November 17, 2011

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Release Date: May 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 285
Series: n/a
Review Source: For review from Sourcebooks

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
"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. Yet 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?

My Thoughts:
This was Janet Gurtler's debut novel, but it's my second time reading her work (check out my review of If I Tell). I'm totally in love with the way she writes and the characters she creates. They all seem like real people, which makes the emotional impact even bigger. This isn't a happy book (not by a long shot) but there are still some moments of humour. I really appreciate being able to smile in a book that is far more likely to make you bawl your eyes out.

What’s interesting about this book is that it’s a novel about cancer, but from the perspective of a girl whose sister is the one who’s sick. Because of this we get to see how cancer also effects the family and friends of those who are ill. Our main character, Tess, sacrifices a lot as her family rallies around her sister. She has to give up a lot in her own life, but she knows her sister’s health is more important.

I think it’s hard to talk about this book without spoiling it, which I obviously don’t want to do. I went in without any expectations of what would happen, and it was so perfect to experience it without knowing what was coming. Basically, this book was totally heartwrenching and I fell in love with the characters. Janet Gurtler is such a talented writer, and she has definitely become one of my favourite contemporary authors.

The Cover:
I'm kind of weirded out with the way her foot disappears. But yes, generally I think it's pretty!


Find I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. I love when the characters are easy to connect to because they feel like real people. =)

    This seems like a really emotionally gripping read, will have to add it to my tbr shelf!

  2. I've seen this book around, but your comment about the characters seeming very real makes me much more interested to pick it up!

    Maybe next time I'm in the mood for something emotional...

  3. This sounds better than If I Tell - which I recently read and wasn't too wild about - and I do want to read it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Janet Gurtler has become one of my favorite contemporary authors. I read both I'm Not Her and If I Tell in about a day. I CANNOT wait for Who I Kissed (her next novel). I totally agree with what you said - the way she writes and how alive she makes her characters makes it that much more emotional. She really does a good job. I just wish more people knew about her!

  5. I do love a book that lets us see the effects of something on the family. I think it's an important part of life that is sometimes overlooked. I was surprised by how much I liked If I Tell, so I'm looking forward to this one! :)

    Also- Hahahahaha to the foot thing. It really kinda is creepy. :P

  6. It definitely sounds interesting. I love the fact that it's about the sister, actually. It feels like it could be even more emotional from that perspective... Great review. I might have to take a closer look at this one. :)

    Rebecca @ Kindle Fever

  7. This one sounds sad! I like how the story's from a family member's perspective and that the reader gets to delve into the emotional toll cancer can take on everyone involved.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


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