Update: the winner of of this giveaway is Annee. She has been notified via email. Thanks to everyone who entered. Please check back soon for more great book reviews and giveaways!
At my very first book event for STAY, my friend Katherine, who I’ve known since nursery school, made a poster of my book cover and had our friends sign it. She framed it, sent it to Rochester, and colluded with the bookstore staff to have it presented to me with a note that read, “From your oldest friends.”
A few months into my book tour schedule, I did an event near our hometown, and my oldest friends came out in force. After the reading we crowded around a table at a nearby restaurant, dragging up ancient inside jokes and laughing until our faces hurt. I was overwhelmed by the depth of our shared history, and the comfort of such longstanding familiarity.
Growing up, we had our tiffs and hurt feelings, of course, but we were kind and careful with each other when it mattered most. They are the stars of my favorite childhood memories.
I spent a lot of time while writing WHY CAN’T I BE YOU in Jenny Shaw’s shoes, thinking about who I would have been without my oldest friends, and what might compel Jenny to pretend to be Jessie Morgan when given the chance.
While none of the characters in WHY CAN’T I BE YOU are based on real people, the warmth and heart of Jessie Morgan’s group of friends is inspired by the way it feels to have friends who saved me and challenged me and gave my teenage-self a world to fit in and people to belong to when nothing else felt right. So this book is a love letter to the people who knew me when and love me anyway, the ones I’ve known forever and hold so dear in my heart: my oldest friends. I am lucky to have grown up with them, and to know them still.
We’ve got a copy of WHY CAN’T I BE YOU up for grabs today. Just leave a comment on this post and you’ll be entered in our drawing!
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.
About Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon is the co-founder of She Reads, novelist, blogger, storyteller, and life-long reader. She lives in Texas with her husband and four young sons (aka The Wild Rumpus). Ariel believes that Story is the shortest distance to the human heart.