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Girl Before a Mirror

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  860 ratings  ·  164 reviews
The author of Conversations with a Fat Girl—optioned for HBO—returns with the hilarious and heartfelt story of a woman who must learn how to be the heroine of her own life-a journey that will teach her priceless lessons about love, friendship, family, work, and her own heart

An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s don
ebook, 384 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Julie Much of the plot centers around RomanceCon - a convention of romance novel enthusiasts - where the main characters are judging a pageant for Mr. Roman…moreMuch of the plot centers around RomanceCon - a convention of romance novel enthusiasts - where the main characters are judging a pageant for Mr. RomanceCon. There are a lot of descriptions of their bodies, but I think part of the point is the ridiculousness of idolizing people for their physical bodies.

As for the love scenes, they start off with in depth descriptions of the kissing and tearing of clothes, but are pretty tame. There are no details of the actual act. (less)
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  860 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Originally reviewed here @ Angieville

It's not that I haven't made my feelings about Liza Palmer's books abundantly clear, because I know that I have. It's that her latest novel—Girl Before a Mirror—is so good it's giving her others a run for their money as my favorite (and I honestly didn't think my love for Nowhere But Home could be surpassed). So good I've already reread it once and am fending off a second reread even as I type this. There are other books out there, and they all deserve a chan
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Part metamorphosis, introspection, coming of age, and empowerment of not just Anna but other characters as well.

Palmer skillfully inserts wry humor to offset the weight of varying characters issues otherwise the narrative and players would have been in excess.

I enjoyed all the characters with their assorted issues but after a while I felt as if they were a dog chasing its tail - droning on and on about their challenges, taking two steps forward yet returning hastily to the starting point. Discov
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-book-love
It was really effing stupid of me to stay up reason this because now I have no more Liza Palmer books to read.

I have a lot of (positive) thoughts on this, but since it's not out for ages and ages, I'll just say that this resonated a lot with me, especially the career-related plot.

*taps fingers impatiently*
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2015
Lovely, as expected. Anna, Lincoln, Sasha, Helen and Ferdie were all great characters. Kept highlighting passages of the book because the writing was just so good. Will work on a full review.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next

Never have I read a book that was so gloriously positive and empowering towards women and female friendships. I have never felt so passionate about a book and its importance and just want to walk around yelling "read it, read it, read it, I tell you, read it!!!”

A book about a woman's journey to accepting herself for who she is and learning to just be. Anna has just turned forty, recently divorced; she's at a crossroads in her relationships, her career
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story about a woman who wants more out of her personal and professional life. Although the book tends to be a bit chick-lit, it’s more than just a simple love story. I found Anna sympathetic and was pulling for her as well as Sasha. I would recommend it for anyone who is looking for an easy, touching, humorous book with LOTS of imperceptiveness and inner thoughts. Ultimately a story about love, family, friendship, sincerity, and woman power.
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original review can be found at

I received an advanced readers copy from William Morrow via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This book "Marpled" me! You have to read the book to understand what that means. In other words, it was unassuming and caught me off guard. Out of nowhere it surprised me and blew me away.

This is the first book by Palmer for me and I am excited to say that I think I found a new author to enjoy. I loved her writin
Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress)
I went into this book a little apprehensive because I'm not the biggest contemporary/romance fan. But this was so much more than that. The book was about power and finding the strength to love and be happy with yourself. That really resonated with me. I don't think I could have read this book at a better time. It's amazing to see what Anna went through and her reactions to the situations because they were so raw and real. I related in more ways that I thought I would. Thank you so much Goodreads ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
FIRST THOUGHTS: I cannot even tell you all how much I love Girl Before a Mirror. It is the first time ever where an adult novel really reflected an experience, an emotion, a thought process I could completely relate to. Everything Anna, or even Sasha, felt bore an uncanny resemblance to myself -- and the intensity of it made me ache, made me feel everything so gosh darn deeply. Beautifully done, Liza.
Jan 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Once Anna and Sasha arrived at the romance novel convention I couldn't put it down. There was so much empowering truth for women in Anna's insights - from pop music to romance novels to the demands we place on ourselves. I was sold. I can't help wishing that the Just Be campaign existed in real life. I need to read the rest of Liza Palmers' other novels, stat. ...more
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have loved previous Liza Palmer books, seriously go out and read Conversations with the Fat Girl and Seeing Me Naked. Some of her books I could not get into fully, see A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents and others I just didn't care for at all, see More Like Her.

