We Are Not Like Them, a review by Amy

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We Are Not Like Them
Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

336 pages
Atria Books

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… β€œNah. I hear enough of this in the news.” Or to think, β€œMy 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.

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