Author: Janet Gurtler
Release Date: May 2011
Published By: Sourcebooks
Goodreads Rating: 4.14 stars
Review: Tess and her sister Kristina are complete opposites. Tess is smart and quiet, and Kristina is sporty and popular, but both of them are okay with having their own place. But when Kristina is diagnosed with bone cancer, everything changes. Suddenly Tess is the center of attention with everyone looking for updates, and senior boys are flirting with her. Home life changes too; her picture-perfect family is cracking, and it's up to Tess to hold the pieces together.
I'M NOT HER was a powerful, emotional story dealing with a frequently-used topic - illness of a sibling - and, while not exactly putting an entirely fresh angle on it, refrained from resorting to clichés. It's easy to empathize for Tess as she struggles with not just the relatively trivial issues of high school made complicated but with her possibly dying sister. She had always felt weaker than Kristina, but now she needs to be the strong one.
There was really only one thing that bothered me about this book, and that was an event that occurred towards the end. (Highlight to read the blanks if you want the spoiler.) I felt that Jeremy's death was just completely unnecessary. Kristina was suffering enough without that, and I thought that he died too late in the book for the author to fully explore the impacts of it, not to mention that he was my favorite character.
All in all, this is a novel that could have been just a bit more original but remained fresh enough to provide an honest, gritty account of a family member with cancer. I'M NOT HER is a book everyone can relate to, regardless of whether they've had similar experiences. Though a certain event felt a bit soap-opera-ish to me, I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a touching, emotional read.
I received a free copy of this book for review. This is no way affected my review, which is 100% honest.