I thought that Girl Before a Mirror was at times brilliant and other times frustrating. I really did love reading how Anna came to see romance novels as not something to be ashamed of, but something to celebrate and that the whole
Amara Luciano
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
8/2/15: So happy I read this. It's such an empowering place to lose yourself in. I feel good, I feel confident and up-lifted. I feel like I deserve more than I tell myself. I feel like I'm not actually a fanciful airhead or a hopeless dreamer or an imperfectly imperfect human.

Instead I feel the opposite of all that. I feel REAL. And that's what Girl Before A Mirror is -- a big fucking dose of real, with all the thrills and joys and awkwardness, all the Elevator Kissing and Pec-Goggling and Roman
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: la-la-loved, contemp, 2015
This book contained so much goodness, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it. I just know I keep wanting to hug it to my chest or march around chanting "Just BE!" or attend a romance book convention. Loved everything about this story. ...more
May 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heidi by: Lauren
I believe I'm in love with Liza Palmer. ...more
Review originally posted on Rather Be Reading:

Sometimes a book comes along at the perfect moment — when you are sad, when you are seeking a bit of strength, and when you are grappling to understand the changes going on around you. Girl Before a Mirror is that book. As someone who reads plenty, I’ll admit to saying this before but it’s funny — ever since I finished this particular title I find myself recommending it right and left. It’s so relevant to so many situations I’m hearing about and even
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better, smart women's fiction.This is the first Liza Palmer novel I have read. While I have found funnier women's fiction this book did get me to do some thinking of what do women want.

The main of character of the book is Anna Wyatt who works in advertising and just turned forty. She is a bit of a control freak and is very achievement oriented. In her career she feels frustrated because she feels she is put into the pink collar ghetto.

To further her career, she plans to maneuver to obtain a larg
Ellice Y.
My God. Where do I start? Liza Palmer is my literary hero. The queen of women’s fiction. I thought there was no way that she would ever manage to write a novel that evoked as much emotion, empathy and understanding from me as she did with Nowhere But Home, but damn it, she’s done it again with her latest novel, Girl Before a Mirror...

See my full review here at Paper Riot.

Another AMAZING book by Liza Palmer. I don't know if I have the ability to write a re
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, romance
I think I'm alone in not really liking this book. Everyone else is all four stars.... I just was underwhelmed. I didn't care a speck about the romance, it felt forced and all the crying? really? The characters were just blah, too. They didn't feel real and fleshed out to me. I did like the ad campaign, I could totally get behind that slogan, but that's about it. ...more
Camille Flores
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Liza Palmer book and I really, really liked it! Anna, the main character, is someone I know and someone I haven't met yet, all at the same time. Does that even make sense? lol :) I know her because I can completely relate with her, her feelings, her rambling thoughts and yet she's someone I haven't met yet and this is in the sense of not meeting a character quite like her or how she has been written by author Liza Palmer, if that makes more sense. And so many quotable quotes from this o ...more
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy 4.5 stars!

I freaking loved this book. Liza Palmer’s writing is so perfectly balanced. There’s humor. There’s romance. There’s a solid plot with well executed subplots (what up Sasha and Ferdie!). Best of all, there is always a life lesson to be learned that seems to punch me in the face! Just as I felt after reading Nowhere But Home, I was left sitting on the couch with the book closed on my lap, lost in thought. This particular book inspires me to JUST BE… I don’t have to be the perfect mo
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Liza Palmer's work since her first book. Her writing is incredibly real and speaks to the heart of being a human in our messy, confusing, emotional world. Too much "chick lit" portrays women in unattainable ways- too perfect, too fairy tale-ish, too much a caricature instead of someone to relate to. Palmer continues to focus on who a woman is, not what she looks like.

