Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler [Review]

3.5 out of 5 Robots!
Title: I'm Not Her
Author: Janet Gurtler
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402256361
ISBN-13: 978-1402256363
My Copy: Publisher (TBS)
Reviewer: Rex

About the Book:
Brainy Tess Smith is the younger sibling of the beautiful, popular, volleyball-scholarship-bound Kristina. When Kristina is diagnosed with bone cancer, it drastically changes both sisters' lives. Sometimes the things that annoy us the most about our siblings are the ones we'd miss the most if we lost them.

In this YA literary coming-of-age novel that will appeal to readers who love Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen, sisters Tess and Kristina discover not only who they are, but who they can become.

My Review: 
I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler is incredibly frustrating, wonderful and utterly engaging. It is the story of sisters who will both make you smile and break your heart. I was a little unsure of myself going into this novel, but I couldn't put it down. It is an emotional, touching ride through the lives of two girls suffering in totally different ways.

 Talk about powerful. I could not imagine going through the trite problems of being a typical freshman in high school AND having to watch my gorgeous older sister (who has everything) get knocked out by cancer. Everything about how the characters acted in this book seemed real to me- completely believable. I felt like I was experiencing high school with Tess. Boys. Jealousy. Bad friends. Discovering who you are and what you love.

It is scary and sad to see how Kristina's cancer effects her, her family and their community. It made me appreciate how lucky I am that my family and I have our health. The ending is truly quite shocking and is actually what really frustrated me. I just kept thinking, why, Janet? Why? Why couldn't you cut our Kristina a break and just let her have one thing that makes her happy! Without giving any spoilers, that is all I will say. Sigh. Sad. Powerful. Touching.

I highly recommend this story though it is a little hard to read due to the nature of the plot- seeing a young girl with unlimited potential going through chemo is inspiring but sad. This is a great contemporary young adult novel and I hope that many young readers pick it up. 

Check out my interview with Tess's sister Kristina HERE

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