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I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  2,045 ratings  ·  273 reviews
Everything is falling apart in Tig Monahan's life. Her mother's memory is going (dementia), her boyfriend is gone (Hawaii), her absent sister shows up long enough to have a baby (and then leaves again, without the baby) and her job as a therapist has disappeared after a contentious couples' therapy session goes horribly and honestly sideways. Oh, and then there's the whole ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 4th 2016 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  2,045 ratings  ·  273 reviews

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Sonja Yoerg
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading a book by Ann Garvin is like having a long, long lunch with a funny, big-hearted friend who knows a lot of amusing, crippled people. It’s time well-spent, and life feels warmer and larger and more worthwhile when you finally get up from the table. In I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, the heroine, Tig, repeatedly trips over her own misguided good intentions, face-palming at regular intervals as she struggles through the mess of her life: her equivocal boyfriend, her self-absorbed sist ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book! It's one I wanted to hug a few times! I read an interview where the author described the book as funny, even if it includes some of life's more difficult aspects (sibling relationships, caring for an aging mother with dementia, job issues); and she was spot-on. This is a heartwarming read about life and its challenges that I highly recommend.

Please note - I won a copy of this book in a giveaway. All opinions expressed are my own.
May 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. I struggled with whether to give this two or three stars, whether to say it was closer to 2-1/2, or just leave it at 2. In the end, I settled for genuine over generosity. It doesn't deserve another half star.
The synopsis is a little misleading. Protagonist in crisis stumbles upon a "family secret" and it causes her to reassess her life. Problem is, the so-called secret isn't revealed until the last 10 or 15 pages of the book, and by that time you can tell that even the characters
Theresa Alan
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What drew me in to Garvin’s book was the great title; what kept me reading was the likeable protagonist, Tig, and the deft, subtle ways that that Garvin writes about the complexities of relationships—between family members, boyfriends, spouses, and oneself.

Tig is having a difficult time: After taking care of her mother, who is battling dementia, at home, Tig moves her into an assisted living facility, but Tig still is over there whenever she’s not working as a therapist. Her sister won’t return
Cathy Lamb
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Every time I see this title I laugh. "I Like You Just Fine When You're NOT Around," by Ann Wertz Garvin. I can just see a wife/girlfriend thinking this, or muttering it, about her boyfriend/husband. "When he's out the door and GONE, and I can't hear him or see him I like him a lot better!" Plus, I'm biased. This book has one of the best, "I'm going to tell you off, and you're never going to forget it," scenes that I've ever read. And yes, the man who was told off deserved it.
Kate Moretti
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this funny, sweet, slightly melancholy story. Ann has a gift with sad comedy: her characters are intensely flawed, make terrible decisions, are surrounded by tragedy and yet I find myself laughing out loud. Everything feels SO REAL and "I LIKE YOU" was no exception. The plot was unpredictable, I adored Tig and her mad-gab style. I can totally see this being a TV show! LOVED.
Nancy Brady
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book
The title says it all, and we've all known people like this. People we love, but once they leave, we like them oh-so-much better. It is true for Tig, too.

Laugh out loud moments combined with moments of poignancy...people we'd like to meet in real life AS LONG AS they don't outstay their welcome.

For Tig, it is Pete, her love, but also her mother and sister Wendy. Each one drives Tig a bit crazy, but maybe it is just Tig that needs to let some things go. But can she?

Will she figure i
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Tig Monahan is a psychologist doing her best to help her clients while her own life is in turmoil. The scene early on with her clients, the Harmeyers, is priceless! Tig's mother has dementia and though Tig has been trying to keep her at her home, she is forced to place her in a nursing home, because working full time and keeping track of Mom is wearing her down,. Tig's sister, Wendy, is MIA again just when she could use some major help with Mom. Tig's boyfriend Pete is heading off on sabbatical ...more
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A light and entertaining read. I really enjoyed this!
Alana Jo
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around. As usual Ann Garvin fails to disappoint! Her tell it like it is humor, sprinkled with her deep levels of compassion, and her talents for story telling always make for a great read.
Tig Monahan, radio therapist, finds herself taking care of her mother with dementia, being left behind by her boyfriend who goes on sabbatical to Hawaii, and caring for her sister’s newborn baby. As if Tig’s plate isn’t full enough; her life unravels
Barbara White
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
On the surface, this is another novel about the challenges of Alzheimer’s, but it’s also a heart-warming, funny, and gritty story with one kick-ass heroine. I’m part of the sandwich generation, and I was cheering for quirky psychologist, Tig Monahan, from page one. Nothing in her life is on track as she tries—and fails—to juggle career, boyfriend, wayward sister, colicky niece, a lawsuit, and being her mother’s caregiver. Even when she appears to give up, none of it breaks her. You go, sista.
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
Man oh man!! What a great book! Garvin has a knack for writing characters that feel so real. You are instantly feel what they feel and want to take care of them. Life is a messy thing and Garvin captures the lows and high of life brilliantly. She has mastered the art of storytelling and this book is quite a treat! 5 stars
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
“Stop making happiness some kind of concrete goal. It’s a side effect. It’s a secondary happening, but not the main event. Happiness is what you feel when you’ve been kind, fair, or loving in the face of hardness. It is the feeling of light that comes after behaving in the way you ultimately want.”
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
I liked this book, but I don't think my impression of it aligns with most of the other readers on Goodreads. I was surprised at how many 4 and 5 star reviews this received. Maybe it's because I'm a younger reader that I wasn't entranced with this story?

