Today, I’m delving into We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza. Thank you so much to HQ for including me in the blog tour and sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Not every story is black and white.
Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.
This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.
But can anyone win a fight like this?
We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.
TW: shooting, police violence, racism, death, sexual assault, CSA
We Are Not Them is the type of book that just takes your heart in one hand and holds it close. It’s a vital and vividly emotional read that delves into police brutality, racism and complicity in a way that challenges you and provokes some much needed discussions.
Both characters have such strong and emotional connective voices. I found myself absolutely entranced by their words and feel like the dual nature of the writing paid off spectacularly. You could feel the heart and soul being poured into this book and that materialised in these three-dimensional, nuanced and all too human characters. However, I did fall in love slightly more with Riley, who I found to be fundamentally amazing.
This book really delves into racism in its many forms, from overt bigotry to more subtle micro aggressions. I liked how both authors dug into the inherent corruptness of the system, both within the police and with wider society. There’s a blanant stance against complicity and silence allowing the cycle to continue that is awe-inspiring to see. I loved how this book really delves into the nuances and grey areas in this discussion, showing you complexity but also laying the stark truth of the situation bare.
Without giving anything away, I adored the epilogue. It just felt perfect with that graceful note of not quite hope, but something akin to it. You know all too well that the damage will never be undone but there is a possibility of change through actions and belief. It leaves a ray of light amidst the darkness and seemingly never ending cycle.
We Are Not Like Them is one of those books you just want to throw at everyone due to its thought-provoking, intersectional and nuanced discussion of incredibly relevant topics in a way that invites open conversation and a call for meaningful action.
Thank you again to HQ for organising this tour and providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. You can check out the other amazing stops on this tour below.