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Better Than I Know Myself

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  1,198 Ratings  ·  93 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 t
ebook, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published June 1st 2004)
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Apr 24, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing
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!!!
Aug 18, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled across this book and read it over the weekend while on vacation. This book was truly a great read. It touched on so many aspects of life and friendship. What I found most rewarding was the author(s) ability to not only show support among friends, but to show how in life we each need friends that we can share all of our flaws with and still find the love that is needed to make it through. Each of the women in this group of friends were different, but their paths constantly crossed as t ...more
Apr 26, 2012 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book but it was VERY VERY slow. However, once I got into it, it was a very touching story
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
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
Ashley Teagle
Aug 04, 2015 Ashley Teagle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to warm up to this book, but once I got into it I loved it. The book is about three friends with three very different backgrounds: child star Jewel; the underprivileged Carmen; and the rebellious middle class kid Regina.

DeBerry did a great job of balancing the three stories and there was a lot of action to keep the book going. The book touches on a lot of important topics in the African American community: teen pregnancy, AIDS, cancer, among others.

I thought the characters wer
Jun 19, 2007 stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit
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
Jun 11, 2013 Lisa Tapper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Carolyn Chavis
Aug 23, 2016 Carolyn Chavis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three women who met each other in college from different backgrounds. They became lifelong friends and helped each other weather many storms.
Sep 05, 2009 Rnd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 29, 2008 Britta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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."
Jun 22, 2009 Ebony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 17, 2012 Efundunke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These books are getting too real. So good. the ones you least expect.
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
Mar 04, 2014 Devon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'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
Jan 14, 2011 Ari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2015 Liza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Three women from 3 different walks of life meet in at a NY university and somehow become friends. Through several tragic events throughout the story, they become roommates, enemies, survivors and losers.

Carmen, comes from a broken home in the 'hood, who wants to prove everyone wrong and be MORE. Regina comes from NJ living the picture perfect life but believing she was that .5 kid you hear in the phrase "a house with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids". Jules was TV's childhood
Jasmine Myles
Jun 18, 2015 Jasmine Myles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Better Than I Know Myself" was a beautiful tale of friendship, life, and not judging a book by it's cover. I fell in love with Carmen, Jewell, and Regina and I could relate to them in different ways. This was an emotional read for me, so much goes on! My only critique is that it had such a slow start and almost too detailed about things unrelated to the story. Despite this, I do appreciate the authors for developing the characters from teenage years until their mid 30's so that the reader can r ...more
Jun 26, 2014 Amber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 24, 2016 Madlyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't care for this novel at all. The experience of me trying to finish reading this book was excruciating, mentally outrageous and agonizing for me to flow with the characters or even appreciating what the author was trying to deliver in this novel. I didn't like this book at all.
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 :)
Aug 07, 2016 Antoinette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so entertaining. Teen pregnancy, Drug abuse, Sexual Abuse, Homelessness are only a few of the topics covered in this book. This book is about three friends who meet in college and build a wonderful friendship. Better than watching television.
Cara Bella
Dec 11, 2014 Cara Bella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 17, 2014 MsJohnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this was a surprisingly powerful yet realistic story with intense plot lines and unforgettable characters.
Tracie Momie
Apr 10, 2008 Tracie Momie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tamiko Goodvine
Wonderful read. Very entertaining, interesting characters & an ending you wouldn't expect.
Oct 05, 2015 Sabrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I cried so very hard and I was fine with it. Love how the story flowed effortlessly between the 3 main characters!!
Catrina Reid
Jun 05, 2015 Catrina Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Debra Odom
Sep 22, 2012 Debra Odom rated it it was amazing
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
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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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