I'm Not Her

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I'm Not Her
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Age Range
12+
Release Date
May 01, 2011
ISBN
978-1402256363
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"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. But, the smiles of her picture perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn't hold it together, who will?

Janet Gurtler tests the bonds of sisterhood in this moving debut that readers of Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen will savor.

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One Amazing Read
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5.0
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5.0
Tess is the smart one in the family while her sister Kristina is the popular, beautiful, athletic one. Kristina is on the fast track to getting a volleyball scholarship when she's diagnosed with cancer. Tess has always kind of envied her sister. Now she's finding her so-called 'perfect' family is coming apart. She finds that she has to be the strong one in the family. If she doesn't, will her family totally fall apart?

I loved this story of two sisters who are exact opposites and the challenge/struggles that happen when the 'perfect' one, Kristina ends up with bone cancer. Tess compares herself to her beautiful sister. Then when Kristina finds out she has cancer, everything, including Tess' goal of getting into the honor society, falls apart. She goes through all the emotions of being angry, sad, and even feeling guilt that she's glad it's not her losing her leg.

I come from a large family of mostly sisters. We were different in many ways too. We also compared ourselves. For example while I was creative, my one sister was the athletic one. I also was 'jealous' of her abilities until an injury caused her to be dropped from the high school tennis team. And then I felt bad and even guilt at what happened. So I could relate with how Tess reacts to Kristina's news.

Another great thing about this book is not only how it shows a sister's relationship but how others react to the news of Kristina's cancer. Kristina's first reaction to finding out she has the big C is very realistic. Also we see how not only her volleyball friends but Tess' so-called good friend Melissa react to the news in different ways. One huge thing is that Tess finds a hidden strength she didn't know she had. This strength helps her when both her mother and father refuse to deal with the tragic news.

The scenes where Kristina goes through first chemo, to losing her leg are intense but very real. There's a few twists in the plot that I didn't see coming. I yelled out, "No!" more than a few times.

This is one gripping, heart felt story about sisters and the bond that holds them together. It's so true that yes, sisters can be a major pain in the butt, but when worse comes to shove, they always have your back.

I highly recommend this book. Have a tissue box close at hand!
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4.3
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Sisterhood, Illness, & Finding One's Teenage Self
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4.3
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4.0
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5.0
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 opens with a scene far away from any sickness. Well, that's as long as you don't categorize the ails of sibling differences as an infection. Tess is the younger of the sibling pair portrayed in this story. To her, her older sister, Kristina, is a beauty queen with the popularity, pose, and even athletic ability to match. Catching a ball let alone following in her footsteps is not even in Tess' realm of possibilities.

But when cancer hits her untouchable older sister, Tess finds more inside herself than she thought was there. She is strong, like an athlete, and can carry on conversations with the so-called populars. Slowly, she finds her own identity.

It's a story about exploring what's inside each of us; for teens, that is paramount, but also very difficult at times. Conflicts and different views between family characters heightens the tension and moves the plot along nicely. The pace was very good, and frankly, I was surprised at how quickly Gurtler introduced the issue of cancer. That was a great choice, though.

I'm more of a paranormal junkie, but Gurtler has converted me into a contemporary reader. (I've just finished her second book, which I'll share with you shortly.) Any teen or adult who's dealt with illness of any kind will appreciate this book. Any teen or adult, who's had to grow up in a not-so-perfect world with a seemingly perfect sibling, relative, or friend shadowing their light, will enjoy this read.
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