I'm Fine and Neither Are You

I'm Fine and Neither Are You

by Camille Pagan

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Overview

A Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestseller.

Honesty is the best policy…except maybe when it comes to marriage in this brilliant novel about the high price of perfection from bestselling author Camille Pagán.

Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542042239
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2019
Pages: 270
Sales rank: 25,338
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Camille Pagán is the #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of five novels, including Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film, and Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. A journalist and former magazine editor, Pagán has written for the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Parade; Real Simple; Time; and many other publications and websites. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her family. You can visit her online at www.camillepagan.com.

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I'm Fine and Neither Are You 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Shoeguru 10 days ago
I really enjoyed the humor and overall writing style of this author. When Penny's best friend is found dead, she goes on a quest to find what makes her happy. She has a marriage that is unhappy and a career that takes over all of her time. She is raising children and just has so many irons in the fire. She takes on these issues and is able to find some common ground. This book was intensely relatable and I will be recommending this book to others. Thanks for the ARC, Net Galley.
JenD99 More than 1 year ago
There was something about this book - I think it was the brutal honesty of the writing that made me connect with the main character. A lot of hard topics were covered - complicated family relationships, marriage, work, friendships and a bit about addiction. At the same time, I didn't find it depressing but more uplifting.
gatticus_finch More than 1 year ago
I’m Fine and Neither Are You was love at first read! I devoured this book in under 48 hours and am over the moon with Pagan’s writing and the relatable characters she’s created. I couldn’t believe that the story was based in Ann Arbor and that Penny works for the University of Michigan - oddly enough I’m a fellow Michigander who also works at UM! Perhaps that was what initially hooked me, but ultimately Pagan’s ability to dive deep into the many layers of being a wife, mom, working professional and friend was what kept me turning each page as quickly as possible. As a fellow female workaholic who’s about to embark on marriage and starting a family in the next few years, this book served as a fictional guide towards what to consider and ask myself as I go through these next steps in my life. I thank Pagan for painting a realistic picture of the many pressures women face and also being unafraid to display raw emotions from all character perspectives.
miareese More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Penny feels stuck. She's not particularly in love with her job, her life, or her husband. When her best friend suddenly dies, it's a wakeup call for her. She and her husband agree to each compile a list of things they'd like the other to work on in an effort to save their stale marriage. While the lists jump-start some major transformations, in the end, it's Penny forcing herself to be more honest with herself and those around her that really make the biggest impact. One thing I liked was how social media was mentioned, and the pressure one feels to present a perfect persona; how that can bleed into your "real" life and possibly prevent you from reaching out and admitting you're not doing as well as that facade indicates. This book is a good reminder that, not only is it never too late to make a change in your life, it's something that's vital to your happiness.
2837175 More than 1 year ago
Well-developed characters, timely messaging, and a nice hook to grab the reader This was the first of Camille Pagan's books I have read, and I was intrigued by the hook in the blurb. What happens in a marriage when you agree to do anything your spouse asks of you? The frivolity I was expecting was absent, as the protagonist faces tragedy and the reality that her life is not a happy one, but that did not detract from my experience. In fact, I could relate to the challenges of being a working mom in a world where blogs and social media make everyone's life and homes seem perfect. Camille's characters are flawed and relatable, and I read this book in short order. I walked away from the story with lessons learned and that isn't something always found in fiction. The pacing is great, the writing is solid, and the book is wonderful. I am excited to dive into her other works now.
Laeljeanne More than 1 year ago
Penelope believes her life as a wife and mother inferior to her always perfectly put together friend Jenny, whose daughter is just as seemingly pristine as her mother. She is blindsided by the tragedy of her friend’s life, causing her to re-evaluate her own marriage and motherhood. Pagan brilliantly portrays the chaos that is raising children, with an opening scene of Penelope in the bathroom asking if she will ever have a moment of peace. The disconnect between spouses blares from the pages as they discuss who’s to blame for the lack of toilet paper, and Penelope notes that Sanjay barely looks at her to confirm that her appearance is satisfactory. Her re-evaluation puts them on a bumpy road back to each other and a cohesive family unit. Pagan juxtaposes the consequences of social comparison and lack of connection with an ever-increasing social problem in a credible and empathetic manner. This story is a reminder to pay closer attention to the ones you love. It’s a 5-star lesson in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I’ve read by Camille Pagán. Her writing style really hooked me! I loved the characters and could feel their emotions during their struggles. What a great read! I will definitely be reading more of her books.
