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Better Than I Know Myself
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Better Than I Know Myself

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  847 ratings  ·  77 reviews
The beloved #1 Essence bestselling authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made now deliver a novel in which you'll meet their most unforgettable characters yet. Carmen, Jewel, and Regina could not be more different. When they meet as freshmen at Columbia University, they're pretty confident that a friendship among them isn't in the cards.

Jewel is Hollywood royalty: as
ebook, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published June 1st 2004)
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This is an excellent read. You laugh, you cry, you become one of the girls. You can relate to each character in this book. I absolutely loved it!!!
Nardsbaby Reader
True friendship is something you build together

BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF is a novel where we meet three opposite sisters in search of something that leads them to college.

Regina is the rebellious one.
Carmen is the loner.
Jewel is the famous one.
"None of us are in this alone." It took meeting the others' for the others to realize.
From opposite's end of the world to the same campus, a class here and there, to being roommates, these three young women transcend in time and eventually grow as sis
This was a good book but it was VERY VERY slow. However, once I got into it, it was a very touching story
I read a previous book by these two ladies several years back, called “Tryin To Sleep In The Bed You Made”. Even though that book had tons of great reviews, I personally didn’t care for it. So, when “Better Than I Know Myself” was picked for one of my book club reads, I wasn’t pleased. I really put off reading it until the last minute because I already had it in my brain that I wouldn’t like it. In short, my assumption wasn’t completely inline regarding this particular book. This did have a simi ...more
Mocha Girl
Better Than I Know Myself is the latest offering of Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant. It is a melodramatic coming of age story of three girls from varying socio-economic backgrounds emerging into adulthood and their lifelong friendship until one of them meets an untimely demise.

This novel reads like a "Made-For-TV" movie complete with unspoken secrets, lost loves, teenaged pregnancies, drug addiction, illness, perfectly timed flashbacks, and a host of canned, supporting characters. Opening with
the african-american book that transcended to the "mainstream" chicklit shelf.

i picked it up because it's the story of three girls who met at barnard and ended up life long friends. each story is heart-breaking in its own way, and yet the ending remains hopeful. still it doesn't fall into traditional chicklit tropes, and i appreciate that. the characters feel more real, even if they are a bit stereotyped, and.

this is what real quality chicklit should be doing, i think. not shying away from the
Lisa Tapper
Love this book. I loved each character in the book, each woman had attitude and if you personally did not relate with one of these ladies you most definitely know a girlfriend who is just like one of these ladies. I laughed and cried and was surprised through out this book. It is the kind of book you want to keep reading and not put it down to see what is next. On the other hand you don't want it to end because it is just "that good". Great chick book or read for summer.
This book had me crying and I hate books that have me sad and crying. But I couldn't help but like this book. I love the authors, and the characters seemed so real to me, I was immersed in the story of their lives.It wasn't the typical dramafied book about black women. It had depth, real feeling and meaning, not a superficial story.
This story was a really touching illustration of friendship and the bonds that are formed through the years. I laughed and cried ... A LOT. This would make an excellent gift between girlfriends.
Catrina Reid
This was a good book. It tells a powerful story of friendship. These 3 friends went through a lot, were able to get through it and end up as sisters in the end. There were many surprises which kept the book interesting. It deals with the lives of the 3 friends and how their lives molded into family. I was able to relate to several things. I laughed, I cried. I was able to picture the story and the characters in my head. It was an audible movie left up to my imagination on how I feel things shoul ...more
Did you ever have a friend who was more like family? For Regina Foster, Jewel Prescott, and Carmen Webb this is exactly true. Better Than I Know Myself starts in the late 70's when the girls are seniors in high school and making the decision on where to go to college. Three different girls from three very different backgrounds. Jewel, a former child star. Regina, the daughter of two college educated parents and little sister to older brothers who had all attended and graduated from college. And ...more
'BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF' has been on my Amazon wishlist for ages, I had just never gotten around to ordering it but when I found myself with a little extra time on my hands I decided it was finally time to pick it up, and what a treat I'd been missing! I fell in love with the story of these three college roommates and life long friends from the very beginning. I enjoyed the way the story shifts point of views between the three ladies. I enjoyed the way their story spanned over almost two deca ...more
This book is so long and slow! There are more than a few chapters that could have been shortened. And honestly this book is melodramatic. Obviously life is filled with drama and some people have to go through more hardships than others, but SO MUCH TRAGEDY. At times it just seemed like one incident after another and it dragged on. The message of living life to the fullest rings a little too loudly but it's one that bears repeating over and over again. On a more personal note, I wanted a few more ...more
This book was outstanding. I laughed, I cried, and overall I felt connected with these characters. It was interesting to be so deep in someone's mind for a few chapters, and then flung into someone else's to see them from the outside, but at the same time becoming deeply intertwined with another's. This book was an emotional roller coaster, but believable and absolutely beautiful.
Rachelle Williams
I first read this book in 2006, and it has been with me ever since. By the time you finish reading "Better Than I Know Myself," you will feel like one of the girls, and your connection to them will always be there. This was a great book! Thinking back to it always makes me smile :)
Cara Bella
I enjoyed it. It was an easy read and the story line flowed. This was selected as my book club read and it didn't disappoint
Wow, this was a surprisingly powerful yet realistic story with intense plot lines and unforgettable characters.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debra Odom
Very good audio book, but I think I've read the print edition also. The audio version does an excellent job of bringing to life the three characters: Jewell (the actress), Regina (the fly-girl former cocaine addict), and Carmen ( the little mousey homeless and motherless young girl who became a doctor). I think it is good from time to time to listen to the audio book. I downloaded this book to my smartphone and my NookColor. The download really helped durin our recent "blackout." Virginia DeBerr ...more
Three people with diverse backgrounds meet on a college campus and a friendship erupts that lasts through drug addiction, chemotherapy and death.

