Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Review - Fake Like Me

Title:   Fake Like Me
Author:  Barbara Bourland
Genre:   Women's Fiction
Publisher:   Grand Central Publishing
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  368
Date of Publication:   June 18, 2019
My Rating:  3 Stars

At once a twisted psychological portrait of a woman crumbling under unimaginable pressure and a razor-sharp satire of the contemporary art scene, FAKE LIKE ME is a dark, glamorous, and addictive story of good intentions gone awry, from the critically acclaimed author of I'll Eat When I'm Dead. 

What really happened to Carey Logan?

After a fire decimates her studio, including the seven billboard-size paintings for her next show, a young, no-name painter is left with an impossible task: recreate her art in three months-or ruin her fledgling career. 

Homeless and desperate, she flees to an exclusive retreat in upstate New York famous for its outrageous revelries and glamorous artists. And notorious as the place where brilliant young artist Carey Logan-one of her idols-drowned in the lake. 

But when she arrives, the retreat is a ghost of its former self. No one shares their work. No parties light up the deck. No one speaks of Carey, though her death haunts the cabins and the black lake, lurking beneath the surface like a shipwreck. As the young painter works obsessively in Carey's former studio, uncovers strange secrets and starts to fall--hard and fast--for Carey's mysterious boyfriend, it's as if she's taking her place. 

But one thought shadows her every move: What really happened to Carey Logan?


While worried that she’ll never paint again, an unnamed narrator has a breakthrough. She begins to come out of her shell. She was rather successful, and even begins to travel with her work. She becomes extreme interested in learning about another artist, Carey Logan. She learns that Carey has a very similar style. As a matter of fact, the closer she looks at Carey’s work, she noticed that Carey used a model of hers in a recent sculpture.

Our unnamed artist is quite determined to see who Carey is and what she is all about, so she is shocked to discover that Carey has just committed suicide. So the narrator does all she can to learn who Carey actually was. However, she suffers a tragedy. Her apartment goes up in flames, and all of her paintings have been destroyed.

Now homeless and without any money, she must recreate her art, or her career will be ruined! Hopefully, she will be up to the task. While in the process of working hard, she jumps into the mystery as to who Carey was and what really happened as to how she lost her life.

As I truly have no interest in art, this story did not do a lot for me. What kept me interested was the rush of getting the commissioned work done, as well as the personal relationships that grew during the course of this story.

Many thanks to Grand Central Publishing and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Barbara Bourland is the author of I’ll Eat When I’m Dead, a Refinery29 Best Book of 2017. People called I’ll Eat When I’m Dead “delectable.” Annie Bostrom of Booklist wrote “Bourland fills her debut with terrific characters—Cat especially is wonderfully weird and well dimensioned—and a heaping helping of froth and gloss that will turn readers into industry insiders. Delightfully, playfully skewer[s] the fashion and beauty industries.” Wednesday Martin, bestselling author of Primates of Park Avenue and Untrue, called it “a deft, smart, and hilarious debut.” Kirkus noted that “death by beauty was never so much fun,” and the book was featured in Fortune, Us Weekly, and The New York Post, among others. It was published in North America by Grand Central Publishing, and in Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa by riverrun. I’ll Eat When I’m Dead is now available in paperback, and is forthcoming in Hebrew from Matar Press in Israel.

Bourland is a former freelance writer and web producer for titles at Condé Nast and Hearst, among others. She lives in Baltimore with her husband and their dogs. 

Her second novel, Fake Like Me, is forthcoming in hardback, audiobook and ebook in June 2019 from Grand Central Publishing in North America and from riverrun abroad. Fake Like Me was written with support from The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY.

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