lsmoore_43 More than 1 year ago
This was a very thought provoking story. It was very well written and will make you feel like you are in Penny’s shoes at time. It’s a story that needed to be told and was done so in a way that makes you feel the pain of families and friends. The pain the character may have been in keeping such a secret from her best friend. Or maybe it was shame. Shame at feeling weak for someone who others thought was very strong. Penny has been married to Sanjay for almost two decades. They have two beautiful children, a girl Stevie and a boy Miles. They are Penny’s life even though she thinks she may want to leave Sanjay. She confides almost everything to her best friend Jenny. They have been friends since Penny and Sanjay moved there. But to be so close Jenny kept a few secrets from Penny. Sanjay was basically a stay at home dad for most of him and Penny’s marriage. For a long time I didn’t like him very much. I thought he was a bit cold and uncaring and a tad self centered and just not a good husband. He didn’t do much to make things easier on Penny, who worked a full time job with lots of overtime. She had lots of stress to deal with and he was not pulling his weight. After a tragedy hits to close to home, Penny and Sanjay re-evaluate their marriage and decide to be completely honest with each other about what they want from each other. While I personally thing that married couples should always be completely honest with each other I admit that in lots of cases that may not be a reality. I could cause some unnecessary problems in a marriage if they have not been honest from the beginning. That is just my personal opinion though. I believe in honesty from my marriage. This book touches on some subjects that are thought provoking and heartbreaking. One being opioid abuse. That hit me in a hard way. In 2010 I lost a brother who was 11 months older than me to opioid abuse. He went into a coma and never woke back up. It was very hard to deal with. So many questions arise from that and you can’t really get the answers you want. It’s horrible to deal with whether it’s a family member or friend. I’m glad someone wrote a story with this in it and it looks like Ms Pagan did lots of research before writing this wonderful book. It made me laugh in parts and weep in others. It was both sad and heartwarming. It’s a story of honesty, loss, love, marriage, children and lots of hard work to keep yourself going. I think it was an excellent book. Well written. There were several sentences that I thought were worthy of posting here but have decided to not do that. I don’t really want to write the book again or give away anything. Just know it’s a great story and I recommend it highly to everyone that I know. I gave it a 5 star rating for everything about it. It’s a great story. Thank you to Camille Pagan for writing this book from the bottom of my heart. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union for the ARC in exchange for my complete and honest review.
Alfoster More than 1 year ago
"Close female friendships are built one secret at a time." Penelope comes to realize this when tragedy strikes her best friend Jenny and as she uncovers all she didn't know about Jenny and Matt's marriage, she begins to question her own somewhat-stale marriage. She and her husband agree to list major changes they'd like to see in each other as they begin to overhaul their relationship in terms of work, their two children, and intimacy. This was my first exposure to Pagan but it won't be my last. I love novels about female friendships, relationships, and marriages. Life is often messy, but Pagan writes beautifully and often humorously about the intricacies and secrets that tend to invade our lives when we least expect it. And what price for perfection? This is a poignant and relevant look at the struggle to maintain parenthood and stay on an even keel while balancing family life, work, and friendships. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
Aqswr More than 1 year ago
I thought the title and description of this book would lead to something witty and sharply observed. On the contrary, this is a soft-focus take on multiple hardcore issues that beset modern life: opioid overdose, untimely death, maternal abandonment, marital strife, and gender workplace disparities. Quite a set of heavy topics, all of which are handled fairly dispassionately by a series of lists undertaken in a self-help quest by the protagonist and her husband. No finicky therapists or mental health professionals are required. If only real life were this easy; or this tale was a tad more entertaining or compelling. There is a flatness to this story that is unsettling. For all of the ensuing tragedy, the plot is surprisingly dull: bad things happen, time passes and good intentions prevail. I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Towrin Zaman More than 1 year ago
