays out. Already I have questions stirring in my head. Hm...

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm glad this one seems to be more complex that you thought. I find the label of "chick-lit" offensive and don't read too much of it as it just seems too formulaic for my taste. Not sure this is for me, but I do know some readers who might enjoy this one and I'll pass the recommendation to them. Thanks!

    p.s. I hope you're liking Clockwork Prince! Just started "Unholy Ghosts" this morning.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have never ever seen this book around, but am glad to have discovered it on your blog! Great review :) I really like the vintage-y cover, too! I do enjoy a good Chick Lit / Women's Fiction from time to time so I might pick it up (sounds like a good Spring/Summer read). Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    Evie :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm not sure if I've ever been one for chick-lit. I'm trying to think of my last chick-lit read right now and I can't come up with anything! Though it was probably a Meg Cabot book... I'm glad you enjoyed this overall, Maja! You're right, sometimes it's nice to step out of our comfort zones and try something a little different. Brilliant review. :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I can totally understand the impulse to jump into someone else's shoes, especially if their life seems better than yours (the grass is always greener, after all). This one does sound like a cute read! I can see why you would have said yes to this pitch. I like a good story like this one (is it chick lit or is it women's fiction? pfft. Who cares, right? As long as the story's good!).

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aah, I agree! I read a couple of Sophie Kinsella novels and BAM, my capacity for chick-lit ended. I somehow love romantic comedy more in movies than books and prefer more of an UF/Paranormal or just steamier feel in general if I pick up adult novels. I'm still glad you managed to enjoy this, though, especially since the concept is so interesting, and emotional complexity is always a plus. Excellent review, dearest!(:

    ReplyDelete
  17. I feel the same way about Chick Lit but I'll never give up YA. YA is just so versatile, you can pretty much find anything you're looking for. The cover for this book pulled me in, too, but I haven't read it yet. I don't mind simplistic plots every once and a while and there are quite a few occasions when I'd love to be someone else. Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well, that is a great idea for a book! I know I can relate, as well. I'm surprised to hear you say this one had a lot of emotional complexity because I usually assume (maybe unfairly) that chick-lit isn't very emotionally complex, and for that reason I would think this to be women's fiction, as well. I'm definitely all for chick-lit that is more honest and real! Great job on this review, Maja!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm more likely to pick up chick lit rather than women's fiction, but if its one that definitely toes the line that's even better. Fun with some serious is good.
    I think that's our old couch on the cover... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a cool premise! I've certainly fantasized about hopping into someone else's shoes for a day or two, especially if it means becoming a bolder, more adventurous version of myself. :-)

    I don't read enough women's fiction, but I've really enjoyed the few books I have read that straddle the women's fiction/chick lit line. You're right, it's nice to get outside your comfort zone and get a broader perspective now and then. This sounds like a great choice for the next time I feel like mixing it up. And I wouldn't mind that adorable cover facing out on my shelf either. :-) Wonderful review, Maja!

    ReplyDelete
  21. This sounds interesting. I don't read a lot of this genre, just sporadically, it does sound good.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Oh Maja I feel like we've swapped favourite book genres! I adore picking up a chick lit book once in a while, and I really like the concept of Why I Can't Be You. A lot of girls would probably be able to relate to the concept of being in someone else's shoes even if it is just for one day. I like how this book isn't just your usual fluffy read either, I think I would probably like this book too and would definitely have to consider giving it a go when I'm in the right mood for it! Thanks for the rec hun! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great review Maja, I laughed when you said the cover drew you in because I hate it but the synopsis has me curious as does your wonderful review. I like that you felt it had more depth then a classic chick-lit book.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Once in a while I like to read books other than YA. I usually tend to read chick lit or crime thrillers. I'm glad to hear that this wasn't just your regular chick lit and it packed a lot more emotions. The plot sounds something I might enjoy. Lovely review, Maja!

    ReplyDelete
  25. The start of your first sentence is so me Maja lol. I'm glad that you enjoyed this and it gave you a nice break from the norm but I don't see myself picking it up anytime soon. Great review though :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. The only chick-lit books that I've read are Meg Cabot's. In general, I tend to stay away from that genre so I'll probably skip this one. But, I like the idea of stepping into someone's shoes for a time. I don't know how many times I've wished that for myself so it's definitely something I can relate to.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm the kind of reader who turns to chick-lit when I get bored of YA books. This sounds like it packs more emotions than your regular chick-lit though. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I think I would like the friendship aspect too.
    Fabulous review, Maja!

    ReplyDelete
  28. The synopsis on this one does sound hard to resist and I like that you say it has more substance.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think most people would like to be someone else for a short period of time, just for a change. This sounds like a sweet read and not something I'd picture you picking up, Maja. Glad you enjoyed it overall. :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've read a few good reviews for this book. The premise sounded a little fluffy and farfetched but the reviews have me wanting to give it a shot.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'd honestly jump at the idea of being someone else for a change.. even just for a little while. This actually sounds like a sweet read, but since i dont reach chick-lit, I don't think i'll ever pick it up! Great review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

    ReplyDelete
  32. Wow amazing review Maja! I ould love to be someone temporary like you and Jenny too! To see what someone's elses life really is like. I'm glad you enjoyed it! And it was more profound and real then it first appears.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I haven't anything about this until now but I really like the cover as well, the sofa and the baby blue really stand out. I think it would be cool to be able to experience the life of someone else, even if it's only for one day!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you're a fellow blogger, I'll visit and return the favor as soon as possible. If your're using Google+ to comment, please make sure that your blog link is clearly visible on your profile.

Unfortunately, this is now an award and tag free blog, but I do thank you for your consideration.