Why Can't I Be You

Featured
 
4.2 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
333   0
Write Review
Why Can't I Be You
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
June 19, 2018
ISBN
978-0062567208
Buy This Book
      

Claire Ladd knows that this summer is going to be special. She and her two best friends, Ronan and Brianna, are turning twelve. She is leaving camp behind and gets to do what she wants all day. She feels everything starting to change. But things don’t always change for the better. With Brianna’s cousin Eden visiting for the summer, Claire feels like a third wheel. Even though she is only a year older, Eden seems so much more sophisticated and glamorous . . . and when she's around, she takes up everyone’s attention, including Brianna’s. But that doesn’t explain why things have felt awkward with Brianna ever since she moved to a fancy new house, or why Ronan, who lives in the trailer next to Claire’s, has started acting moody anytime anyone mentions his dad. Claire has always been happy with her life just as it is, but as the summer wears on and the issues with her friends start to grow, she can’t help but wonder: Would everything be better if she could just be someone else?

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.0  (2)
Characters 
 
4.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (2)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Summer isn't always all fun.

Claire is very excited about summer, because she is being allowed to stay home by herself. Her friend and neighbor, Ronan, has plenty of plans for things they can do around the trailer park where they live. Things start to get derailed a bit when Claire's friend Brianna introduces them to her cousin, Eden, who is a year older than they are and acts like she's 16 rather than 12. It also doesn't help that Brianna has moved into a fancy new house with a pool, and Claire starts to feel a bit bad about her mother cleaning houses for other people, and about living in a small home. Ronan's father is back after having left the family for a while, but he is struggling with depression, and this is impacting Ronan's life. Claire's own father is very supportive, has frequent visitations, and gets along well enough with her mother. Summer's not bad, but it's more confusing than Claire expected, and Eden seems to be siphoning off Claire's friends, including Ronan. Will this affect their joint birthday party planned for the end of the summer?

Good Points
Like this author's Let's Pretend We Never Met, this book explores the difficulties of navigating friendships in middle school. I love that Walker takes very common facets of middle grade friendships that are rarely covered in literature and deftly explores them. It is really hard to have friends who are wealthier, even if your family is happy with what they have, and it's annoying to lose a friend to someone who is "cooler". Eden is an all too common type of 12 year old, and it's nice to see her contrasted against an ordinary 11 year old who doesn't really care that much about clothing or boys (other to have them as friends). Bonus points for having her be biracial-- my own daughters have biracial cousins who are younger than they are, but it is a common occurrence that I have only ever seen mentioned in Kate Hannigan's The Cupcake Cousins. I really liked Claire's network of support and how it manages to extend to help Ronan. With such an appealing cover, this will never be on the shelves.
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Sensitivity and Perception

'Why Can't I Be You' by Melissa Walker follows main character Claire through the summer when she turns twelve. Even though life should be pretty easy and fun at such a young age, Claire finds herself troubled by issues of friendship and perception. Having lived her life in a trailer park, she has never thought herself less than anyone else, but with more and more not-so-joking statements coming up from kids she goes to school with, she begins to wonder if her life is not as good or normal as she once thought.

Being pretty young still, and not being able to understand that life doesn't have to revolve around where someone lives or how much money they have, Claire lashes out at those close to her, not meaning to hurt them, but trying to find meaning for herself in the issues that are plaguing her. Her best girlfriend, Brianna, has also moved into a new and pretty ritzy home with a fancy new pool and lots of other items that Claire can only wish for, and her other best friend, Ronan, who lives in the trailer park with her, isn't helping to calm her nerves. Rather, he is trying to fit in more with the people who Claire sees as making fun of them, and it makes her question her perception of life in general and what is truly important.

Little does Claire know that not everything is always as it seems, and even those who seem like they have everything together and are living perfect lives are often hiding secrets of their own. Brianna's cousin, Eden, is one of these seemingly perfect people that everyone has known at some point or another in their lives. She is the type of person who drives others crazy with her confidence and certainty in life, but it is important to remember that it is impossible to ever know someone fully, and judgments make coming to understanding with others harder.

It's perfectly normal to wish to be someone else once in a while. Life often seems so much easier from someone else's perspective, hence the "grass is always greener on the other side" phrase. 'Why Can't I Be You' implores readers to better understand how to cope with judgment and perception, and learn how to be happy with life as it is, since everyone's happiness is entirely subjective and dependent on any number of factors. It will help readers be more thoroughly sensitive to not only others, but to their own individual situations.