Penelope has got a lot on her plate. She's the primary breadwinner of her family, with her husband mostly working for home as a writer with a sporadic income. She also has to take care of the little needs of her two kids, from making their lunch to taking them to camp. Her husband, although well-meaning, has started to fee like third child to her. She's not happy with her life - not her job and not the present state of her marriage. Her whole life is shaken when her best friend Jennie dies of an overdose of pain pills. She finds out that Jennie and Matt who she found to be the perfect couple actually had a lot of problems. It's a shock to her because she shared all the little details of her life with Jennie, but had no idea about Jennie's problems. That's all it takes for Penny to take things on her hand and bring changes to her marriage before her life can head to the same end as Jennie's. Little does she know that these changes will force her to face her own demons and come to terms with some harsh truths. This was a poignant story about marriage. Penny and Sanjay are two realistic characters. It was quite amazing to see the love between these two and the trust they had in their own love for the other. Penny is the girl who always says "Everything's fine" and doesn't like to share if she's having a hard time. Sanjay is a great guy who got complacent for a while but is loyal and committed to his family. I really liked him. They work well as a couple. This book had a great message that although honesty and honest communication can be a bit rough at the beginning, but it is effective in fixing the problems. A really good read about happiness and honesty, and the thin line between marriage, family and friendship.
PegGlover More than 1 year ago
I’m fine And Neither Are You is a humorous, but poignant tale about friends, secrets, and honesty. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is overwhelmed. Her husband Sanjay is not pulling his weight. Although Sanjay is a stay at home dad and writer, Penelope does the cooking, cleaning, disciplining of the children, as well as working a full-time, high-stress job. She’s tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Penelope’s only life-line was her best friend, Jenny Sweet; a person whom Penelope could share everything with. But when tragedy struck the Sweet family, Penelope realized, that she didn’t know her best friend at all. Having lost Jenny, Penelope approached her husband about improving their relationship. The couple decided to write a short list of things each one, would like the other, to change. They also agreed on complete honesty. What Penelope didn’t count on, however, was Sanjay harboring a stinging, hurtful secret. I’m Fine And Neither Are You is a well-written story. Camille Pagan balances effortlessly, difficult subjects with humor. Although this is not my favorite novel by this author, it is a captivating, insightful, and enjoyable read. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.
mkdmom More than 1 year ago
#tallpoppyblogger This is the first book I've read by this author and it definitely won't be my last. The author captures the life of a middle-aged wife, mother and employee so authentically. As Penny learns, so many times woman say they're fine, when in reality they are far from it. Saying fine is the easy answer. Unfortunately for Penny, it takes a tragic situation to make her see that she needs to stop operating on auto-pilot and make her needs known. I loved how Penny and Sanjay worked on their marriage through an honest needs list. Marriage is hard work and nobody really prepares you for this. Once children are added into the mix, the marriage changes yet again. The author really gets the whole Superwoman routine that social media just makes worse. She also touches on opioid addiction in a truthful manner. This book gave me some serious food for thought. Not a light breezy read by any means, but meaningful and thoughtful. I'm looking forward to reading the author's previous books.
KerryACroucier More than 1 year ago
Honest, Witty, and Thought-Provoking I sat down with this one and was really happy I had nowhere in particular to be, because once I started, I couldn’t put it down. Pagan has written a winner that mirrors the lives of so many women who are holding it together but are nowhere near “fine.” When Penelope realizes that her best friend’s life was just as messy as hers, everything she thought she knew was turned on its head. A wake up call, she starts to reevaluate everything in her life, wondering how she veered so far off track from her dreams. Taking and honest look at her life, she and her husband also start looking at their relationship. I’m Fine and Neither Are You is the second novel I have read by Camille Paga̕̕n, and I love the way she writes with humor and emotion, touching on difficult subjects in a way that makes you both think and understand them more. This was a refreshingly honest look at one woman’s life that could easily be almost every woman I know, myself included. Written with wit and insight, this is a must-read for any woman struggling but putting on their “I’m fine” face. It also serves as a reminder that you never completely know what is going on in someone else’s life, no matter how close you are to that person. #tallpoppywriters #bloomreads #Imfineandneitherareyou @camillepaga̕̕n #LakeUnionPublishing
TheBookBag More than 1 year ago
The usual response when someone asks "How are you?" is "I'm fine. How are you?". We're all fine, aren't we? But so many of those times, we really aren't fine. And how much do we really know someone, when realistically, we aren't completely honest with one another? Penny thought she knew her best friend Jenny so well and was envious of her seemingly perfect life. But when that all comes crashing down, Penny takes a good look at her own life and decides some changes need to be made. But can she, her marriage, and her family survive those changes? I loved I'm Fine and Neither Are You. I loved it because it was a story with relatable characters that drew me in and who I immediately cared about. I also loved it because it shows that no one is perfect, everyone has issues, and that we all need to remember we don't really know what someone else is going through. And lastly, this story reminded me that we need to be honest and let others know what and how we are feeling. They won't know if we don't tell them, leading them to believe that everything is 'fine'. I'm Fine and Neither Are You is a wonderful look at all kinds of relationships and what it means to be honest in those relationships. You definitely should add it to your must-read book list.
