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More Like Her [Paperback]

Liza Palmer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Jan 2012

'I'm not the girl men choose. I'm the girl who's charming and funny and then drives home alone wondering what she did wrong. I'm the girl who meets someone half-way decent and then fills in the gaps in his character with my own imagination, only to be shocked when he's not the man I thought he was. I'm the girl who hides who she really is...'

Frannie has spent her life disguising who she really is for fear of falling short of other people's expectations. And when she meets her new boss, Frannie can't help but wish she was just a bit more like her. Because Emma has it all: the job, the lifestyle, the happy marriage... even the perfect dog.

But everything is not as it seems. And Frannie's about to find out - in the hardest way possible - that chasing perfection isn't necessarily the route to the happy life that she's always imagined it to be.

A heartbreaking and romantic story about love, life, friendship and the true importance of chasing your own dreams.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (19 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340962178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340962176
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,014,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praise for MORE LIKE HER: (-)

'Really enjoyable read by an author that certainly knows how to surprise her readers! It was highly emotional, disturbing and sad in certain moments, yet romantic at the same time...extremely entertaining, enlightening and interesting' (kimthebookworm.blogspot.co.uk)

This is sharp, funny, clever and very romantic. The story, about a young woman downsizing her expectations in the wake of a tragedy, might not be new, but Palmer's handling of it is surprisingly fresh and engaging. (Daily Mirror on MORE LIKE HER)

'The book is a well-plotted examination of domestic violence, chasing unattainable dreams and hiding one's real self. The dialogue is sparky, the characters engaging and this is by all means a great read.' (Daily Mail on MORE LIKE HER)

Engaging and poignant and heartbreakingly real, Liza Palmer's tale of best friends, true love and just what size happily-ever-after wears is a winning conversation (Jennifer Weiner on CONVERSATIONS WITH THE FAT GIRL)

Liza Palmer is definitely one of my new favorite writers! (Meg Cabot)

Slick and highly readable (Elle on CONVERSATIONS WITH THE FAT GIRL)

A subtly sophisticated romance that outclasses most of the genre's other offerings... If it sounds chick litty, it is, but consider it haute chick lit. Palmer's prose is sharp, her characters are solid and her narrative is laced with moments of graceful sentiment (Publisher's Weekly on SEEING ME NAKED)

Smart, funny and heartbreakingly honest. (Johanna Edwards, bestselling author of THE NEXT BEST THING)

'Palmer's likeable characters and snappy dialogue make this novel stand out from the crowd... This quick-witted author is sure to develop a following.' (Booklist)

Book Description

Warm, quirky, yet heartbreakingly real fiction from Hodder's answer to Jennifer Weiner

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A surprising book 29 Jan 2012
By realovesbooks TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I have to say I am not a fan of the cover of this book in my opinion it is a little bland, it wouldn't be one that would catch my eye whilst searching the shelves for my next book. I found the storyline had a very slow start and I struggled to keep reading, it did reach a point where I was ready to give up but luckily it was just after this point where there was a shocking twist in the book which finally managed to grab my attention.

My favourite character in this book has to be Sam, I found that his character felt like he was developed more than the other characters in this book. I especially found it moving how Sam dealt with his situation in the big twist in this book. It was clear that Sam had feelings for Frannie but because of her past she seemed to constantly be putting barriers up after she had had a great time with Sam but I think this was to protect herself from getting hurt again. Frannie was an easy character to warm to at times you wanted to give her a big cuddle and at other times you wanted to give her a good shake!

I am surprised that the character of Emma wasn't more developed because there is a situation involving her which really should have pulled at my heart strings but I didn't really feel like I knew anything about her so although I was shocked I don't feel like I experienced the emotions I should have been feeling at this point in the story.

For me the best part of this book was the shocking chapter which there is no way you can predict when this is about to happen in this book because there is no build up to it. It was a relatively quick read but I do feel it was hard to get through the first half of this book but it is worth persevering with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book you'll like more as you read it! 25 Jan 2012
By Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I haven't actually read any of Liza Palmer's books as of yet, so when I was sent a copy of her new book More Like Her for review, I was really determined to read it because it sounded really interesting and a few American reviews of it made it sound like a book not to be missed as well. I have to confess to not being mad on the cover, I find the (awful) coloured boots to be a strange choice as well as the odd flooring, I think the publishers could have made so much more than this, but really don't judge this book by the cover because it is so much that what I had expected from the cover. It is chick lit but with a difference - it's meaty, and its got a plot that you don't see coming without a doubt!

The main character is Frannie, a woman who is somewhat lucky in love after yet another break up with boyfriend Brad. She's fed up and is determined to find a guy who loves her for who she is not, and not who they want her to be. I really liked Frannie, even if she did frustrate me at times because of her woe-is-me attitude and constant bickering with the lovely Sam, the male lead in the book. Sam was lovely, very affected by what he had to do in the book but this made me feel even more sympathetic towards him. Frannie is a bit stand-offish towards him, you can understand why in some respects but at the same time, I wanted her to wake up and see what a good guy Sam was! Emma doesn't appear heavily in the book, but in some ways she's the most important person in the book. Her life isn't what she wants everyone to think it is, and it's going to have huge ramifications for everyone she knows.

