I'm Not Her

( 159 )

Overview

"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. ...

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Overview

"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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...powerful... A gripping read, Gurtler allows real life to prevail, avoiding the all-too-easy, "after-school special" ending many writers might have chosen. Major characters are well-developed, and even adults are portrayed in a realistic, although not always positive, light." - VOYA

"I devoured it...this story isn't about the girl in the spotlight. It's about the girl in the shadows, the one who's forced to find her way into the light to keep her family from totally self-desctructing. As much as it brought me to tears, I loved watching Tess struggle with her own questions, doubt, frustrations with her parents and their inability to accept and deal with this tragedy, the equal parts love/resentment/fear she feels toward her sister, and her tenuous but unwanted place in the spotlight at school. I'M NOT HER is, quite simply, a downright real story." - The Contemps

"This book was beautiful - almost poetic in a way. I would definitely recommend it - especially to fans of Sarah Ockler and Gail Forman." - I Like These Books

"The strength of sisterhood speaks volumes in I'm Not Her; Janet Gurtler has written a fantastic story about the bond between sisters... 'm Not Her is a great story about love, loss and the lengths one will go to when facing death." - The Page Turners

"I'd also recommend this book to fans of Deb Caletti, Sarah Okler and Gayle Friessen (If I Stay). Tess is a strong, funny character who teens will related to and cheer for, just like the heroines in these other books. And voice? It's there...in spades." - Just Deb

"Tackling difficult material like cancer, the bonds of sisterhood and family and testing the waters of coming-of-age, it's written to push the envelope past normal into something more meaningful... I'd recommend it to fans of YA who especially enjoy contemporary fiction." - i swim for oceans

"Rich in characterization, Gurtler's novel wrestles with some serious issues and explores different means of coping (or escaping) yet manages not to be overwhelming or bleak. Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult, this is a strong debut that attempts to answer the question, What does it really mean to live?" - Booklist

"Cute and quirky, with sentimentality reminiscent of Judy Blume, this is a book for the keeper shelf - one that readers will devour again and again!" - RT Book Reviews

"...a story that is nothing but completely real, giving you an honest look at the life of a teenage girl... [you] will find yourself inspired." - Girl's Life

"...a powerful, emotional story...a book everyone can relate to, regardless of whether they've had similar experiences." - My Words Ate Me