Valerian70 More than 1 year ago
2.5 Stars This book is supposed to be about the masks we put on every day, to the world at large, our co-workers, our friends and our loved ones. The pretences we make so that we appear to be "doing just fine thanks", the perfection we make our lives out to be on Social Media. How we are not honest with anyone, least of all ourselves. For me it was more about a whiny, entitled woman who wanted everything everyone else appeared to have without examining what she did have. Penny just about drove me around the twist, how her husband (whose name I now find difficult to remember) had stuck with her for 11(?) years of marriage I cannot begin to fathom. She plays the martyr card about the state of their marriage, how she has to do everything - including support the family whilst he does everything to avoid growing up. Poor Penny is struggling to juggle work and motherhood and having a social life and having a marriage. I know this is a real struggle for many people (not just women - men struggle with these things too) but in Penny's case if she just stopped being so selfish and got out of her own head things would improve exponentially. Unfortunately it takes a cataclysmic event affecting her best friend Jenny to shake her out of herself. As you can probably tell by the above I really, really did not like the main character at all. The writing itself has a good flow and there is a dry wit lurking in there which did bring a smile to my face at times. It also deals with some genuine 21st Century issues, especially the subjugation of self and the need to appear "perfect" to absolutely everyone at all times. It also manages to give a little kernel of hope as Penny and husband work through what is damaging their marriage with each other. The problem for me was that I really thought they would have been better splitting up and probably seeking psychiatric counselling from a professional rather than muddling their way through. The juxtaposition between Jenny and Penny is nicely handled and the aftermath of "the incident" does illuminate how little we can believe what we read and see on Social Media. I haven't re-read the blurb for this book so I can't remember if the nature of Jenny's trauma is flagged up so I am trying my best not give it away here. Suffice to say it does throw up some parallels with some of the issues facing the US Medical System at the moment. Ms Pagan is clearly an accomplished writer but this novel just wasn't for me.
AnnieMcDonnell More than 1 year ago
Perfect Book Club Read! Read it and get your friends to read it!! We read this with my facebook page’s book club and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Camille Pagan delivers a story that most woman will find themselves relating to in one way or another. That is what makes this story most inviting; and, what keeps the conversation going. Everyone will see a piece of themselves among these pages.
lauriesophee More than 1 year ago
How do you make sense of a tragedy? A deadly mistake that nobody knew existed? Penny's BFF,Jenny is gone one day. Jenny always had everything. The perfect marriage, the perfect life, and the perfect house. Or did she? The old saying "Never walk in anyone else's shoes" is what we come to learn. Penny begins to makes a list to promote changes in her own life, marriage and career. Will it work? Can Penny find the happiness she seems to lack in her own life? This is a wonderfully, uplifting story and I truly enjoyed being with these families. The details and the message was very clear and one we can all take with us each day forward. Excellent novel I read quickly.
Fredreeca2001 More than 1 year ago
Penelope is struggling through life, marriage and motherhood. She has two wonderful, boisterous kids, a great job, a husband she loves, even if he is a little bit of a dead beat. But, she is so tired of carrying this heavy load. She feels overwhelmed and completely under appreciated. Plus, she compares herself to other moms, especially her best friend Jenny. Jenny has an immaculate home, she is always there with cupcakes to every school function and she and her husband have the perfect marriage….or so it seems on the outside. Penny finds Jenny dead one day from an overdose. Then all the secrets start to come out! Penny is a tough, tired lady and when her best friend dies she realizes something has to change in her life. She has a heart-to-heart talk with her husband. So, they come up with an idea to create a list of what they need from the other person. Penny wants…what all women want. Sanjay needs to get a job and help more around the house. She never truly expected Sanjay to give her a list. Well, he did! I love the paradox this novel creates…is honesty the best policy? We are all for it when we get to tell the other person what is wrong with them…but can we take what is wrong with us? The author did a fantastic job with Penny’s feelings. And when Sanjay gets his act together…I can see why she fell in love with him to begin with. I enjoy these characters so much. They are so real! I struggled right along with Penny. We have all been there. A wonderful story about life and marriage. Need a good, quick read…this one is for you!