Author: Allie Larkin
Release date: February 26th 2013
Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher for review
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.