Anna works for an ad agency and she is working according to plan- work her way up, make partner, maybe find love aga
The Book Maven
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
It's been a while--like, a good few years--since I've read much by way of chicklit. The world has changed a lot. And so have I. Yet, apparently, I haven't changed so much that I cannot appreciate a semi-frothy book about a woman finding herself as she navigates family, friends, romance, work, and pop culture.

In some ways, this book feels a little more mature than some of the chicklit I've read in the past. The protagonist, Anna is 40. She's divorced. She's at least semi-competent, and by her ow
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, pub-harper
A quick list:

1) This book is funny. Heroine Anna made me laugh so much. But not only that, I felt like I was part of her journey through this book: the amusing, awkward, heartbreaking and soul searching moments.
2) This book highlights friendships, especially female friendships. I loved the friendship that develops between Anna and her much younger colleague Sasha.
3) This book celebrates romance novels, and argues that you can learn a lot from them.
4) These characters go to a romance novel co
I enjoyed this novel about a woman’s journey to accepting herself for who she really is – not the person she thought she should strive to be in order to be accepted by others (her parents, professors, boss, etc.). Liza Palmer’s story is funny, heartbreaking, poignant, and ultimately uplifting. I think many women will relate to some aspect of Anna’s personal life or career issues. I found her likable and sympathized with her struggles.

I love the way Palmer tells a story and she didn’t disappoint
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it
I LOVED this book so much. If you follow me on Twitter, I'm sure you saw all the quotes I posted.There were just so many great lines in this book, I simply had to share them. Anna was a great character. I could relate to her quite a bit. I found the overall theme of this book an inspiring one. There is romance of course but I found myself rooting for Anna first and foremost. Don't get me wrong, Lincoln is swoony and had me choked up at times but Girl Before a Mirror is definitely about Anna's jo ...more
Elizabeth Boyle
Loved it, as I love all of Liza Palmer's books. She writes straight from the heart and her gut. Love, love, love her stories. ...more
Susan's Reviews
That I got out of this book: I agree with this author that Women's Fiction is often unfairly scorned - by men and women alike.
We have to stop labeling and sneering at things we don't know enough about. I will read just about anything so long as I find a ring of truth, emotional authenticity and and intelligence in the writing. I am not overly fond of fantasy and sci fi novels, but I try to expose myself to a few every once in a while: it is all about opening ourselves to a different way of think
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this light and fun book. pretty predictable in places, but it was worth the short amount of time it took me to read it.
Jul 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book Marpled me. It snuck in, like Christie's Miss Marple, and before I knew it was a threat to my time, I was reading at 1 a.m.

I really enjoyed this book, and I will be thinking about it for days.
Miranda Lynn
3.5 stars

I have to start off this review by explaining that, while I actually quite enjoyed this book, I was a little disappointed when I first started reading it. The cover design and blurb of this book are VERY misleading!

You tell me that the main character lives in a "Mad Men world", and then the cover has old books, a pair of old-fashioned shoes, and '60s-style wallpaper? Well, I'm for sure going to think that it's historical fiction! wasn't. It was a contemporary Chick Lit. So...t
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Liza Palmer is the internationally bestselling author of Conversations with the Fat Girl , which has been optioned for series by HBO.

Library Journal said Palmer’s “blend of humor and sadness is realistic and gripping,..”

After earning two Emmy nominations writing for the first season of VH1’s Pop Up Video, she now knows far too much about Fergie.

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64 likes · 11 comments
“Yes, romance novels are extreme. The situations are turned up to eleven and everyone is beautiful without dieting or exercise and the sex is always amazing, but when I strip all that away what I get is that all of this”—Sasha motions to everything around us, and I’m assuming she means the world and our existence and not this particular Mexican restaurant—“that all of this is nothing without love.” 4 likes
“Someone else's idea of happiness was a lot easier to attain than a happiness I could not envision and didn't think I deserved.” 4 likes
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