Thursday, September 12, 2013


You Knew Me WhenGenre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: 9/3/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 352
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 3.5 stars

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?

After several years away, I've been in a notion to read more Women's Fiction lately. As much as I love a good romance, and you know I do, sometimes I want a story that focuses on the story of a woman searching, stumbling, finding. A story that may include a man at some point, but doesn't truly focus on winning him, but winning back something that's been missing.

In You Knew Me When, we not only get the story of one woman searching, but two. Laney and Kitty were the best of friends for many years, closer than sisters. We quickly learn that the two are estranged, but it's not clear why. The demeanor of the two, the amount of uncomfortable tension lets you know that whatever happened was brutal and even twelve years later, neither is over it. I could relate to the characters and their situation, way too well.

You Knew Me When is told in both the present and the past, with the flashbacks beginning when Kitty and Laney met and ending when they lost their friendship. I really enjoyed the flashbacks, maybe because these two are about the same age as me, so I loved the pop culture references to music, television, clothes, and yes, "The Rachel".  [Sidenote, for those of you who know, or even wore The Rachel, like me, I love you. For those who don't, google it.] I also think I enjoyed the past narrative more because it was in first person, which helped me connect to the characters better.

The present narrative was in third person, which doesn't bother me if I can still feel the connection to the characters. In this though, I almost felt as if I was being "told" what was happening and how the characters felt, versus just being able to experience it.

As I mentioned earlier, whatever tore Laney and Kitty apart seemed to have been fairly devastating, so of course I spent the entire book waiting, and feeling the tension build. When I finally got there, though, I wasn't blown away. Don't get me wrong, it was a worthy reason, but I feel as if the delivery was rushed a bit. We spent the whole story building, and then....

I liked You Knew Me When, and I did feel an affinity to the characters. I love when an author doesn't make one person the "bad guy", but relies on life or circumstance getting in the way. I know this will be a story in which many women will see pieces of themselves and pasts.

Purchase You Knew Me When

About the author
Emily Liebert is an award-winning author and TV personality. Her first book, Facebook Fairytales, is available across the globe.

Liebert's debut novel, You Knew Me When, and a second novel to follow will publish in Fall 2013 and Fall 2014 with Penguin Group USA!

Liebert has been featured by: NBC's Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Anderson, FOX News, Oprah Radio, Martha Stewart Radio, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Woman's Day, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, and Celebrity Parents Magazine, among many others. She has also served as a spokesperson for Microsoft, appearing on TV and radio stations nationwide.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook



  1. I had "The Rachel" at one point! Even though it was years after it was "cool" I'm vintage like that haha. This sounds like a good read, but I hate when you can't fully connect to the characters. Great review!

  2. Oh, I KNOW you love your romance, girl! ;) The premise sounds good and I wonder why they're so estranged. Too bad you felt like you were told rather than being shown how their life was affected by all of this in the present. LOL at The Rachel. Loved Jennifer's character on Friends. One of my favorite shows ever!!! I'm sorry you weren't blown away by the revelation though. I think this one has good potential and basically the reading experience depends on how well you connect with the characters and the story. Too bad it wasn't exactly IT for you, but I'm happy you were able to enjoy this pretty nevertheless.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Andrea. I'm a big fan of women's lit but haven't read much lately. You Knew Me When sounds like something I'd really enjoy. I'm glad that you liked it despite the narrative switch and the letdown over what caused their split. (I hate it when I'm waiting for something big and the reveal fizzles) Great review, as always. :)

  4. I loved Friends and have the whole series on DVD! LOL I couldn't have worn "The Rachel" though because I have curly hair :) I love stories about friendship, and love when I can relate but like you I need to be "shown" rather than told. Great Review!!!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  5. This sounds like a really great story. OMG I always wanted to have "The Rachel", but unfortunately I have curly frizzy hair. (Though, I now know I could have gotten the cut and straightened it.) I don't read a lot of books like this, but once in a while I am in the mood for one. This would be a good choice.

  6. I love books that feature best friends. I'm intrigued by why they broke off their relationship. It's a shame that you weren't blown away by the reason though, Andrea. That happens to me often too. I expect something outraging, only to have the misunderstanding be not what I expected.
    I don't read Women's fiction, but I like the sound of this.
    Lovely review! :)

  7. I don't think I've ever liked chick lit. Maybe it's the drama issue between girls. I am a moody reader though and I'm glad you are in the mood for this. I can relate to that. I'm only in the mood for NA lately. Great review.

  8. Sounds like a country song lol, great review

  9. Really good review. I like the cover and description. And the story sounds interesting enough. Might give it a try.

  10. Sounds like an interesting story, but sounds like it fell a bit flat at the end. I do like Women's Fiction every now and then too. Thanks for the review. I haven't heard of this one.

  11. Nice review. I enjoy Women's Fiction occasionally to.


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