If You Live Like Me

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Before her plane even touches down in Newfoundland, Cheryl is already plotting her escape. She knows life on this isolated rock will be no better than it was in the other places she's been forced to live, ever since her parents launched a cross-Canada tour so her father could gather material for his book. The unwilling spectator of her father's morbid fascination with dying cultures, Cheryl has seen more than her fair share of small towns so depressing they could haunt your dreams. As events bigger than Cheryl ...

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Overview

Before her plane even touches down in Newfoundland, Cheryl is already plotting her escape. She knows life on this isolated rock will be no better than it was in the other places she's been forced to live, ever since her parents launched a cross-Canada tour so her father could gather material for his book. The unwilling spectator of her father's morbid fascination with dying cultures, Cheryl has seen more than her fair share of small towns so depressing they could haunt your dreams. As events bigger than Cheryl swirl around her, will her refusal to let a new life in cut her off from those who love her? If You Live Like Me explores the bonds that form in strange and unexpected ways and shows how letting go can lead to the strongest connections of all.

Lori Weber, a native of Montreal, Quebec, is the author of several acclaimed titles for young adults, including Klepto, Strange Beauty, Tattoo Heaven and Split in the SideStreets series. Weber teaches in the English department at John Abbott College in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
"The reader [is drawn] into the characters and the vivid, rustic setting to which their fates are tied. This sensitive and well-told novel is rich with both place and emotion."
Cooperative Children's Book Center
"The interplay between exterior and interior, as well as inclusion and exclusion, are deftly described by Lori Weber in this memorable novel about people and place."
Montreal Review of Books
"Weber does a fine job of capturing Cheryl's conflicting feelings of rootlessness and fear of connection. Newfoundland itself emerges as an important character."
Resource Links
"This is a story that will appeal to many junior high girls—and they may well learn something about Newfoundland as they read it!"
Canadian Children's Book News
"An absorbing book—full of teen angst, changing times, natural beauty, the heart of an exquisite province, family struggles and closeness, and the choices that lead to love. Lori Weber's biggest accomplishments in this novel are the well-crafted characters and the superb sense of place on every page."
CM Magazine
"Weber's attention to setting details makes for many picturesque descriptions, and her explanations of how natural elements affect people's everyday lives will impress readers...Recommended."
Children's Literature - K. Meghan Robertson
If you live like Cheryl, you and your rheumatism-stricken mother travel regularly to keep up with your father's career. The irony is that while Cheryl's dad is seeking the point of change in cultures that are dying out for his latest book, Cheryl is doing all she can to avoid change, that is, until next-door neighbor Jim steps in and changes her outlook completely. Reluctantly at first, Cheryl follows Jim all around yet another new town for her to call "home." As time passes, they become inseparable, even as a near death experience takes Jim away and the threat of another move takes Cheryl away. With minimal adult language and topics, this look at teen life also provides a glimpse into the life and culture of Newfoundland. Traveling with Cheryl and Jim makes you wish you had the opportunities they are sharing, from forced interactions sprung by her parents to spontaneous hiking that brings them lips to lips, to a whale-spotting trip that Cheryl plans to get back in Jim's favor. Read this romantic, comedy-filled story about finding your place when nothing seems to be going your way. Reviewer: K. Meghan Robertson
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10

It is the summer before 10th grade and Cheryl is moving from a prairie town in Saskatchewan to an even smaller fishing village in Newfoundland, her third move in as many years. Her father is an anthropologist, researching the dying cultures of Canada for his upcoming book. Cheryl has a tough time making friends and adjusting. She yearns to return to her hometown, Montreal, and plans an escape. Along the way, she meets Jim, who shows her the wonders of the island and opens her heart. Her feelings for him are tested when he risks his life to save a girl who slipped on the rocks by the ocean. Cheryl's mother suffers immensely from Newfoundland's moist air due to rheumatism and decides to return to Montreal. Cheryl finally has a way to go home, but does she want to leave Jim, her first love? This book would be an excellent addition to collections of coming-of-age stories. Weber's depiction of Cheryl is true to life, an accurate account of an independent and intelligent teenager struggling with loneliness, acceptance of change, and her own approaching adulthood.-Melissa Houlroyd, Brighton Memorial Library, Rochester, NY

