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I'm Not Her

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,460 ratings  ·  547 reviews
“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Janet This book was nominated and shortlisted for a Rita Award. 16 Things I Thought Were True was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection.

There are no m…more
This book was nominated and shortlisted for a Rita Award. 16 Things I Thought Were True was chosen as a Junior Library Guild Selection.

There are no more books that are in the same world as I'm Not Her. All my books are standalone. Though there is a similar feel to the covers, they are different worlds. Once in a while a character from one book will pop up in another, but it's just a short cameo. :)

Thanks for asking the questions! And for the lovely compliment!!(less)
Alex Durand No. Tess is a freshman and Kristina is a senior. It also mentions in the book how they look nothing alike.

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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,460 ratings  ·  547 reviews

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Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
I can almost guarantee that everybody knows somebody who has had cancer, whether it is you, a friend, neighbor, coworker, relative, etc. I think most people have seen someone go through this. I'm surprised actually of how little young-adult literature deals with this issue, but here Gurtler attacks it head on and gives a realistic portrayal of a family dealing with cancer.

Tess is not like her older sister, not even a smidge. She's artistic, nerdy, and not anywhere near to even be a blip in the s
Feb 10, 2011 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Well. Of course I loved it! ;)

Oct 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Whew... so heartbreaking, but realistic. This was an especially difficult book for me to read right now. Having cancer affecting a few people in my life right now. Luckily they are fairing very well to their treatments, but it's still hard to read about what they might have had to gone through.

But this wasn't a story about a girl with cancer. This was a story about a family dealing with someone they love having cancer, and how they are each are affected... in very very different ways.

I was mad
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"You're still you. And I don't want you to die."

Very few things are as sobering as having your kids squealing and playing, seeming healthy and happy, all around you while you read a book about childhood cancer.

Tess is a strong, smart,independent kind of girl. She's tried to earn her way into honor society through grades, volunteering and extra activities.

Her sister Kristina is pretty, sporty and popular. She's easy to talk to, quick to flash a smile and easy to make friends with.

Up until Kristin
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 25, 2013 rated it it was ok

Deep breath.

What I liked?
1. The parts about cancer. I thought the reaction of Kristina (the one with cancer) was really realistic. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of Kristina moments because of her whiny ass little sister who this book more or less revolved around.

And just like that we are to what I did not like about the book.

The main character. This little brat of a freshman who was all:
Wahhhhhh. It's all about my sister and her cancer and what about my grades and art?!
Jun 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Mikara by: No one

I'm not Her by Janet Gurtler was a very inspiring book, that really touched my heart. For being someone who can't stand to read, I couldn't put this book down. It showed me that even when you're jealous of someone or always wanting to be them, they could have other issues no one knows about. In the novel, the main character, Tess, was always the quiet, shy, and unpopular girl. Unlike Tess, her sister was always the athletic one, who always got the boys and was beautiful. Tess always secretly w
Brandi Kosiner
This was a really powerful and emotional story, about love, family and discovering who you are.
I'm not her addresses popularity and letting who you are shine. Tess breaks my heart, and I'm able to relate with how she feels and what she battles with. It's hard watching her learn about her friend, who her sister is to her, and discovering new things about what she once mocked.
It's really eye-opening to see how cancer really effects the community and to see how even little things can make an i
Tracey Macleod
Mar 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this authors voice. This is a must read!!
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-e-books
I generally don't read a lot of what I consider YA, but I did like this book. Books about cancer are hard, books about cancer that people have a chance to survive are also hard, I have a skewed opinion, can't help it. This book revolves around the younger sister and dealing with her sister's diagnosis. An excellent viewpoint. I absolutely wanted to throttle their parents for acting like children, but this book really kept my attention. I remember when my dad said if kids can do chemo, so can I, ...more
Tiara T.
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grace Mycek
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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 s ...more
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nobody looks at Tess. She's a weird and anti-social freshman, always studying. Not to mention the lack of fashion that both she and her religious fanatic obese best friend possess. No, everyone would rather look at her older sister, Kristina. Kristina is bubbly and easy to like. She's nice to everyone, beautiful, and the star of the girls' volleyball team. That is, until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess finds her home life falling apart, with her sick sister, gossipy mother, and ...more
Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦
May 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Overall score: 5 Stars!!

sisters gif photo: Sister.gif

Tess likes her life just the way everything is. She is not popular, doesn't wear flashy clothes, has never kissed a boy and the only person who seems to be close to her is her best friend Melissa that she can make fun of other people with. But it's okay because she got the brains and a wicked talent for art.