I'm not going to go into any detail about the events in the book, because it's best to read them as they unfold, and be shocked by them as I was when I read the book.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read all of Liza Palmer's 4 books now and she is a delight to read - the character and story arc's are so engrossing and funny and she really writes
as a woman who understands emotion and how to connect with female readers. I am 45 and I read 'Conversations with the fat girl' in the garden one summer and i was not only hooked but laughing out loud.
Any fans of Jennifer Weiner, Kate Jacobs, Patricia Gaffney, Adriana Trigiani will adore this book and her other steller novels
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Surprised 20 April 2012
By AMB - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Look at the cover of More Like Her...three friends, legs crossed, high heels. Total chick-lit. Summary? Girl loses boy, gets new boss, girl meets other boy. Total chick-lit. I read one novel by Liza Palmer before this one, Conversations with a Fat Girl. Great book. Great writer. Total chick-lit. What's my point? Oh, Liza Palmer pulled a fast one on us.

This starts as a classic novel about a few girlfriends and failed romance and turns into one of the best contemporary works of fiction I have read in a while. This novel is anything but typical. Ms. Palmer took a boy meets girl story and laced it with shock and tragedy. I knew from the summary there would be death. What I didn't know was how it would come to fruition. It wasn't what I expected. I was as stunned to experience it as the characters in the novel. It caught me off guard, I was genuinely shocked. I love that in a novel.

Frannie, our protagonist, shares her story with us in a voice that is refreshing and honest. A key plot point is her breakup with the perfect Ryan and subsequent blooming romance with architect Sam. This has the perfect funny debacles of romance characteristic of chick-lit. Frannie thinks too much, at times analyzing things to an exasperating level. She relies on her friends for guidance and support, and they give both with wisdom and with comedy. I was especially drawn to Jill, she reminded me of my BFF Roe. Ms. Palmer gives the reader multi-faceted characters. There was more to Frannie than her love life. And it's this other part of her that gets tested, what shines in the face of this disaster. One would think romance and tragedy couldn't coexist in the same story, but they do. And that's the beauty of More Like Her, Ms. Palmer weaves them together organically.

There are two blemishes in this otherwise perfect novel. The first is that the ending was just a bit too conventional. I loved it, but for some reason it felt off. The second is the synopsis of this novel does not do it justice. Lisa does not come across as too career-focused, if anything she is the one whose heart is most opened to finding, giving and receiving love. Jill's recent unexpected pregnancy isn't revealed until the last 50 or so pages of the novel. This knowledge robs the reader of the surprise and makes us think it is a major plot point when in reality it is relatively insignificant.

Those two things aside, this novel is a page turning powerhouse. I was riveted to the end.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 13 Jun 2012
By Obsidian Blue - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Liza Palmer since "Conversations with the Fat Girl" and "Seeing Me Naked," however, her latest "More Like Her" left a lot to be desired at least in my opinion.

When I read the book synopsis it seemed like this would be a novel of three women who were best friends who witnessed a horrific incident involving a woman that all three of them envied. The incident ends up causing them to be more truthful with themselves and others and to tell secrets that they have been keeping hidden. It sounded good to me so I promptly bought it. What follows is a less than interesting read.

The main focus of this novel is on Frances, a teacher in a private school where she is dealing with her boyfriend of several years breaking up with her for another woman. I felt badly for Frances at first but she keeps going on and on about her ex and than going on and on about another man she meets that she has a crush on. I think you will find that Frances has awful self esteem and is constantly being told how great she is (frankly I would find it annoying to constantly reassure her but that's just me) by her best friend Jill. I guess in the end we are supposed to see how much Frances has changed but I didn't get that feeling from her at all.

Jill is fellow teacher at the school and Lisa is a new teacher who Frances and Jill are becoming acquainted with. Jill is written as a perfect wife who constantly pushes at Frances to give another guy a try in order to get over her ex. Lisa is definitely a no holds barred blunt woman. The new headmistress at their school is Emma Dunham who from the beginning of the novel you realize does not seem to have a perfect marriage since her husband seems extremely off. Emma though is supposed to be the woman that all three women envy. However, that's not the case at all or at least I didn't get the feeling that she was envied.

The novel doesn't ever really gel, at least it didn't for me and the reader is never given a glimpse into Jill or Lisa's point of view since the entire story is told from Frances's point of view. I wish that Palmer had provided more insight into Lisa and Jill since they both ended up being written one dimensional. Both Lisa and Jill it seemed had issues but they are discussed quickily over one paragraph perhaps two and then it seems that is the end of their problems after they discuss it with Frances. Of all the characters I was more interested in Lisa which is unfortunate since she wasn't the main character of this novel.

