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I'm Not Her Paperback – May 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews

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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" - 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.
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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: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #934,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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 180 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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is easy to relate to BOTH sisters. I am the youngest of five kids. My two older sisters and I, while similar in many ways, are also worlds apart in other ways. I felt compassion for both of the sisters for completely different reasons and I bet that is what the author was aiming for. If you have a sister? Read the book! If you don't? Read the book! It's simply a good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tess likes her life just the way everything is. She is not popular, doesn't wear flashy clothes, has never kissed a boy and the only person who seems to be close to her is her best friend Melissa that she can make fun of other people with. But it's okay because she got the brains and a wicked talent for art.

"People don't run up to me with their cameras and ask to take my picture with them. They run past me without seeing me and grab my sister and pose with her. Or they did."

Her sister is completely different from her. She's beautiful, social and has a bright future in sports. That is until she comes home from a doctor's appointment and announces that she has cancer that's eating her bones away. While trying to cope with the situation, the family is falling apart and Tess is the only one that seems to be the strong one in this and she hates it. She never asked to be popular or have everyone talk to her but she has to be there for her sister especially when she might lose her leg and never be the same anymore. A battle between friends, family, and cancer is raw with emotions and incredible writing.

"Well look at me!" She points at her missing limb. I glance around her room, searching for hints, for the right thing to say. "You're still you. And I don't want you to die. I love you Kristina"

I have cried so many times during this book. I never thought that this kind of story would touch me but it was breaking my heart the way Tess' family was falling apart. I felt so bad for Kristina, especially because she was trying to be strong. When she found out that she was going to lose her leg, she was devastated but her best friend Jeremy was there for her. But OMG!!!!! Taking an insane twist in the story, she loses everything that was giving her hope. This is specially the part of the book that made me cry. This definitely goes out to my All-Favorites and another author to follow. 5 Stars!!!
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