Kirkus Reviews
High schooler and only child Cheryl has made move after move around Canada with her parents as her anthropologist father researches dying cultures. Now they've landed in Newfoundland to document the failing fishing industry. Embittered and withdrawn, Cheryl dresses Goth-like to scare away potential friends and irritate her parents. Her new neighbor, high-school senior Jim, is oblivious to her preemptive rejection. They share a common fate-"if you live like me"-to justify their divergent but similarly outsider lifestyles. When Cheryl reluctantly opens her heart, she finds new strength in herself, her parents and her community. The coastal Canadian setting is vividly realized, and Jim and Cheryl are mostly sympathetic characters. Jim, ever so sensitive and ambitious well beyond his peers, may be a bit too good to ring true. Cheryl, however, though often annoying, whines in proportion to her parents' rather surprising, near-complete lack of understanding of her misery. Still, it's an entertaining story that will engage many female readers with its satisfying depiction of a growing romantic relationship. (Fiction. 11 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781897550120
  • Publisher: Lobster Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 12 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lori Weber's critically acclaimed SideStreets novels include Klepto, an ALA Popular Paperback selection, Splitand Tattoo Heaven. She teaches in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Better than I expected the book to be!

    I had to read this book for an english project and just wanted to get it over with because i am not really a big reader. I was surprised to find out i LOVED the book and finished it in less than a week which is fast for me.
    In a nutshell this book is about a girl named Cheryl who is in her 4th school in the past 4 years because of her dads book on dying cultures which makes it hard for Cheryl to make friends. This year, they are living in Newfoundland to study the dying fishing culture when Cheryl breaks. She needs to go home, back to the steets of Montreal, more than ever, but once she meets Jim, she asks herself if she really does.

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  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An Amazing Read

    Lori Weber's If You Live Like Me is yet another book that's been sitting on my bookshelf for way too long, even though I've heard some great things about it. Thankfully, I finally tried it last week, and I was surprised, perhaps even blown away a bit, as If You Live Like Me is an extraordinary contemporary about a girl living in Newfoundland.

    If You Like Me begins just as Cheryl is arriving in Newfoundland, the place where she is to begin her fourth school in less than four years. To say Cheryl's bitter about this would be a serious understatement. She's furious, and all she wants to do is return back home to Montreal, the last place she truly felt at the home, the place where all her friends are. However, due to her father's book on dying cultures, which never fails to wreck her chance at friendships, Cheryl is set to stay there for a whole year except if she finds a way to escape for the last time. However, what happens when she meets a boy who makes her whole world go around, who understands her, who sees the person she is underneath the sadness and the dark clothes? Will she find herself, or will she be left feeling more lost than ever? Only time and more pages can tell in this suspenseful novel perfect for reluctant readers.

    One of those characters who are hard to like at first, Cheryl was someone it took a while to warm up to. She's nasty towards her well-meaning parents and does not really try to be happy. Though, as more details are reveled about her past and her personality begins to show throughout the chapters, it is easy to see Cheryl is a girl lost, a girl who needs to find her way and forgive the past, which made her more relatable in the long run. However, the character that especially made her shine was Jim, a teen boy a year or two years older than her. Jim is a someone who hasn't always had an easy life but it never gets him down, instead he always tries harder. He constantly brought much needed light to the novel, and truly made it one of a kind.

    The plot in this one was also creative and well executed. The idea of a family moving from country to country to learn about dying cultures was fascinating so I especially enjoyed that subplot in the novel. Furthermore, Cheryl's coming of age, the main focus of the book, was done realistically, and in a way that truly allows this novel to stand out among other coming-of-age tales.

    This was my first experience with Lori Weber's writing, and I have to say, I really enjoyed it and will surely be reading more of her books in the future. She truly did a great job of taking a mundane topic and presenting it in a seemingly new way.

    Well-written and pitch perfect, Lori Weber's If You Live Like Me is new favorite of mine, and I think if you give it a try you'll enjoy it as well- especially if you love contemporary YA as much as I do.

    Grade: A+

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  • Posted October 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Steph for TeensReadToo.com

    Cheryl has moved a lot throughout her life. Due to her father's work on his anthropological book, Cheryl has had to travel with her parents all across Canada as he does research.

    However, there is one aspect of life in St. John that Cheryl might find pleasing...and his name is Jim.

    Jim is Cheryl's new next-door neighbor, and he is as fascinated with Cheryl as she is with him, much to her disdain. She would rather pack up everything and head back to the city, but as she gets to know Jim she starts finding herself becoming attached to this little fishing town and the people in it.

    Lori Weber writes a touching coming-of-age story about a teenage girl who not only struggles to distinguish her home, but also to distinguish who she is. Any girl can relate to Cheryl, knowing the struggles and confusions of teenage life.

    Through her talent to create a realistic narrator, Weber writes a fascinating book that even throws the reader with a few twists and turns.

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