Booky Thoughts and Me

Book reviews and pondering thoughts of a down to earth person

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Book Review: I’m Not Her

I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler

Published: May 1, 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Source: Library

Synopis (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?

Personal Thoughts:

This was a hard book to read, mainly because of the subject matter. Cancer is one of those things that you know exists in the world, however, we think that we are invincible and it will never impact us. That is not the case for Tess’ sister Kristina. She’s the perfect daughter, popular, athletic and into boys and makeup and Tess’ mom prefers her over Tess. Nobody notices Tess at school and she is the outcast. Everything changes when Tess’ family discovers that Kristina has cancer. Tess begins to be noticed at school, but not for the right reasons. Everyone is talking to her because they want to find out the latest on Kristina’s cancer and how she is doing. It all starts to be too much and Tess can’t handle it.

I found Tess’, Jeremy’s and Nick’s characters the most relatable and developed. We didn’t really get a chance to really know Kristina beyond the surface. The twist towards the end was shocking and I wasn’t expecting it. It was like ‘wow, did  that just really happen’?  The book definitely impacted my mood for a few days and made me really think about what kind of world we live in.  Janet Gurtler tackles the story line really well and it feels realistic.

This is my second book by this author and she is going on my auto-read list. Her writing style grabs at you and your feelings, it makes you look at the world in a different way. There is no sugar coating in any of her books and she tells it like it is, what you do with it is a different story. Although this was a difficult read, I will be re-reading it sometime in the future. Sometimes when you re-read books, you tend to find out more and see things more clearly from when you originally read it.

Rating: 4/5 Stars



Waiting on Wednesday: How I Lost You

New WoWWaiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at  Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

How I Lost You by Janet Gurtler

Publishing: May 1, 2013

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads: (Synopsis):  There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected–

Personal Thoughts: I loved If I Tell  and I hope this upcoming book will be just as good. I am currently reading her other works, and loving them as well. There is just something about Gurtler’s writing style that takes a hold of you and won’t let you go. It is both realistic and enjoyable to read. Come on May hurry up already so I can see how great this book is 🙂

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Book Review: If I Tell

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Published: October 1, 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Source: Library

Synopsis (Goodreads): “It was like watching a train wreck. I wanted to look away but couldn’t take my eyes off them.” IF ONLY …If only I hadn’t gone to that party. I never would have seen what I did. Jackson wouldn’t have driven me home. I wouldn’t have started to fall for a guy just out of reform school. I could go back to pretending everything was normal. I wouldn’t be keeping a secret from my mom that could blow our family apart …

Personal Thoughts: This was one of those books that I had to put down when I finished it and think about it for a while. I have not read any books by Janet Gurtler before this and now that I have, I know that I have been missing out on a great author. Her writing invokes something deep within you, takes a grab of you and won’t let go, even after you have completed the book. It has a distict style that sometimes tells you everything and nothing at the same time. As soon as you started to read, you knew that something major had happened, yet you didn’t know what until later on in the book. That sense of suspense and mystery is there right from the start.

The main character, Jaz, caused herself quite a bit of stress and drama due to what she saw and couldn’t tell anyone. If she told someone about it, she would have saved herself a lot of heartache. Gurtler’s writing style is really unique and through it you able to see the inner struggle of Jaz and those around her. The family struggles, the interracial issues and her friends issues force Jaz to take a closer look of who she really is and evaluate her life, before moving on and trying for a fresh start. There are a few lessons that the author fits into the story to make us, the reader, think about our own views and perspectives and the world around us. This is a book that once it’s put down will still stay with you after you have finished reading it.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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Stacking the Shelves

In my Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.  In this meme you showcase all the books you got that week, whether it was borrowed from the library, bought, gifted,etc.


The Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women and Money by Kevin O’Leary

The Dovekeepers byAlice Hoffman


Black City by Elizabeth Richards

The High Road by Terry Fallis

If I Tell by Janet Gurtler