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I'm Not Her
     

I'm Not Her

4.2 169
by Janet Gurtler
 

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"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

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.

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" - 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

"This is one gripping, heart felt story about sisters and the bond that holds them together... I highly recommend this book. Have a tissue box close at hand!" - YABooksCentral

"Whew... so heartbreaking, but realistic. It was a beautifully written story... I felt so many emotions while reading, it was hard to keep track. One moment I was devastated for Kristina, the next moment I was in shock for Tess... then excited for Tess. Great characterization and just a great story." - The Story Siren

"...subtle, believable, and satisfying. The author seamlessly develops complexity in all of the characters... 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." - School Library Journal

"This is quite an emotionally riveting debut novel and I have no doubt it will resonate deeply with readers.... Cancer is at the heart of this novel, it is the catalyst around which everything revolves, but it is not a book about cancer. It is a book about surviving. It is a book about family. It is a book about life and death, faith and hope. This is a wonderful book that readers of all ages will take to heart." - Bookfinds

"...completely honest and realistic. The writing is crisp and the dialogue is authentic. The relationships are heartbreakingly truthful. This is a must read for teens and those of us who want to understand them." - Sacramento Book Review

"Great story about family, survival, will power, courage... The characters are unique with their own voices and personalities and especially growth." - Book Addict

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
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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402256370
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
05/01/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
442,170
File size:
793 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Stories about teenage illness can easily slip into maudlin tear-jerkers. This one rises above that level because it focuses on Tess' ambivalence and strengths. Readers will be unable to look away from the unflinching descriptions of the chemotherapy and the surgery that Kristina endures, but Tess's struggles to connect with boys will lighten the tension and keep readers interested. The dialogue is up-to-date and so true to both teen awkwardness and rapier wit. Told in the first person, I'm Not Her moves along smartly and will easily hold the attention of the intended reader. Recommeded." - Canada Magazine

"An undeniably awesome debut... The characters were fabulously brought to life and what a captivating storyline. The voice. LOVE the voice! Love the humor. I couldn't get enough. It reminded me of a witty Jodi Picoult. Beautiful writing. Awesome voice = a must read." - Martha Ramirez Book Reviews

"This book was amazing and I felt like I was in the book, living the story. This book was indescribable. It was so good! ...I would defiantly read this book again and again. :)" - Love Romance Passion

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.


Janet Gurtler lives in Calgary, Canada with her husband and son and a puppy blessed with cuteness rather than brains. Janet does not live in an Igloo or play hockey, but she does love maple syrup and says "eh" a lot. Visit janetgurtler.blogspot.com.

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I'm Not Her 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 169 reviews.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
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.
valentines-salena More than 1 year ago
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.
Pam Senek More than 1 year ago
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.
doggis More than 1 year ago
Sweet and well written. finished it in half a day. Very enjoyable
Balina More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. I loved every minute reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cried, i smiled, and was shocked. Overall its an amazing book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story, some surprises in the plot, easy and quick to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is emotional and inspiring. Tess always envied her popular, sporty older sister until the worst thing happens. Cancer strikes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very good And could bring tears to your eyes with this amazing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the theme of this book is about a teenage girl with cancer, it is also about a family deeply disfunctional and in denial. The mother is so concerned about aopearances that the younger sibling is even instructed not to tell anyone her sister has cancer, resulting in her having even more issues than usual at the high school they both attend. With a father who's basically checked out of the whole situation, and a mother who's more concerned with her daughter's ability to play vollyball than with her well- being, both sisters have to mature quickly to deal with the older sister's life threatening cancer.
BMartin More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Stella_rules More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED this book sooooo much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazingly haunting read. Brought me to tears with wonderful, loveable characters. A must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How 1 family can have so much disfunction when dealing with reality is amazing. Happily their 15 year old was there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol go home and play with your dollies
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What the f*** is wrong with you!!!! You're an idiot!!! He is amazing!!! F*** YOU!!!!! Oh yeah and it was a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a 40 year old, I found this in my step-daughter's room and read it in one day. I couldn't put it down. Well developed and an easy read, I recoommend this book for tweens to elders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. A book that i couldnt put down. Showed the struggles of the whole family when a life changes drastically and unexpectedly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I just want to know why there is no sequel.