Reading guide for Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Fake Like Me

by Barbara Bourland

Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland X
Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Jun 2019, 368 pages


  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Jamie Chornoby
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Bourland never names the narrator of Fake Like Me. Why do you think she made that choice? How would the book have been different if she had?
  2. The prologue mentions "dramatic rumors of an as-yet-unseen final work" by Carey Logan, the artistic prodigy who committed suicide. In those early chapters, did you have a guess as to what that posthumous piece might be? Were you right?
  3. When the narrator meets Carey in the first chapter, Carey warns her, "These people will make not only your work, but you yourself into a commodity. They'll buy you and sell you. Let them. But make sure you always do it on your own terms." What did Carey mean by this? Would you say that the narrator took her advice, or not? In your own professional or personal life, did you ever get any advice that shifted your trajectory, or that you carried with you for years afterward? Did your understanding of that advice change over time?
  4. When the narrator's loft catches on fire and her massive paintings burn just months before they are set to be exhibited in Paris, she loses two years' worth of work. Rather than admit that she has nothing for the gallery, she resolves to re-create the paintings in secret in the time she has left, terrified of being revealed as a fraud. Yet she is still the creator of the work. Is it possible to falsify your own creations? Discuss what this means in the context of the book's larger questions around authenticity and commodification.
  5. In chapter two, the narrator observes that "art has a way of putting everyone at their most transactional. I'm invisible until someone calculates my value." What do you think she means by this? Do you agree? Do you think this applies only to the art world, or do you see parallels in other parts of life?6.Discuss the following description of painting: "One of my professors once told me that she started all of her paintings with a photocopied picture of her parents and the words FUCK YOU scrawled across their faces...All artists are of course doing that same thing: We are burying our past selves within the work, pieces of which rise to the surface without our permission like bodies in a flood."
  6. What do you think of our narrator's friendship with Max de Lacy? Is it an "authentic" friendship? Why or why not? Do you have any friends like Max in your own life? Have you ever been someone's Max?
  7. Jes seems set up to be the villain in the book, the possessive girlfriend who knows more of Tyler's secrets than anyone. How does your feeling about Jes change over the course of the book? Is our narrator's wariness of her well founded?
  8. Why do you think our narrator identifies so fully with Carey Logan? Is she right to have done so?
  9. How did the twist—the multiple twists—in the book shape your feelings about the characters? Did you find yourself having to recalibrate your impressions of any of them?
  10. Do you feel the narrator made the right choice in the end? Why or why not? Would you have made a different decision?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Grand Central Publishing. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Lee Lozano's Dropout Piece

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everything Inside
    Everything Inside
    by Edwidge Danticat
    Edwidge Danticat is a Haitian-American writer, and Haiti looms large as a presence in this ...
  • Book Jacket: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    by Christy Lefteri
    In Christy Lefteri's sophomore novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo, the author introduces readers to ...
  • Book Jacket: Marilou Is Everywhere
    Marilou Is Everywhere
    by Sarah Elaine Smith
    "The point is that at that moment in my life," writes the narrator of Sarah Elaine Smith's debut ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Call It a Doomsday
    Let's Call It a Doomsday
    by Katie Henry
    However the world will end, Ellis Kimball is ready for it. Her obsessive stash of survivalist ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Secrets We Kept
    by Lara Prescott

    Reese Witherspoon's Sept Book Club Pick!
    "This is the rare page-turner with prose that’s as wily as its plot."—EW
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Yale Needs Women
    by Anne Gardiner Perkins

    A tale of courage in the face of arrogance that remains eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Today We Go Home
by Kelli Estes

Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave military women of the past and present.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Chase Darkness with Me

How One True-Crime Writer Started Solving Murders

Have you ever wanted to solve a murder? Gather the clues the police overlooked? Put together the pieces? Identify the suspect?


Word Play

Solve this clue:

S S A C A Big S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.