I'm Not Her

Author: Janet Gurtler
Pages: 285
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Paperback (ARC)
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary (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?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

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 perfect daughter and watch as her sister battles the horrible disease.

My Thoughts: This novel was incredibly realistic, especially when it came to the characters - the author writes them in such a way that you begin to see them as real people. The protagonist's voice is so genuine, you can't help but feel bad for her and wish she wasn't stuck in her situation.

I also really liked the way this novel is not from the perspective of the ill sibling. As someone who has watched a family member struggle with cancer, I really liked getting the perspective of the family members. Nobody really thinks about it much, but it's those people who are always there that tend to sacrifice the most for the people they love - I really liked that this novel was able to show this.

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to fans of edgier contemporary YA.

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