Grace's Reviews > I'm Not Her

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
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's review
Sep 14, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read from September 14 to 15, 2011

There were some parts of this book I just thought were absolutely amazing and I loved. But then there were just as equally the same amount of other parts that made me just want to put the book down altogether. I just want to let anyone know, if you're looking for a happy everything-turns-out-ok-in-the-end story, this is not it (well basically)! I just feel bad for most of these characters. There's something tragic going on with basically each and every one of them and even though I thought the story was ok overall, it made it a very bleak and depressing read.

Tess is nothing like her older sister. Kristina is perfect and beautiful, guys flock to her, she has the whole social world riding on her back, she is going to be a scholarship volleyball player, and she has the adoration of everyone. That is, until she is diagnosed with bone cancer. Suddenly, Kristina is unsure of the person who she's become and cuts off everybody she's made a part of her life. Quiet artistic Tess must stand up to the plate and be strong for her sister and her family. Tess suddenly is pushed into Kristina's shoes. She becomes popular at school, updating all of her sister's friends with the news, boys take notice of her and while all this is happening she must cope with the realization that her family life is falling apart. How will she stand when everything and everyone she's ever loved gets turned completely upside down?

I did like the idea of this story, don't get me wrong. I loved how Tess basically took over a maternal role to Kristina and how she did what she thought was best for her sister and stood up for her at school whenever anyone tried to put her down. I enjoyed watching the growth of some of the characters and the maturation into discovering their true self. Tess becoming the popular at school showed her how being social isn't always a shallow thing and that some of the popular crowd weren't actually jerks but genuine good people. Seeing Kristina realize that looks and clothes weren't everything was also a breath of fresh air. She becomes this whole new person and starts to realize that she can still do the things she believes in and sets her mind to. There's a mass of other side characters: Their mom and dad (who had some serious issues by the way. I just couldn't stand how unlike parents...or good parents...they acted.), Jeremy (the boy who helps Kristina see the true her...adorable!), Clark (Tess's new best friend who helps her through the whole process), Nick (scumbag/jerk...just saying), Melissa, Devon, and just a whole slew of others.

I wish this book had ended on a bit of a happier note but it was a nice read overall.
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