Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm Not Her-Janet Gurtler

I'm Not Her

Janet Gurtler

Sourcebooks, May 1 2011, $9.99

ISBN: 9781402256363

In Washington State, Tess the brain is the younger sister of the most popular girl at Great Heights High School they both attend. Kristina is a beautiful athletic extrovert while Tess is a brilliant introvert. However, Tess’ I’m Not her attitude changes when her sibling’s volleyball career crashes with the diagnosis that she suffers from bone cancer. As the family relationships take on a new dynamic, Kristina receives chemo right way.

Kristina goes from the top of the world to the Grand Canyon of depression. Although she loathes being the center of attention, Tess suddenly becomes in at school as everyone wants news flashes on Kristina; Tess’ BFF Melissa seems to gloat with the fall of the school queen ending a friendship since fifth grade. Their mom exacerbates the situation with parties and shopping sprees as she is in denial refusing to accept her oldest daughter is deathly ill. Their dad avoids his three females hiding at work. However, while Tess works on winning the Oswald Drawing Prize, she finds boys like Nick Evonic interested in her, but receives emotional support from an academic rival Clark Trent who understands what she is going through; while Tess is there for Kristina.

Ironically Tess tells the tale of how her sister’s illness changes relationships in the family and community, Kristina though often off page holds the insightful story line together. The cast is strong as the actions and reactions of various townsfolk towards Kristina reveal their inner strengths and weaknesses. Young adult readers will appreciate this insightful tale as it takes a village to cope with a deadly disease assaulting a teen.

Harriet Klausner

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