"People don't run up to me with their cameras and ask to take my picture with them. They run past me without seeing me and grab my sister and pose with he
Goodreads giveaway.At first I was underwhelmed by this teen story of one sister, Tess, dealing with her perfect older sister's cancer diagnosis. Kristina. The title implies a major conflict between the two, or with people's perceptions of them, but I never felt this aspect was fully embraced. Once I let go of waiting for that piece, I found this to be a really sweet narrative that dealt nicely with issues of death and dying. The whole family is (obviously) effected by Kristina's diagnosis and th ...more
Sammi C.
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think that this book was really interesting and a page turner because I always wanted to see what happened next. In the beginning of the book I thought of Tess as a little girl, but as the book progressed and her sister got diagnosed with cancer, she had to take on some responsibility which made her seem older. I think that Tess had a rough time because she had to give up on her activities and even her grades had to suffer so she could be there for her sister. She really wanted to get into the ...more
Steena Holmes
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Freakin' fantastic!
I just finished the story and I can't say enough about how much I loved it. The way the author met the hard facts and realities head on, the honesty in the writing ...
I have three daughters who will be reading this story. To know that there is strength in tragedy. That one persons weakness is another's strength. To realize there is more to life than themselves - even when their teenage hearts cry otherwise.
Thank you for this story. Thank you for the depth that made me cry.
Hanan Kayali
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english
This book reminded me a lot about my friend who also had cancer. She also had it in her leg and had to use a wheelchair. This book was great because it shows how cancer affects the family and friends too. R.I.P Suzan. You're always in my thoughts. ...more
Sydney Bennett
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so awesome! It makes me realize things that I have never thought about before. I like the way it ended and I think it would've been cool to make another one because I think they should make it about later in her life. I really enjoyed this book. It kept my intrest the whole time I was reading. I definetely recommend. ...more
Andi (Andi's ABCs)
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Okay, I'm going to admit to the thing you should never admit to. I waited to read this book because of the cover. I know right? I did the cliche thing and judged a book by its cover. Well shame on me because I'm Not Her was a story that should be read immediately and should be read often. The cover says nothing about the amazingness in the pages and the heartbreaking story of a family having to deal with something no family should have to be put through. This book made me smile and cry and smile ...more
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa (i swim for oceans)
Tess and Kristina couldn't be more different if they tried. Gorgeous and athletic, Kristina is the envy of all the girls and object of all boys' affection in high school. Tess is a budding artist, a quiet freshman and a self-professed geek. She's ok with it. She's like her father, while Kristina is like her mother. When Kristina discovers her knee injury is actually cancer though, her pretenses begin to slip and suddenly, her popularity shifts. While before she was beloved, now she's beloved and ...more
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I'm Not Her is an emotional read. Seriously, my emotions were all over when I was reading this -- angry, sad, bitter, chuckling, and even at times "crushing" on the bad boy. But, everything, is flavored by the impending events that is mentioned in the first pages.

It is not a easy, fun read but it is a raw and powerful one

Kristina is sick. Perfect, beautiful, popular and sporty Kristina has bone cancer. And suddenly Kristina's seemingly happy life goes from fabulous to wretched. She does not want
Molly Wasserberg
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I’m Not Her is a devastating, yet practical story about a family dealing with cancer. The story starts out like any other, but takes a turn when Kristina, a popular, athletic, and stunning girl, is diagnosed with cancer. Her mother, father, and sister Tess go through obstacles while learning to cope with Kristina’s illness. This story, told by Tess’ point of view, gives an understanding of how cancer can affect peoples lives. It not only affects you mentally, but also emotionally. We see the gro ...more
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Sara Zarr, Lauren Strasnick
Remember that old saying "Whatever does not kill me, makes me stronger?" Well, apparently sometimes not so much. Sometimes it reveals and ruptures all the stress cracks (in a person, in a family) that weren't so apparent in the absence of pressure. Sometimes it leaves you broken and crying, or angry, bitter and bereft. (There's lots of synopsis reviews of this if you want to figure out what it's about, so I'm not going to repeat all that, but rather just react a bit.) This sad and troubling book ...more
S.A. Larsen
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, I LOVE the cover! Some might think it's simple, but it fits. There's something about the image of broken petals on the grass that speaks to me. The color palette is also very inviting.

I'M NOT HER gives the reader a real glimpse into the realities of cancer. The story is sincere and delicate at times, but deals with the harshness and fear a serious disease or illness can reek on a family. And utilizing the point of view from the youngest in this family was a thing of beauty.

Gurtler open
Just A. Bean
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Things I liked: The writing and character voice were well done. It felt like being in the mind of a fifteen year old, and her reactions to events seemed natural. The writing itself was enjoyable and often funny.

Three things I didn't like:
1. The plot didn't seem to have a lot of structure. There were threads of relationships and events running through, but mostly it was kind of AND THEN this happened AND THEN that happened, which wasn't great, but to add to that the AND THEN was almost always som
Sophie Woods
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is easily the best book I have ever read. Not only did this book give me chills, it warmed my heart in many ways. I relate to this book greatly. My Uncle passed away from stage IV colon cancer two years ago, and this book shows me how much he was hurting on the inside too. Thinking back about the memories we had together made me cry even more, but in the same way it helped me cope. This book creates ways for people to relate and also enjoy the life that they have.

Tess Smith is the ave
My Summary: Tess and her sister have always been total opposites: her sister is that girl - the popular sporty one with a tonne of friends, while Tess is more quiet and focused on school. Both sisters know the role they're meant to play, and they don't question the way things have worked out for them.

Until Tess' sister is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess isn't quite so sure who she's supposed to be, and when her seemingly-perfect family starts to fall apart, all she can do is try to be the p
Chelsea Groves
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I read I'm Not Her, I cried. Janet Gurtler created a believable plot through her eloquent writing and the main character's feelings towards her sister's diagnosis.

Tess is the baby of the family. She envied her sister until the word cancer and Kristina were uttered in the same sentence. She is invisible to everyone at school. And then Kristina misses one day and Tess becomes the center of attention because everyone wants to know why her sister isn't there. Kristina asks Tess to tell nobody.
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Crazy for Young A...: I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler → Start Date: June 28th, 2013 40 33 Jul 10, 2013 10:02AM  

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A Rita Award Finalist, Janet Gurtler's young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children’s Book Center. Janet lives in Okotoks Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce and a blonde golden retriever named Betty White.


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