“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?
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 her friends to know she is sick, especially the other girls on her volleyball team. She is no longer outgoing but extremely depressed.
Tess was never in the spotlight and she liked it that way. She just wanted her freshman year to be about focusing on her art and getting into the honor's society with her best friend. That all changes when her sister gets sick.
Suddenly everyone knows who she is and her name, even if she dosen't want them to or not. She is trying to deal with her sister's friends, older boys, juggling her life as a freshman, lying for her sister, keeping her family together, and entering her art in a contest.
Now, her life consist of being in the spotlight and sacrificing things for her sister. Because her sister cannot be that person anymore.
At times, I was extremely angry with the characters in this books. Like wanted to smack them angry -- however, it made me realize something: that I was angry because the character's were angry. My anger was based on how the MC, Tess, was seeing the world and feeling. And so I was feeling that way too -- and when a book can so openly portray those feelings across the pages, you know it is powerful.
Gurtler's writing is realistic and very honest.
She did not take the easy way out, but allowed her characters to get angry, get depressed, live in denial, and so forth. It represented a family effected by cancer and how it changes the whole family unit. Cancer often effects the whole community (especially if the person is more well known), and the family often puts on a brave face for those looking in. The community does not always see the real problems and fears the family is facing. Gurtler exposes the real stresses and battles of a 'supportive family' and how each person deals with the cancer.
I'm Not Her is a heavy-issued read. It shows a family faltering and learning to rise again -- not matter how long it takes. Well written, emotional, and heart-felt, pick this book up if you're looking for those things...you wont regret it.