Sunday, January 6, 2013

Review: If I Were You By Lisa Renee Jones

Title: If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy #1)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones
Genre: Adult Contemporary Fiction

Goodreads rating: 4.36 out of 5.00 (3, 500+ ratings)
Goodreads link

When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry.

Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.

Review by Chantelle

I present to you yet another adaptation of Fifty Shades

Sure, we were warned in the foreword that this would be Fifty Shades meets Basic Instinct
Sure, it is nothing new for authors to write stories with similar structures or premises. 

However, there were just one too many similarities for me personally between If I Were You and Fifty Shades of Grey such that I dearly hope that E. L. James is getting a cut of whatever profits come from this book. 
And let's be real, if this is the case, you're better off just rereading Fifty Shades

Sara McMillian is a high school teacher who always dreamed of making a living through art. When she comes across a storage unit about to be auctioned off belonging to a 'Rebecca', she feels compelled to find Rebecca in order to return her possessions. In doing this, she discovers journals that explicitly entail the BDSM experiences preceding Rebecca's curious absence. Increasingly obsessed and enthralled by these journals, Sara further investigates by immersing herself in Rebecca's life, including taking on Rebecca's job at the Allure art gallery. It is here that she meets the prodigal artist Chris Merit and controlling boss Mark Compton. 

Doesn't sound much like Fifty Shades? That's because the premise is quite different, in fact, the first few chapters are really quite interesting and promising. What is disappointing however, was that the writing and execution of this premise so closely resembled Fifty Shades that it was impossible to ignore that these were two separate novels and ideas. 

Even when it came to dialogue. Hence the ride that only goes down. 

"I aim to please"

"You said you wouldn't run"

"I can't be what you need"

Sound familiar? These are quotes taken from If I Were You Fifty Shades. 

Honestly, I could not enjoy a book that comes across as trying way too hard to mimic another. It doesn't provide any pleasure, surprises or insight that Fifty Shades hasn't already. It even concludes in an extremely similar manner which was incredibly irritating. It was like wanting a new episode of Sex and the City and being given a rerun. 

Frankly I am also astonished by the new trend of women finding being punished as HOT, like bold capitals, exclamation mark, apparently *fanning self* HOT! 
Uuuuum what?! I am definitely missing something here. If a guy hits you, or has wanted to hit you since you first met, RUN FOR THE HILLS! better yet, RUN TO FUCKING COUNSELLING!
I ca- I just dont understand. 

Anyway, coincidentally (or not), If I Were You is also the first novel of a trilogy. The next installment is scheduled to be released mid 2013, and will hopefully deviate from the plot of Fifty Shades... but probably not. 

In saying this, if you haven't yet read Fifty Shades of Grey, you will probably enjoy this book. 

Overall: 3/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 2.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3/5


  1. I read both FSOG an If I Were You.. I liked both books for different reasons. .. I've read many many books an I can agree its frustrating to feel like ur rereading a book but Dispite the BDSM.. which only took place wen sara read Rebeccas journal. . The two books are completely different. . So Mr Jones may hsve rephrased a few words im mean what author hasnt??

    As for women turned on by a little fantasy... its called having an imagination! Theres absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to spicy up your sex life vanilla sex is good with the right person but it can be repetitive an that csn get old an boring fast.. there are so many levels of bdsm if it becomes boring your with the wrong partner..

    You dont have to try it u dont even have to like it.. but u have absolutely NOT RIGHT TO JUDGE THOSE THAT DO!!

    1. Hi Saska, it seems like your issue with me is that I personally do not find being punished "HOT" and therefore do not understand why others do. I'd like to remind you that this was a part of a book review where I write about particular literary choices made by the author, and whether they succeed or fall short of telling an engaging story. In this respect, I included my rant about punishment as a criticism of Ms Jones' writing, that the pacing, and character development weren't particularly executed well enough to make me sympathise with the main character. I'd also like to remind you that the main character was supposed to be a normal girl who was then tempted and drawn into the bdsm world, therefore I SHOULD HAVE been persuaded to do the same had Ms Jones written a convincing story, but she hadn't, hence my rant. I've enjoyed books such as Fifty Shades in the past, and even series such as 'The Dark Duet' by CJ Roberts that are probably ten times more "spiced up" that If I Were You, and that is because the quality of story telling were of a higher standard. I am NOT judging those who enjoy bdsm, nor do I care at all that you do not enjoy "vanilla sex", or have trouble finding the right partner, so seriously, TMI! I write book reviews, not commentaries about your sex life.

    2. As co-blogger, I find this hilarious. Also, if you're going to write such a self-righteous comment, please review your use of spelling and grammar. Thank you.