Book Review: “Not Like Everyone Else” by Jennifer Leigh

“Not Like Everyone Else”
Jennifer Leigh

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository


Young Adult
Book Blogger Author
Mild Violence

(From Goodreads)

Ryan can’t seem to get her memories in order. When she breaks it off with her long-term boyfriend, Corey, she can’t help but feel free. But mysterious events keep Ryan asking “just what happened?” After her family moved to Ryton, after Carter goes missing, after Jacob is in the hospital. All of these afters, but Ryan can’t remember the befores. With Harper and Elliot by her side, Ryan can only hope that she does not forget… again. Will Ryan be able to recover her memory to figure out what happened when it all went dark?

I love the fact that this review is for a fellow book blogger’s book! I also love that it is for someone that is as nice as Jennifer is. It would be hard to review a book, if the author was a fellow book blogger and was a bit of a pain in the you know what. Jennifer is anything but that though, so it is easy to want to review her book. I want it to be understood that I purchased this book, this is not a review in exchange for a free copy of her book. I only state this because I don’t want anyone thinking that is what this particular post is. This is just me reviewing a book I purchased. I did this to support her, but also because it felt like it would be easier to be honest and more fair with my review, as again she is a fellow book blogger.

I do not comment usually on my Goodreads’ ratings for a book, but I want to let it be known that I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on that site. The primary reason is similar to what others have said on there, which is that there are some issues with the depth to characters. There seems a lack of development for some of them. It should be known that I was able to push through the book even with this. The main reason I could push through was that the plot is on-point. This is a suspense/thriller type of book. I measure a successful mystery/thriller/suspense type by the fact that it is able to get me to want to keep reading to see who the “big bad” of the story is. I wanted to know who the killer was, which is so important! 

A lot of other people that have reviewed the book called into question the relationship between the main character and her friend, Harper. I personally did not have issues with this particular friendship. Yes, it was a forced friendship. It was supposed to feel like one. Leigh throughout tells us that they were not friends in high school. She tells us that there was a bit of animosity there. In real life, there are friendships that are formed on a lot less than what caused these two to become friends. There are lonely people in the world that do not have friends. I feel this is why Harper and Ryan became friends. No one else would be their friend, so they found each other. This means that they had to be able to figure out how their friendship was going to work, since they did have previous history together. Not everyone can be instantly friends without issues. Not all friendship happen organically either, so I actually rather liked this friendship personally and found myself enjoying when Harper was on the page. 

The character I did not enjoy on the page was Elliot. I hate saying that since it was the romantic part of the story, but unlike what I mention about Harper I did feel that this relationship was forced. It felt that suddenly Elliot was in Ryan’s life without much thought into the process by Leigh. There are ways to sprinkle in characters throughout a story. For example, Ryan could have worked at the restaurant sooner and had a few instances of bumping into him. This would have felt more natural than throwing a chapter that said this was occurring.

This brings me to my overall issue with this book, remember I did enjoy this book. The issue I had was that old term that writers get told all the time, “show don’t tell.” Here Leigh needed to show more than telling us things. For example, Harper is supposed to be a gossip, but we never really see that in her personality. Another example, the relationship with Elliot could have been shown and not just thrust on the reader. For someone still learning the craft of writing though, I have to say Jennifer did a phenomenal job. Her plot was on point. I like mysteries, so I had somewhat gathered who the “big bad” was going to be. I was not expecting some other details of it all though, such as the sidekick character (I won’t say who’s sidekick for sake of not spoiling anything). I will say that some sympathy was created for the killer when revelations start to occur, but it is minor. To be able to create any sympathy at all though for the villain takes a lot of work, so major applause to Leigh for being able to do this successfully. 

I would definitely say that this is worth the time reading it. I enjoyed reading it, but I definitely noticed flaws within it. The beauty of books are that not every single read of your life needs to be a five star book. I enjoy having a mixture of books, that I rate a wide variety of stars. Life would become overwhelming if every book I ever read was a five star book. Books should be flawed sometimes. It makes you want that next book from an author that you enjoyed, but wasn’t perfect to see if they have progressed. I think as Leigh becomes more comfortable writing and starts fleshing out her characters a more deeper her work will take on great depths. I look forward to seeing other works by this fellow book blogger because if this is any indication I will definitely be up for reading more. 

I previously was part of Jennifer Leigh’s book blog tour. You can find my post here. You can also find out more from her on her Goodreads page, which is here.

2 Replies to “Book Review: “Not Like Everyone Else” by Jennifer Leigh”

    • Cassie Post author

      You are welcome! I will always support you and your work. I believe you have the ability to make them not flawless, but to make them deeper and with more showing than you did in this one. You have the ability and I look forward to your progression. I think you are going to do amazing things with your writing.


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