Review: I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Title: I’m Not Her
Author: Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: May 1, 2011
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary via Goodreads:

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. Yet 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?

I’m Not Her is Janet Gurtler’s debut YA novel and has captured (and still capturing) many readers with her compelling and moving way of writing and I’m one of them. I’ve read quite a handful of YA Contemps this year and I liked most of them but among them, I’m Not Her is quite the most personal read for me for certain reasons. I think this is the first YA Contemp that really tugged at my heart in a very emotional and distinct way and I’ll be forever grateful to Sourcebooks Fire for giving me the opportunity to read this story.

The story, overall, is just so breath-taking, inspiring and amazingly beautiful and heart-breaking and sad all at the same time. Just as I expected, Janet Gurtler impressed me (again) with her exquisite way of writing when I read If I Tell. Gurtler’s way of writing is distinct from other YA Contemps writer, I can’t exactly describe it but hers felt more personal and so deep than the others and I think that’s what makes her stories felt more real and because of that, she’s now one of my favorite authors!

The characters are all dynamic and wonderful and really effective. I had nothing but admiration for Tess, the main protagonist, I can totally relate to her and I feel for her. She’s no doubt my favorite character in the story. I want to hate her parents but I guess when your loved one is in pain and is suffering it can be really overwhelming that sometimes we unconsciously live in denial. And then there’s Jeremy and Clark, these sweet, adorable and charming guys I loved so much.

Another beautiful thing about the story is that Tess’s family grew much more stronger and a lot more closer because of what happened to her sister. They faced and solved their family issues, said the words they couldn’t say before.

I’m giving I’m Not Her 5 out of 5 stars. Every stars count and I highly recommend this to everyone. This story deserved to heard or read by everyone regardless if you have a loved one who has a Cancer or not. This story is an inspiring and real story about life, family and friendship.

*I received this ARC free of charge from publisher, Sourcebooks Fire, in exchange for an honest review. This is no way affected my opinion on the book.


  1. Rie Conley

    October 29, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    I only rarely read contemporary, but I may have to break that for this one! Thanks for the great review!

    Rie @ Mission to Read

  2. Precious

    November 5, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    I tried to read this one. I'm still not into it, into it yet. But I'm hoping I will be soon. It sounds so promising. Great review, Mia!

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