Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Review: You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert (ARC)

You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert
Publisher: NAL Trade (Penguin)
Release Date: September 3rd, 2013

Best friends forever… until life got in the way. Katherine Hill left her small New England hometown in pursuit of a dream. Now, twelve years later, she’s a high-powered cosmetics executive in Manhattan and a much glossier version of her former self, unrecognizable to her family and old friends. Not that she would know—she hasn’t been home in over a decade.

Laney Marten always swore she’d never get "stuck” in Manchester, Vermont. No, she was destined to live out her glamorous big-city dreams. Instead, she wound up a young wife and mother. That was when her best friend ran out.

When Katherine receives word of an inheritance from former neighbor Luella Hancock, she reluctantly returns home to the people and places she left behind. Hoping for a second chance, she’s met by an unforgiving Laney, her former best friend. And there’s someone else who’s moved on without her—someone she once loved.

Tethered to their shared inheritance of Luella’s sprawling Victorian mansion, Katherine and Laney are forced to address their long-standing grudges. Through this, they come to understand that while life has taken them in different directions, ultimately the bonds of friendship and sisterhood still bind them together. But are some wounds too old and deep to mend?

Note: I received this as a Goodreads First-reads winner and have not been paid to write a review for the book.

I'm going to start off by saying that this isn't normally my type of book. I don't even completely know why I entered the giveaway other than the fact that it's a book about friendship. BUT now, I really love this book. 

The premise of the novel is actually pretty interesting, and although I don't normally like books that switch perspectives much less time frames, it's extremely well done in the book. The switching of POVs allows you to look at each situation from both sides, and it makes you ache for Katherine and Laney's (lost) friendship even more. The changing time frames was well done because it not only added to the story, but as the period changed, so did the POV, not in terms of the characters but rather from first to third person. It made the transitions smooth, and you always know whether you're in the past or the present. It worked favorably because the past moved in the opposite of the present so that only by the end of the novel do you know the entire story of what split the girls up, and it has a much more powerful impact. 

This book really made me think about the friends that I have and how friendships work. We always wonder whether or not we'll stay friends with the people we're friends with now, and this book makes you possibly rethink that answer. The book may be considered chick-lit, which I usually don't read, but it's fantastic. I'll be honest; I cried during certain parts of this book. I wasn't expecting to, but it's just so real, especially if you've ever lost a childhood friend along the way. (Also, there's a really cute (sort of) couple, and I just want to squeal over them, but that's a different matter.)

My one concern is that while the main and major characters are extremely complex and well thought out, the minor characters (this doesn't include Grant, Laney's husband (whose name I'm blanking out on), or Laney's daughter (whose name I'm also forgetting at the moment)) are much more bland and one-dimensional. Of course, this can be expected, given that they are minor characters, but Emily Liebert does such a great job of crafting the important characters that the others just felt...empty. Also, you could basically piece together what happened between Katherine and Grant in the past, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. ;)

All in all, I'd recommend this book, perhaps not to someone that only reads fantasy, adventure, and action books, but I'd suggest trying it out even if it's not normally your type of book.

You can find You Knew Me When on: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble
You can find Emily Liebert on: Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | her official website.


  1. Sounds like a really cool book! I love it when I read books that I wouldn't usually read...and then I love them. It's really awesome. I got a few ARCs once that I didn't request...and I was worried, but I LOVED them all! Just shows I should read out of my comfort zone more, eh? ;) Great review!

    1. It's great, and the author is SO sweet. Yeah! It's always nice to be completely surprised, and I think it really helps to push you out of your usual comfort zone every once in a while. ;) Thank you!


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