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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2013 Allie Larkin (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Allie Larkin’s latest explores an intriguing question: What if you could shed your own life, and step into someone else’s? Why Can’t I Be You is a thoughtful and compulsively readable examination of identity, friendship, and trust - and what happens when all three spectacularly collide." (Sarah Pekkanen, author of These Girls)
"Brilliant... It’s not until we’ve let go of who we think we should be that we can discover who we actually are." (Amy Hatvany, author of Outside the Lines)

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mon
  • San Francisco, Ca
  • 11-22-14

Fun story about Mistaken Identity

What did you love best about Why Can't I Be You?

I enjoyed the entire book, from start to finish. It's a story about having the chance to be someone else, step into someone else's shoes and be that someone you've always wanted to be. This book is clever, sweet and playful. When protagonist Jenny Shaw innocently (at first) takes on the identify of cool, bad-ass popular girl Jessie she only plans to be her for a moment. It was after all, a case of mistaken identity and she couldn't bring herself to initially make the correction. And once her "friend" from high school showed her elation and surprise at seeing Jessie after so many years, Jenny was point blank seduced by the attention. At this point, Jenny NEEDED a friend, and she needed to feel part of shared past. From here, the story snowballs and Jenny slowly morphs into Jessie. <br/><br/>I didn't know how Allie Larkin was going to tie the two identities together because as Jessie, Jenny had friends, was free to speak her mind and was wanted. The temptation to be Jessie was just too strong a pull and Jenny didn't come out as Jenny until she was in the thick of it. I didn't think Allie Larkin could wrap this story up but she did. The finale was pulled together nicely. This is an enjoyable listen and I'm glad I listened to it.

Which character – as performed by Julia Whelan – was your favorite?

I love Julia Whelan. With her voice, she makes every book better.

Any additional comments?

It's worth the time and credit. I hope to see more Allie Larkin audiobooks in the future. She's a fav!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love It

very entertaining story and enjoyed the author ... the narrator was awesome as well making the story even more enjoyable!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it!

Loved the book and the dialog! Such a great author, hope for more books one day from her!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Story

This book was an easy listen between books which require using lots of mental energy. Easy to follow. Interesting plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Juvenile at best.

This story is suited to, perhaps, middle school girls. The main and supporting characters had the maturity and emotional levels of young teens, not the 20-something professionals they purported to be. I found it very annoying.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Silly

Chick lit regarding mistaken identity. I usually read thrillers and wanted something lighter as a break. But the charade of our heroine successfully passing as someone else not only wears thin but strains credibility. Also, there just wasn't enough at stake to keep me interested.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Forgotten

I bought this book again because the synopsis sounded intriguing. But I got a few chapters in when I realized I had already read this book! It is such a boring plot that I had completely forgotten I already read it.
Shucks. However the narrator does a great job :)

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  • Gail
  • BROOKLINE, Morocco
  • 11-08-16

Sweet, poignant, clever and beautifully narrated!

What did you love best about Why Can't I Be You?

The book has a very witty concept and the characters are incredibly loveable. Our heroine is a well-rounded woman, too! Easy to be on her side, but she's not perfect.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Can't I Be You?

#nospoilers but probably when Jenny decides to stay and try on Jessie...

What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She is incredible story teller, giving the appropriate amount of nuance to her lead character and filling out the rest of the cast brilliantly (and believably)! One of my favorite narrators!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The exchange with Robbie about having kids and carrying the burdens of their parents.... very touching and well-read.

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend anything written by Allie Larkin or read by Julia Whelan. The two made an exquisite pair!

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Work Through It

Any additional comments?

Decent, fluff read. Sometimes, it would be nice to slip into someone else's life. This book offers the reader to take the journey with the protagonist. It started off as a look-a-like mistake, then proceeded to get more awkward as she assumed this life. As the reader, I think the book was drawn out way more than it needed to be. It was hard for me to let the character go on in this lie. But it was worthy the read and I was thankful for everything I had.

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I love Allie Larking

Allie Larkin has a way of pulling you into the lives of her characters and having their feelings become your feelings. My life has little to nothing in common with the characters in the book, but I soon felt like I knew Jenny’s heart and her crazy impulse to “become” Jessie seemed completely plausible. I too wanted to be embraced by Jenny's new circle of friends and agonized with her over the dread of being discovered. I couldn’t imagine how Ms. Larkin was going to resolve this mess and couldn’t wait to find out. I would have liked just a tiny bit more at the very end – maybe even one more sentence. But then, the book could have gone on for hours longer and it still wouldn't have been long enough for me. The 8-hour listen flew by too soon.

Since listening to “Stay”, Ms. Larkin’s first book, I’ve been anxiously watching and hoping for a second book. "Stay" affected me on such an emotional level that I was actually a little apprehensive to start this book, for fear it would not live up to the first one. “Why Can’t I Be You” did not let me down - except that now I'll be watching and waiting for a third book!

Julia Whelan did a great job with the reading. I never had any trouble distinguishing the various characters and the voices she gave them fit the tone of the story. Between the story and the narrator, this book was a pleasure to listen to and well worth a credit!