School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—It's hard for Tess not to be jealous of her older sister. Kristina is beautiful; she's popular and outgoing, with a promising volleyball career. When Kristina is diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer and must undergo chemotherapy, their mother's desire to keep up appearances makes Tess's life even more painful. Her mother throws parties and goes shopping to avoid dealing with the reality of Kristina's illness. Her dad spends all of his time at work and her sister slips into depression. In the meantime, Tess is trying to keep up her grades and create a piece of artwork to submit to a contest that could lead to a scholarship to her dream school. Tess's transformation is subtle, believable, and satisfying. The author seamlessly develops complexity in all of the characters as they all respond differently to their grief. Tess's former best friend seems to gloat at Kristina's diagnosis, while the kids in the popular crowd, whom Tess had previously dismissed, reach out to Tess, and her former academic rival, Clark Trent, becomes her protector at school. Tess's journey is both rewarding and painful as she develops the courage to stand up to her parents to break them out of their denial and she begins to appreciate her own beauty and strength. This quick and heartbreaking read realistically shows how one person's illness affects an entire community.—Rachael Myers-Ricker, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY
The Contemps
I devoured it...this story isn't about the girl in the spotlight. It's about the girl in the shadows, the one who's forced to find her way into the light to keep her family from totally self-desctructing. As much as it brought me to tears, I loved watching Tess struggle with her own questions, doubt, frustrations with her parents and their inability to accept and deal with this tragedy, the equal parts love/resentment/fear she feels toward her sister, and her tenuous but unwanted place in the spotlight at school. I'M NOT HER is, quite simply, a downright real story. - The Contemps
VOYA - Gina Bowling
Tess and her sister, Kristina, are exact opposites. Kristina is athletic and outgoing, the life of every party, and the belle of every ball. Tess is artistic and quiet, could not care less about parties, and has never even had a boyfriend. They both have their place in their family and school, but when Kristina is diagnosed with cancer, both are forced to find a new place within their surroundings and within themselves. Tess becomes the center of attention as everyone is trying to find out about her sister, and she becomes the strength for her entire family as things slowly fall apart. Gurtler's novel is powerful, exploring the ever-changing dynamic of a family dealing with cancer. Both sisters deal with the disease in different ways and learn much about themselves through the process. A gripping read, Gurtler allows real life to prevail, avoiding the all-too-easy, "after-school special" ending many writers might have chosen. Major characters are well-developed, and even adults are portrayed in a realistic, although not always positive, light. Tess's parents are absent once Kristina is diagnosed, both coping with their shock and grief in their own ways. Some of the teachers refuse to show any grace even though Tess is fighting hard to keep both herself and her family intact. New friendships form and there are hints at romance, but the focus is on Tess and the strength she finds within herself to stand on her own, protect her sister, and hold her family together. Reviewer: Gina Bowling
Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
I'm Not Her is recommended to readers who enjoy books by authors such as Jodi Picoult and Sarah Dessen. I find that assessment to be very accurate. The book has the medical drama that is the prerequisite of a Picoult novel, but it is told through the eyes of a teenage girl who feels very authentic, a la Dessen. Tess is 15 years old when her older sister, Kristina, is diagnosed with cancer. As Tess's family life falls apart, she suddenly finds herself slowly taking Kristina's enviable place in the popular crowd at school. This dichotomy of fortunes, compounded by her fear that her sister will not survive, is extremely difficult for Tess to adjust to. As Kristina fights for her life, Tess must figure out what she wants out of her own life. This is a novel that could have become the story of a girl whose sister is fighting cancer, and that would have been interesting, but instead is about much more. It is about family and sisterhood and what is important in life.
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—It's hard for Tess not to be jealous of her older sister. Kristina is beautiful; she's popular and outgoing, with a promising volleyball career. When Kristina is diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer and must undergo chemotherapy, their mother's desire to keep up appearances makes Tess's life even more painful. Her mother throws parties and goes shopping to avoid dealing with the reality of Kristina's illness. Her dad spends all of his time at work and her sister slips into depression. In the meantime, Tess is trying to keep up her grades and create a piece of artwork to submit to a contest that could lead to a scholarship to her dream school. Tess's transformation is subtle, believable, and satisfying. The author seamlessly develops complexity in all of the characters as they all respond differently to their grief. Tess's former best friend seems to gloat at Kristina's diagnosis, while the kids in the popular crowd, whom Tess had previously dismissed, reach out to Tess, and her former academic rival, Clark Trent, becomes her protector at school. Tess's journey is both rewarding and painful as she develops the courage to stand up to her parents to break them out of their denial and she begins to appreciate her own beauty and strength. This quick and heartbreaking read realistically shows how one person's illness affects an entire community.—Rachael Myers-Ricker, Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402256363
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 185,917
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.22 (w) x 5.56 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Gurtler's work has appeared in magazines such as Today's Parent and Luxury Living Lifestyles. She now spends her time reading and writing edgy, meaningful books for and about teens. In 2007, she finished her first triathlon. She lives beside the Rocky Mountains with her son and husband in Calgary, Canada.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 159 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(88)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 159 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Review from Blkosiner's Book Blog

    This was a really powerful and emotional story, about love, family and discovering who you are.
    I'm not her addresses popularity and letting who you are shine. Tess breaks my heart, and I'm able to relate with how she feels and what she battles with. It's hard watching her learn about her friend, who her sister is to her, and discovering new things about what she once mocked.
    It's really eye-opening to see how cancer really effects the community and to see how even little things can make an impact.
    The family dynamics are well written and very believable. It's hard to read, but at the same time, I can see pieces of my family, my behaviors in each and it's hard to look down at all when you know where they are coming from.
    If you like emotional reads, contemporary, then I'd definitely recommend giving this a read.

    42 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Read

    This book is amazing. I loved every minute reading this.

    28 out of 39 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2011

    I couldn't put this book down!

