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I'm Not Her Paperback – May 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402256361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402256363
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...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

About the Author

Janet Gurtler is the critically acclaimed author of four contemporary young adult novels.  Janet's books have been selected as top YA Fiction titles for The Pennsylvania School Librarians Association and included in the Bank Street Books Top 100 Fiction of 2009.  In 2012, I'M NOT HER was a double Rita Finalist with RWA. Janet lives in Calgary with her husband; son and a chubby Chihuahua named Bruce. She has an unhealthy addiction to social media and is afraid of driving on bridges.

More About the Author

A Rita Award Finalist and Crystal Kite Award Finalist, Janet Gurtler's young adult books have been chosen for the JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION and as BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS from the Canadian Children's Book Center.

Janet lives in Okotoks Alberta, Canada with her husband, son, and a chubby black Chihuahua named Bruce. She is addicted to chocolate and the internet.

Customer Reviews

Characters were very well developed and relatable.
S. Miller
She also is the only one in her family really dealing with the fact that her sister has cancer and what that means.
Regina Niesen
I read this book in 2 days and was always excited to read the next page.
Jade

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By ★Leila on January 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
There is no denying that this book is heartbreaking; Tessa, an artistic introvert, is thrust in the middle of her familial crisis as her older, and extremely popular, sister is diagnosed with cancer. This isn't the tale or recount of a girl struggling with a fight to survive; it is Tessa's story about struggling to watch someone she loves suffer as her life changes beyond anything she recognizes.

I wanted to like this book, I wanted to love it but I was exasperated with what I found when I finally got the chance to read it. This book expressed some of the most real and hard situations with cheesy delivery and disappointing execution.

It wasn't that I couldn't get behind the character of Tess, I felt so strongly for her and what she must be going through as she watches her life 360 in mere days. The way that she was handling situations was incredibly accurate to the ego-centrism teenagers can sometime experience; but I feel that it was still unreal that her parents were so numb to their daughter. For her mother to harbor the negativity she did, the lack of belief in Tess, she allowed Tess to get away with saying, and behaving, in some outlandish ways.

A particularly traumatizing situation in the middle of the book, which I will refrain from spoiling, is handled haphazardly. The delivery of knowledge to the character, and in turn the reader, is above and beyond cheesy. That attitude and execution of the event diminishes the effect the event had on me as a reader. Not only was it forecasted but it lost all authenticity by the way in which the author wrote of it.

Towards the end of the book, there were some random and completely pointless subjects mentioned.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Beck McDowell on August 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a book I will gladly recommend to both my high school and adult friends. I loved the authenticity of the voice and the honest, raw emotions depicted so accurately by Gurtler. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the subject matter because I was just Tess's age when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. It was many years ago (and she triumphed over "the Big C") but those feelings and reactions never leave you - and I'd have to say the author nailed it. She took me back to those days with a competence and empathy that put me at ease from the first chapter.

It's easy to identify with the two sisters in the book, both in their insecurities in their roles among their friends and in their struggles to find footing in a changing family landscape that is new and terrifying. It's a book for readers of all types, but those who are dealing with family traumas will find parallels that are truthful and real.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nightly Reading on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
I love the cover for this book. It reminds me of summer. Also with the flowers, it reminds me of "he loves me, he loves me not." LOL... I just really like the simplicity of it.

This is an honest to goodness great read for a teen. There are no sexual encounters, but just a sweet first kiss. Basically, the book is about 2 teenage girls actually having to figure out whom they are as individuals. Not what everyone around them sees, but the real person inside the body.

Tess and Kristina are sisters. Kristina is the beautiful athletic type that all the boys fall all over. Tess....she is a brainiac whom gets ignored by mostly everyone and she has one friend. The book starts when Kristina convinces Tess to come to a party. Although, Tess feels awkward and ignored, she stays for a while and later makes an exit. She did meet a few people at the party, but figures that they only talked to her because of her sister.

Things take a turn for the worst when the family finds out that Kristina has cancer. The whole family takes a toll and it seems the only one that can deal with any of it is Tess.

Throughout the book, Tess goes through many changes and starts realizing that things are not always what they look like from the outside. She learns a lot about her sister, her best friend, boys and even herself.

Now, although the book did not exactly end the way that I would have wanted it to. (I wanted a certain boy to still be in the picture) I still thought it was a great read and it is definitely a book that I would give to my thirteen year old to check out. Another book by Ms. Gurtler that I am interested to check out is If I Tell, coming out in October 2011
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pink Amy on May 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
2.5 of 5 stars

Even though the book's blurb seemed familiar, I decided the free kindle book was worth a read. I don't feel like I wasted my time, but I can't quite recommend this novel with enthusiasm.

When introverted freshman Tess Smith's beautiful, popular older sister Kristina is diagnosed with cancer, she drives to her ex's to lose her virginity, while Tess waits in the car. Their mother uses parties and shopping to fuel her denial. Their father expects Tess to be "the strong one".

The pros: Tess, the narrator is likable. The writing is, at times, subtly humorous and in a few instances unique (losing virginity as a response to a cancer diagnosis).

The cons: the characters are mostly stereotypical. The writing is filled with stale cliches. The cancer plot has been done many times before, and often better. Even the plot twists are borrowed from other novels. I felt a bit manipulated by the end of the book. Also, I'm a cancer survivor and I resent poorly researched books. For example, at one point the oncologist says stage 2b means the cancer is particularly aggressive. 2b I'd actually the stage of the cancer, the size of the tumor. Grace indicates the aggressiveness of the cancer.
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