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Friday, April 12, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: I'm Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán

I'm Fine and Neither Are You

Hardcover, 270 pages
Published April 1st 2019 by Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads synopsis:
Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller.

Honesty is the best policy…except maybe when it comes to marriage in this brilliant novel about the high price of perfection from bestselling author Camille Pagán.

Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?


4 Stars

This is a bit of a departure from the type of books I normally read. There was surprisingly a dead body but no murder or mystery. This was instead a snapshot into the lives of Penny and her husband, Sanjay. Told in first person, this could have been anyone’s story and I  think that is why it will appeal to many readers.

I resonated with so many aspects of Penny’s life; although, I am not married nor have any children. The death of a best friend could knock anyone off  the precarious balance of their fragile life. This book shows  the impact of such a life challenge.  I particularly liked when Sanjay told Penny she needed to stop making it seem like life was perfect. She wouldn’t  tell  anyone how hard or challenging things were since she didn’t believe that would matter or seem relevant to others. She wasn’t being honest with others because she didn’t want to rock the boat. That fact alone caused people to take advantage of  her kindness. This made her life miserable even though she never realized it.

This book shows how the death of her best friend ended up saving her life. Was she going to die any time soon. Nope. But her life, and her family, was in jeopardy of imploding. Like they said,  ‘if momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.’

I enjoyed the  journey of how they pulled themselves out of the mire of their challenges. Great flow, engaging characters you can relate to. It is a life revealed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

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