    As i read this book, i smiled and i cried alittle bit. this is one of my favorite books i EVER read. Normally, i get books and takes me to read for 1 day with stopping few chapters for a break.

    but for this book, i couldn't put this book down at all! i read this book in 2hours! ahhh! my new record!

    i would recommend this book for people who loves to read, and read sad stories.
    it's worth it.

    21 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Page turner

    I couldnt put this book down. I cried. I smiled. The end is not something you see coming! Loved the book! I hope janet writess more! This is a must read. Its worth the money.

    17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Sweet and well written. finished it in half a day. Very enjoyabl

    Sweet and well written. finished it in half a day. Very enjoyable

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Spolier alert

    Don't read 2011 reviews. In one sentence someone revealed an important detail. I was going to purchase but not now!

    10 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2012

    PLEASE do NOT give specifics that are spoilers for other readers

    PLEASE do NOT give specifics that are spoilers for other readers don't tell us who dies or how it ends. I was going to buy this book, but because of the spoiler, I will not.

    10 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Anonymous

    I have a suggestion, when a reviewer rudely tries to re-write the entire book according to their verison under the disguise of a book review, just ask yourself, which one do I want to read. Of course, the one you paid for. I just look to read the reviews where people know how to write a review, short and to the point.

    9 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Loved it

    I cried, i smiled, and was shocked. Overall its an amazing book!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    When I read I¿m Not Her the first time, I cried. It was no diff

    When I read I’m Not Her the first time, I cried. It was no different the second time around. Janet Gurtler created a believable plot through her eloquent writing and the main character’s feelings towards her sister’s diagnosis.

    Tess is the baby of the family. She envied her sister until the word cancer and Kristina were uttered in the same sentence. She is invisible to everyone at school. And then Kristina misses one day and Tess becomes the center of attention because everyone wants to know why her sister isn’t there. Kristina asks Tess to tell nobody. She doesn’t want people knowing she has cancer because she doesn’t want people feeling sorry for her. Kristina is the “It” girl, outgoing, likeable, beautiful, and carefree. Their parents are in denial. Tess needs to step up or risk her entire family falling apart.

    Despite the tears, I really enjoyed this book. Tess had to be the adult. Her parents were either absent or not dealing with all the possible outcomes of Kristina’s situation. She is the one who has to pull her family back together and make everyone face the music. Tess grows up during Kristina’s illness. She is no longer the quite, invisible girl; she is the outspoken girl who doesn’t want to be in the limelight struggling to keep her life from falling apart.

    I highly recommend this book to ALL readers! It was phenomenal and is definitely worth a read…or two.


    Originally posted at Doodle's Book Blog

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    Hopeful and funny!

    LOVED this book sooooo much!

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    Absolutely best book ive read

    Just a touching great read!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    AMAZING

    Im Not Her was single handedly one if tge best books I have ever read. Period. I would recomend to a teen audience. Im 13 years old and ibread this book last summer. Ever since then i couldn't stop thinking about how good it was. Like I said it was amazing and i would recomend it to anyone. The plot twists and climax points keep me one edge. And the bond between to sisters shows its powerful stength.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

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    2 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Awesomee

    This book is amazing. Its makes you laugh cry & smile. Its is so worth the money.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 3, 2012

    This book is amazing. I would recommend anyone to read it. I cri

    This book is amazing. I would recommend anyone to read it. I cried and smiled during the whole thing. I absolutely love this book and would read it over and over!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    party time

    this book was just enough emotion mixed with some boy action but not to worry there is not any detail except on kissing it is about a girl named tess who has a very popular sister and her sister ends up getting knee canser everyone struggles and some do not handle this well but you will have to read and find out what happens next

    i think that the author should write a book from the sisters point of veiw

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2011

    AMAZING!!

    A few tears were shed but i loved it! after i read it i gave it to my best friend and she loved it to!! she had an experiance with cancer and could find it relatible in everyway.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Good summer read!

    Good story, some surprises in the plot, easy and quick to read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Must read.

    This book is very good
    And could bring tears to your eyes with this amazing story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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