The story focuses on Tig, a therapist who is about to go to Hawaii with her boyfriend for his sabbatical. (view spoiler) ...more
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
3.5 Stars

A wonderful, touching, moving story which had me taken into its heart on the opening page. Beautifully written, cleverly constructed and a story with characters that will stay with you long after you finish the book.
Laura Rash
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another great read from Ann Garvin with realistic characters, plotline & colorful language! What's not to love?!!
May 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyable read. Of course the title is catching, but the book had more depth to the characters than I expected.
Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
Feb 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Tig Monahan is in a life transition. Her mom just moved into a nursing home to better take care of her Alzheimer's, Her boyfriend walked out on her, her sister, who is never around, shows up and is pregnant and she has left her job with no new prospects ahead. We watch as Tig tries to figure out her life and everyone else's along the way.

This book was such a pleasant surprise for me. I really wasn't expecting much here. Then the beginning was a bit all over the place and a li
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The title of this new book by Ann Garvin, is the first indication that this is going to be a book worth reading and I can tell you right now that is absolutely correct! I loved this book. The characters are so wonderful and real - they make mistakes and agonize over their decisions and power on with their lives. Because you get so involved with the characters, this is a difficult book to put down once you've started it because you want to see what happens with everyone and if their issues will b ...more
Lynne Spreen
There was something off about this book. The main character, Tig, didn't ring true. She has two sides: a person going through life-changing growth who sounds like an adolescent, and a clinical therapist who sounds really mature and wise. The boyfriend is either a complete doofus or a solid romantic possibility waiting for Tig to settle down. The sister does a heinous thing and is forgiven, but Tig's "big blowup," much more forgivable, upends her whole life. The big reveal at the end didn't touch ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book and I wish I knew Tig, Wendy and their family. Such an emotional roller coaster for both these sisters as they deal with life. Tig may be the younger sister but she has the responsibility of their Mother, Hailey, now in a nursing home because of dementia. She loses her job as a counselor when she tells a patient he's a pain and her boyfriend dis-invites her to go with him to Hawaii for a year. That's all before her sister shows up, has a baby and leaves town wi ...more
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book went around in circles far too many times, and was missing a good editor - typos and words mashed together than are not meant to be compound words - very distracting. The best part about it, by far, was the chapter titles. I expected more from a book with such a funny title.
Cara Hinton
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I haven't read a book this witty in a long time. Didn't want to put it down and didn't want it to end! Great (mostly female) characters and well written. I enjoyed the ride!
Laurie Buchanan
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even though this is a work of fiction, I want to shout a great big YAY! for the solid advice offered—and received—by Dr. Monahan, the heroine in this story regarding relationship dynamics: parent/child, sibling/sibling, and romantic partners. A great read for people who enjoy healthy connections.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
DNF. I have to bow out just shy of 100 pages. I'm bored and I don't care about any of the characters. The dialogue is weird and not funny. I realized about 20 pages ago that I was only reading to find out about the family secret was but closer inspection of some reviews reveals that it doesn't show up until the book is basically over and then goes unresolved. No thanks, I'm out.
Holly's Little Book Reviews
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
More people need to know and love Ann Garvin. Her books are the perfect combination of quirky, lovable, laughable characters and emotional, honest, feel-it-in my gut truths. I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around is no exception, and is actually probably my favorite of Ann's three novels thus far.

When we meet our main character Tig, she has a mother who suffers from Alzheimers, a boyfriend who isn't exactly sure where he stands in her life, a sister who always seems to be MIA when needed,
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around is a humorous and poignant woman's journey to find her footing in the world as she tries to cope with her boyfriend leaving her, her sister abandoning her newborn, and her mother's slow decline from Alzheimers. Gavin examines the intricacies of family, relationships, and friendships and how the ties that often bind us can be a prison of our own making. An easy going conversational like narrative and appealingly broken heroine keeps you firmly engaged a ...more
Samantha Ania
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. Tig is always an empathetic and enjoyable protagonist, even when she's messing up. The story kept moving from one calamity to the next, and didn't fully resolve itself until the end, which I appreciated here. The Tiger-Lily and Wendy theme was cute but not overtly in your face with it. The "mystery" with their mother I had figured out pretty much right away so that was a bit frustrating at times. A heartbreaking and funny and hopeful look at love, Alzheimer's, family, an ...more
Sally Berg
Jun 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The writing style of this book does not stand out as being unique or interesting. However, this book did cause me to reflect on when I have put the expectation and needs of others ahead of myself. The characters are well developed, realistic, and quite charming. I liked the way the author described the various settings in the book. The ending has a nice surprise and brings a smile to your face.
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story of a family. It reminded me a lot of my own family in that i play the role of TIG. I feel as though she may have taught me a few lessons vicariously. It was well written and the characters were very likable. This book was an awesome book! And when you read it that line will make just a bit more sense. :)
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Ann Garvin is a nurse, a professor, and a professional loser of keys. Dogs think she is amazing, and the feeling is mutual. Ann writes about women who have a good sense of humor about doing too much in a world that asks too much of them. She thought writing a book would get her a beach house. The beach house hasn’t happened yet, but she's bought sunglasses, so she’s ready. She created the Tall Pop ...more
“No such thing as fair, Tig. Don’t expect fair. Expect unfair and be prepared for possibility. While there is rarely fair, there is always possibility.” 1 likes
“mother would say, “Stop making happiness some kind of concrete goal. It’s a side effect. It’s a secondary happening, but not the main event. Happiness is what you feel when you’ve been kind, fair, or loving in the face of hardness. It is the feeling of light that comes after behaving in the way you ultimately want.” But” 1 likes
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