Why Can't I Be You

Why Can't I Be You

3.81 (2,351 ratings by Goodreads)
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At one time or another, everyone has wished they 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 297 pages
  • 137 x 203 x 17mm | 222g
  • English
  • 0452298377
  • 9780452298378
  • 696,399

Review quote

Praise for Why Can't I Be You "A charming, heart-felt story of love, laughter, and borrowed identity, Why Can't I Be You explores the brilliant notion that it's not until we've let go of who we think we should be that we can discover who we actually are."--Amy Hatvany, USA Today bestselling author of Outside the Lines "An engaging and smart novel with rich characters."--SheKnows.com Red Hot Book of the Week "A fun and quirky read for anyone who always wondered what it would be like to live life in someone else's shoes. Readers will likely identify with the main character, and will definitely enjoy the crazy ride along the way thanks to Larkin's breezy and light writing style."--RT Book Reviews "The wonderful dialogue and character development make it easy to get swept up and wonder not who would I rather be, but what am I holding back?"--The Gazette "An unexpected and completely fresh take on the familiar theme of mistaken identity.... She's a master at creating complex characters who feel like old friends and crafting situations that you'd swear really happened. In other words? I adored this book! Put Allie Larkin on your Authors to Watch List because she's at the top her game."--Jen Lancaster, bestselling author of Jeneration X "Allie Larkin's latest explores an intriguing question: What if you could shed your own life, and step into someone else's? Why Can't I Be You is a thoughtful and compulsively readable examination of identity, friendship and trust--and what happens when all three spectacularly collide."--Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of These Girls
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About Allie Larkin

Allie Larkin is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Swimming for Sunlight, Stay, and Why Can't I Be You. Her short fiction has been published in the Summerset Review and Slice, and nonfiction in the anthologies, I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship and Author in Progress. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, with her husband, Jeremy, and their fearful, faithful German Shepherd, Stella.
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Rating details

2,351 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 25% (586)
4 42% (979)
3 25% (585)
2 7% (157)
1 2% (44)

Our customer reviews

What an incredibly unique premise.It's been such a long time since I read a "chick-lit" book, and reading Why Can't I be You felt like a bit like coming home after a long day. It was a light, comforting read, but packed enough impact to keep you turning the pages, and have you thinking about the content after you've turned the last one. Jenny Shaw is far from outstanding, at least that's how she thinks of herself. Growing up, Jenny was the only child of a dysfunctional family, an outcast in elementary and high-school, and now, newly dumped by the man she convinced herself she was going to spend forever with. While away for a work conference in Seattle, Jenny is mistaken for Jessie Morgan in an elevator, by one of Jessie's best friends from childhood, Myra Aberly. The lodge Jenny is staying at turns out to be the venue for Myra and Jessie's thirteenth high-school reunion. Instead of immediately correcting Myra on her mistake, Jenny, on a whim, and running on lonely feelings, embraces her new identity, and steps directly into the shoes of someone who seems to have everything Jenny never had. At this point, Why Can't I Be You starts picking up speed, and the events that follow are fun and nerve-wracking, in the sense that I kept waiting for someone, ANY one to realize the truth about Jenny. We're introduced to characters that I started feeling close to in such a short time. At almost the exact same time Jenny thought it, I found myself thinking "I would have loved to have friends like that growing up." They were friends that you find and hold onto with all that you have. Friends that would be there, even if your own family wasn't. I think that's what made me relate so much to Jenny's character, and what made the situation less unrealistic. While I kept wondering how likely it was that anyone could make it so far pretending to be someone else-no matter HOW much she looked like Jessie-I wanted Jenny to keep the happiness she found with Myra, Robbie, Fish and Heather. Allie Larkin created a ridiculous situation, but with some of the most real characters, emotions and moments I have ever read. There were also moments of darkness in the story line that helped to cast out any judgmental thoughts of Jenny I had-moments that shed light onto her unstable mind state, and the motives behind her decision to carry on the charade. Larkin's writing flowed effortlessly, and didn't snag on any unnecessary bits. I really enjoyed the dialogue between the characters, and felt like the romance aspect was sweet and believable. I already bought, and am excited to read Allie's debut novel, Stay. Recommended for: readers and fans of chick-lit, romance and contemporary.show more
by Reeka
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