Review: We Are Not Like Them

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was heartbreaking. It’s a wonderful concept for a novel, written by two friends, one white and one black. It’s told from the perspective of Riley and Jen, two lifelong friends whose lives have drifted in different directions. Riley is an ambitious black journalist in Philadelphia, and Jen is a white woman pregnant with her first child, her husband a Philly beat cop. Jen’s husband fatally shoots an unarmed black teen boy when he misunderstands a situation, leading to, of course, outrage.

As the story progresses, Jen and Riley have to learn how to be friends with one another in a world that increasingly puts them at odds. What will their relationship mean if Jen’s husband is charged? If Jen denies any wrongdoing on her husband’s part? If the two women can’t find a way to see eye-to-eye?

This is a book about race, friendship, and the ties that bind, one of my favorite topics in novels. At times the characters felt a little flatter than I thought they could, and so I give We Are Not Like Them four stars out of five.

Dates read: December 22-24, 2021

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