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I Smile Back | [Amy Koppelman]

I Smile Back

Laney Brooks acts out. Married with kids, she takes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she wants, and disappears when she wants. Lurking beneath Laney's composed surface is the impulse to follow in the footsteps of her father, to leave and topple her family's balance in the process.
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Publisher's Summary

This is an Audible IndieFirst selection.

We live in an era that believes in the idea of rehabilitation and counts on the possibility of redemption. The thing is, not everyone gets better and even those who find salvation often leave a wake of destruction behind them.

In the follow-up to her acclaimed debut, A Mouthful of Air, which drew comparisons from critics to The Bell Jar and The Awakening, Amy Koppelman delivers an unrestrained statement on the modern suburban woman.

Laney Brooks acts out. Married with kids, she takes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she wants, and disappears when she wants. Lurking beneath Laney's composed surface is the impulse to follow in the footsteps of her father, to leave and topple her family's balance in the process.

©2008 Amy Koppelman; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This crushing novel by the author of A Mouthful of Air is a shocking portrait of suburban ennui gone horribly awry. Koppelman's prose style is understated and crackling; each sentence is laden with a foreboding sense of menace. Like a crime scene or a flaming car wreck, it becoems impossible not to stare." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.0 (35 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
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2 star
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2.5 (6 )
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3 star
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Story
2.8 (6 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Regina-Audible USA 12-26-13
    Regina-Audible USA 12-26-13 Member Since 2008

    Audible editor and data evangelist. Lover of fiction, classics, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    226
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark and Unapologetic"

    This is not a feel-good story. Laney Brooks is selfish, self-destructive, and twisted. However, the raw honesty of her character kept me (mostly) on her side while providing a dark glimpse into the seedy underbelly of a struggling housewife's facade.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Incline Village, NV, United States 07-07-09
    Lynn Incline Village, NV, United States 07-07-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Harsh tale"

    Annoying main character

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna E. Setauket, NY, United States 01-16-11
    Donna E. Setauket, NY, United States 01-16-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Not as good as her first-but worth a try!"

    After being blown away by "A Mouthful of Air" which was so detailed and moving, and yet not an upper, this doesn't really compare. I think the first book blew this one away and set the bar very high. Definitely a sad subject but the depth of character didn't seem to be quite the same as the first book. Will not give up on author....lots of potential!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Rubio LA, CA United States 05-01-09
    C. Rubio LA, CA United States 05-01-09 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    71
    1
    Overall
    "Great Book"

    To say the very least, this book can be depressing. It's not a happy story, nor a happy ending. But, for anyone who has know someone who is like the main character it is an interesting insight to how their thinking processes work. I was very close to someone like this for many years. I was the person she talked through all her stuff with. Listening to this book brought very sad memories to mind, but also very happy ones. At the very least the book helps you to see things from their prospective even if the actions are inexcusable. I will just say the book hit home.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly North Little Rock, AR, USA 04-21-09
    Holly North Little Rock, AR, USA 04-21-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "not worth your time"

    This book is depressing not because of the story, but because the reader realizes they wasted a credit on drivel and time listening to it they'll never get back.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Barrington, RI, United States 03-20-09
    Lisa Barrington, RI, United States 03-20-09 Member Since 2002

    I LOVE anything audio - books, podcasts, lectures. I listen mostly when moving -driving, dog walking, or before bed to clear the mind.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    251
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Overall
    "Poor"

    Depressed suburban wife & mom story. Alas no lessons, moments of insight or new perspectives to redeem this trudging story.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
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