Bourland has an uncanny knack for spatial description and relates artwork and every last thing in Pine City with pristinely observed color and feeling. She also nails the creep factor, and her narrator’s high tolerance for it, with foreboding signs that the no-name painter isn’t totally welcome there, and that there’s more to Carey’s story. The deck stacked against her, the narrator tells the glitteringly compelling tale of her fevered summer and wisely reveals meaningful intersections of class, gender, and making art.
Fake Like Me roars with creative impulse. Bourland captures the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants nature of the narrator’s artistic life... Questions lead to an urge to act in the only way an artist knows. The writing becomes fierce and urgent, the fine line between creation and destruction blurred ... Part thriller, part performance art and wholly revolutionary, Fake Like Me confronts American art culture with female bravado.
The novel’s feminist themes grow more pronounced as the story slowly reveals itself to be a twist on the classic 'dead girl' thriller...Bourland gives us instead a female-driven exploration of a young woman’s death ... The novel unfolds at the pace of a thriller but is steeped in contemporary art theory ... [Bourland's] dedication to the subject is clear on every page: The book brims with allusions to Lucy Dodd, Laura Owens, and Marina Abramovich ... Impressively, Bourland’s eruditeness rarely weighs down her prose, which zips across the page like a steady painter’s hand across a canvas. The characters’ crackling dialogue is also a pleasure to read, especially when they’re discussing art ... Glittering with wit and mystery, Fake Like Me is more than an immensely readable portrait of an artist — it shatters expectations with pointed satire and structural daring.