Release Date: April 14, 2005
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
Source: Library Loan
Genre: AA Fiction, General Fiction
Review Date: April 23, 2012
Rating: 3 bookmarks
I read a previous book by these two ladies several years back, called “Tryin To Sleep In The Bed You Made”. Even though that book had tons of great reviews, I personally didn’t care for it. So, when “Better Than I Know Myself” was picked for one of my book club reads, I wasn’t pleased. I really put off reading it until the last minute because I already had it in my brain that I wouldn’t like it. In short, my assumption wasn’t completely inline regarding this particular book. This did have a similar theme to their previous book in that it’s about friends that are opposites whom bond and come together. The similarity ends there, this time it was actually interesting. In this book it’s three ladies, instead of two. This story is dynamic with evolving characters. There was no main protagonist, I’d say it was split evenly amongst the three women this story revolves around. Jewel, Carmen and Regina, all from vastly different walks of live.
Jewel, the young child star turned adult soap star. Carmen, the girl from the ghetto who worked beyond hard to bring herself a better life. Regina a suburban girl from a strong family whom doesn’t feel wanted and has a hard time finding her place. They all have different but equality difficult issues both emotionally and physically to overcome and rise above. For a while it looks pretty bleak for a few of the ladies, but they pull through. Eventually, when we finally get to have a sense of all is well and everyone is on the right track suddenly a tragedy occurs and one of them unexpectedly dies. I won’t say who, because I don’t want to ruin it, but all I thought was “Wow, go figure.”. You really did get to know these ladies in the book and I felt sad for them.
I came across a character I was certain I’ve read about in another book. Not sure what book it was though. I’ve been racking my brain about it since Saturday. Jewel’s fiancé, Dwight has a father who is a property mogul, who goes by King. He has such a nasty personality, it’s hard to forget. I recognized him from another book I read a while back. I think I even recognized Dwight's aunt too from that same book. Now if only I can remember the book! I’ll probably be thinking about this forever until I remember.
This book was written in third person, which I haven’t read a lot of books recently with stories told in this manner. It seems that a lot of books seem to be written in first person. It was fun to be able to see the story from all angles and get the internal thoughts and feelings from each of the ladies.
I’d say the pace of the book was slow until about the half way mark, about almost 200 pages in. For me, that’s a bit much, but I did get satisfaction from the ending, which I guess would make it a good payoff. What I liked about the ending was that it was realistic. Sometimes a realistic ending is so much more satisfying than a happy go lucky one.
In the end, even though the initial pace was slow, it was a good book. This book was the perfect example of what lifelong friendship really means. Even though I liked it, would I read another book by these two authors? Probably not, unless it was another book club pick.