Good Points
'Why Can't I Be You' implores readers to better understand how to cope with judgment and perception, and learn how to be happy with life as it is, since everyone's happiness is entirely subjective and dependent on any number of factors. It will help readers be more thoroughly sensitive to not only others, but to their own individual situations.
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Story of B
The Story of B combines Daniel Quinn's provocative and visionary...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Tales: Beauty and the Beast: A Modern Retelling
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Tales: The Snow Queen: A Graphic Novel
Follow Gerda on an adventure to find her friend Kay,...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
DARK TALES: THE CALL OF CTHULHU: A Graphic Novel
In this Dark Tale, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming... ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Tales: The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Graphic Novel
Eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains, however improbable, must be...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Time Jumpers: Escape from Egypt
This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line,...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY
Adrienne Cahill cares about three things: getting into a great...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
9 FROM NINE WORLDS
The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy may...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
#Murdertrending
@doctorfusionbebop: Some 17 y. o. chick named Dee Guerrera was...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unstoppable Moses
Moses and his cousin Charlie were best friends, wisecracking pranksters,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
51HTvQF3B2L._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Thief of Happy Endings
Sarah Dessen meets the Wild West in this tale of...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Between Before and After
“The carnage began with the roses. She hacked at their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
STANDING UP AGAINST HATE is the story of black women...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Chainbreaker (Timekeeper Book 2)
Clock mechanic Danny Hart knows he’s being watched. But by...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old cupid-in-training Kali is in an Olympus-sized mountain of trouble....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
 
5.0
""These Broken Stars" is an interesting YA sci-fi that follows two young people after a space shuttle crash. Lilac LeRoux..."
This Shattered World (Starbound #2)
 
3.3
""This Shattered World" follows Jubilee (Lee) and Flynn, who live on a planet that has failed terraforming, leaving it with..."
DARK TALES: THE CALL OF CTHULHU: A Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"This vibrant retelling of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story has been artfully adapted into a beautifully illustrated graphic novel that captures..."
Dark Tales: The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of Arthur Conan Doyle's finest Sherlock Holmes novels, written years after “The Final..."
NOTES FROM MY CAPTIVITY
 
4.7
"Adrienne Cahill finds herself on an expedition to remote Siberia looking for the fabled Osinov family with her stepfather, Dan,..."
9 FROM NINE WORLDS
 
3.7
"Fans of Riordan will find lots of familiar faces from the Magnus Chase series in this clever collection of short..."
#Murdertrending
 
4.0
"A gory, dark thriller with all the things we loved about Hunger Games plus a delightfully creepy twist of something..."
Unstoppable Moses
 
5.0
"Feedback I am going to admit that I would have never picked up this book if I wasn’t provided a..."
Sanctuary
 
3.0
"X-men Gen X (i.e. the teen version) meets Aliens-lite in this survival-in-space story. Told in first-person past-tense from..."
Thief of Happy Endings
 
4.7
"‘Thief of Happy Endings’ is a young adult contemporary with a huge twist. The story centers around, Cassidy. Cassidy..."
Timekeeper (Timekeeper #1)
 
4.3
"Feedback I thought this was an interesting concept. The clocks themselves really control the time. There are days where..."
Chainbreaker (Timekeeper Book 2)
 
5.0
"Feedback What a change from book one! While I enjoyed Timekeeper, it took me a while to truly engage..."
Confessions of a High School Disaster
 
3.7
"Confessions of a High School Disaster is the first installment of the Chloe Snow series. I read the second installment..."
I Do Not Trust You
 
4.0
"I DO NOT TRUST YOU by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz is a young adult thriller that follows Memphis..."
Light Years
 
3.0
"Sporting a diverse ensemble cast, this book is rife with themes of team-building; and not simply setting aside differences but..."
The Color of Lies
 
3.7
"The Color of Lies relies heavily on its interesting characters, not-so-original plot, and captivating writing to keep its reader--but as..."
The Reader
 
4.0
""The Reader" is an intriguing YA fantasy that follows a girl named Sefia. Her parents hid her in a secret..."
The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel: A Story of Sleepy Hollow
 
4.0
" "The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel" is a retelling of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow from the point-of-view of..."
Umbertouched
 
5.0
"UMBERTOUCHED is the end to the Rosemarked Duology and I'm blown away by it. When Zivah and Dineas are..."
Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc
 
5.0
"I really love novels of strong historical women. In this case, this novel is about Joan of Arc. What makes..."