This book was poignant and worth reading. Finally found some African American authors that writes with heart, soul and feeling.

This books desks with life from three different perspectives; growing up poor & no parents, middle-class and thinking they were unloved & wealthy but fighting a hollowness from losing a child.

Read the book and you wil
Lisa Fails-erby
This book was absolutely amazing! Very well written and so visual! I finished it last night- full of emotion! It's been a long time since I've read a book that brought tears to my eyes. I didn't want it to end! Excellent read!
I love a great coming-of-age story, and this one is high up on the ranks. The evolution of the characters was timely, and their friendship jumped off the page. I was in tears a few times!

My complaint is that the chronology was off. I'm big on calculating ages and trying to figure out timelines, and they were some what all over the place. Also, there were a lot of secondary characters that were sometimes difficult to keep up with.

This book was packed full of events. I could relate to most of the incidents and personalities, thinking it was not unique to the black culture. I was somewhat shocked by the events at the end.
I would read another book by these authors.

I did (as usual whenever possible) LISTEN to an audio version of this book, and think the narrator did an excellent job of depicting the different characters/personalities/accents etc.
Yes, I definitely can relate to these three college girls since I went to college in NYC and found true friendships not as close as Carmen, Regina and Jewel but real friends never the less. The book was a little lengthy a couple of chapters could have been taken out or shortened but it was worthwhile reading/listening through the sad but great ending. The value of true frienship was certainly spelt out in this book....
About 10 years ago, I read a book by this duo - I think it was my first positive review on Amazon. So, I decided to look them up and try another. Mmmm, the three woman interwoven story seem so late 1980s beachy readish. It was a story looking for a plot. None of the characters were very interstesting or deep - but did have some tragedy, some good times, some bad times, you know - the usual.
I thought this was a very good book. I experienced a range of emotions while listening to it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me shake my head in disgust. The ending suprised me which made it even more interesting. The audio book narrator is awesome and had very distinct voices for each character, delivered with so much emotion. I cannot wait to listen to another book she narrates.
"A man loves a woman. Her body is part of her expirience - whatever that is. If he does not love that too, he is a pig, he is not a man."

"Time is not promised and regret is a waste of it."

"The ultimate control is deciding you don't always have to have it."

"Childbirth: It's the hardest pain to bear and the easiest to forget."
This is one of my all time favorite novels. Why? because it is a very well written story that shows the ups and downs of firendship. It delves into each woman's singular lives but still shows how each of them are affected by each other. I have read this book many times and enjoy it just as much each time.
Great novel. The characters were very relateable. I enjoyed the journey I took as the three women matured individually and grew together as friends. The authors did a good job at concealing the final ending; I was guessing all the way up til the very end. I'll definitely read their other novels.
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We are best friends who’ve been co-writing women’s fiction for twenty of our twenty seven years of friendship. Uptown is our seventh novel. For more information about who we are, what we do and/or to read an excerpt of Uptown please visit We can also be found online at:,,
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