Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Pages: 320
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: May 1st, 2011
IBSN: 9781402256363

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?

Tess pales in comparison to her popular, athletic, perfect sister. You know the type -- it's a common trope. But her sister, Kristina, is diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly Tess has to adopt a new role in her family as her mother grows more useless each day and her father grows less present each day.

It's not exactly an original premise, no. You've already read the story about the outshadowed sister coming into her own. I'm not going to try to convince you that I'm Not Her is a refreshing take on it, but I will submit that several themes and plot turns were unexpected, but not enough to make the story stand out.

The characters fell kind of flat, and in the end, I didn't care for them. Some were at unnaturally extreme ends of stereotypes, but I didn't dislike any of them per se. I just didn't become emotionally attached to any of them. While they were going through struggles, I was wondering which book I should read next.

The writing style was smooth and adequately detailed the events and Tess's feelings, but it doesn't lend to a compelling character voice.

I'm Not Her doesn't break any new ground in the genre. It's for fans of contemporary novels who don't mind a plot reminiscent of much else out there.

I give I'm Not Her a 2 out of 5.