I do want to emphasis that Palmer still writes very well. However, I just think she needs to provide her secondary characters with a lot more depth so in her next novel those characters don't seem like cardboard cutouts and distract from the story she is trying to tell.

Overall grade: C-
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The grass isn't always greener... 17 April 2012
By Luanne Ollivier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I reviewed Liza Palmer's previous book A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

From the cover, I was expecting a 'chick lit' type of read, but the opening prologue is a 911 call detailing a shooting at the Markham School. We then meet Frannie in the opening chapter. She's a teacher at the Markham School. She's also just come through a nasty breakup with her boyfriend, also a teacher at the school. We're introduced to Jill and Lisa, Frannie's sidekicks. Palmer provides lots of light hearted banter and situations to open the novel. But underneath it all is Frannie's desire to be what's she's not, to have what she doesn't. Just like Emma, the new director of the school, who seems to have it all. Frannie laments..."I'm not the girl men choose."But it turns out that Emma's life is not all that perfect.

Palmer explores lots of areas in More Like Her - bullying, domestic abuse, marriage and self searching. As Frannie puts it - the search for the Real Me.

I enjoyed the interaction between the main characters (although I thought Lisa became a 'bestie' awfully quick) Funnily enough, the character I enjoyed the most was Sam - the object of Frannie's desire. I found Frannie to be a bit exhausting. You might know her - she's the one who has to slice, dice and dissect every last situation and detail, wringing nuance from inflections, tones and glances and discussing them over and over again. I enjoyed Frannie's introspective look at finding her real self, but found myself growing tired of the repetition. I wish there had been more focus on Emma and her situation.

Those looking for a traditional chick lit book won't find it here. But, those looking for a contemporary women's fiction read that explores the green grass on the other side of fence will.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected 15 Nov 2012
By Regina Niesen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Goodreads Description- What really goes on behind those perfect white picket fences?

In Frances's mind, beautiful, successful, ecstatically married Emma Dunham is the height of female perfection. Frances, recently dumped with spectacular drama by her boyfriend, aspires to be just like Emma. So do her close friends and fellow teachers, Lisa and Jill. But Lisa's too career-focused to find time for a family. And Jill's recent unexpected pregnancy could have devastating consequences for her less-than-perfect marriage.

Yet sometimes the golden dream you fervently wish for turns out to be not at all what it seems--like Emma's enviable suburban postcard life, which is about to be brutally cut short by a perfect husband turned killer. And in the shocking aftermath, three devastated friends are going to have to come to terms with their own secrets . . . and somehow learn to move forward after their dream is exposed as a lie.

From the cover, I was expecting a 'chick lit' type of read, but the opening prologue is a 911 call detailing a shooting at the Markham School. We then meet Frannie in the opening chapter. She's a teacher at the Markham School. She's also just come through a nasty breakup with her boyfriend, also a teacher at the school. We're introduced to Jill and Lisa, Frannie's sidekicks. Palmer provides lots of light hearted banter and situations to open the novel. But underneath it all is Frannie's desire to be what's she's not, to have what she doesn't. Just like Emma, the new director of the school, who seems to have it all. Frannie laments..."I'm not the girl men choose."But it turns out that Emma's life is not all that perfect. I enjoyed the interaction between the main characters (although I thought Lisa became a 'bestie' awfully quick). Funnily enough, the character I enjoyed the most was Sam - the object of Frannie's desire. He was the only character who was truly himself throughout the book. I found Frannie to be a bit exhausting. She is constantly breaking things down and over analyzing everything in her life down to the last micro detail. I just plain got exhausted of her whining and I think the Palmer could have done a better job portraying the theme of finding out your true self than how she did it using Frannie.

Palmer explores lots of areas in More Like Her - bullying, domestic abuse, marriage and self searching. As Frannie puts it - the search for the Real Me. This is a very sad novel. When I think of chick-lit, I think light and fun, but if you are looking for that in this novel, you should probably look elsewhere. This book definitely falls into a more contemporary fiction genre. Readers looking for an analysis of how to find your true self and thinking about the secret selves we all have will definitely like More Like Her. I am giving it 3 stars because I was expecting the novel to be a chick-lit and felt cheated by the advertising and marketing. Even the description is very off on what the book is actually about. At times the writing doesn't flow very well and there were so many things left unexplained that I was confused as to what was happening at the time. 3 stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pedestrian at best. 2 Feb 2013
By amybelle20 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I chose this book for my book club based on the decent reviews and it being mentioned on several blogs as a suggested read for book clubs. 4 out of 4 women thought it missed the mark considerably. It's too bad really, because there was a good story to be told there, but the story & characters lacked depth and development of any significant kind. The book was terribly predictable, and the ending was disjointed and abrupt. The nicest thing we could say about it was that it was "just okay". Really wish I hadn't wasted the Kindle book price for this. If you want to give More Like Her a shot, do it with a library check out, this disappointment will be less painful that way.
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