You may have been expecting my next review to be on Echoes by Melinda Metz - and I swear it will be coming...soon - but instead it will be this amazing book, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan, whom, by the way, will be stopping by OCTOBER 12th for a guest post while on her blog tour! Don't miss it! OCTOBER 12th!!!!!
Written by: Erin McCahan
Publication date: June 1, 2010
Released in Hardcover and ebook
Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.
MY REVIEW: I have been advised to be honest in my reviews. I really didn't expect to like this book. I thought it was going to be some kind of hopeless romantic story about a girl who wished to the stars every night...blah blah blah, or something like that. I don't know. But this book, this story really surprised and impressed me. The meaning of this story is touching, so profound, it literally, I mean it, literally brought tears to my eyes! I do NOT find many books that can do that to me!
When I found out the date that Erin McCahan would be stopping by on her blog tour, I said "Ok, this is gonna have to be my next book." I was already reading something else. But that night, very late, I picked it up and next thing I knew it was...chapter 3, chapter 4, chapter 5, chapter 6 and it was 2am!
So Bronwen Oliver is a girl who is so unhappy with her family that she is pretty much convinced she was switched at birth. One of those situations where you are completely unhappy with a part of your life that could never be changed. Maybe some of you are familiar with that. I was. When I was very young. You learn to love yourself and I think that is what this book is about: Self-Acceptance along with Self-Discovery.
I loved watching (yes I said watching but you all know I mean reading) Bronwen and Jared fall in love. Not leaving out any of the lovely little things, like the anticipation building up to their first kiss, late-night phone calls, holding hands and stealing kisses. They get to know each other, which, I can not stress enough how important that one is! Love is built on knowing that person inside and out and still loving them! I digress. What Bronwen and Jared were building was real.
The conversations and the dialogue in this book is just so...I mean, McCahan had to have heard someone say it and then wrote it down! It's just so raw. It made the characters feel like real people. Sometimes you read a book and you love it. You love the characters, the overall story and everything else, but you're still aware of the fiction, the fantasy of the story. You're like, "That was good. Totally unrealistic. But good." Someone Else was more like "Man, that was really good." And then you just sit there and let it soak in. Wow.
It wasn't just a book about self, but also of other. Bronwen was very naive to a lot of things. When she realized she didn't know every little thing about Jared, the man she was to marry, like the fact that he snored and sometimes it was horribly loud, she reacted as though it was the worst thing to happen to her relationship! If that's the worst thing in your relationship - stop and count your blessings!
Towards the end of the book, Bronwen has a breakthrough with her stepfather, Whitt. Had I been alone at the time I read this part, I would have sobbed for a minute or two, but I knew my almost 3-yr-old would not have understood why mommy just burst into tears! Only a few got away. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else had THE sweetest ending I've EVER read!
My absolute favorite part of this book? The fact that Bronwen is a picky eater! I'm a picky eater and I never see that in books. Bronwen despises ketchup - everything about it. Those are my exact feelings on tomato sauce!
A girl finding her identity. Learning not to define herself by whom she's with or by anyone elses standards. I strongly related to this story at this very point in my life. No, I'm not 18, on the verge of marrying someone while trying to find myself. No. But I am ready to redefine myself and be happy. The real kind of happy, none of that content-to-settle crap.
Gee, I hate to end my review with the word "crap", but, well, there it is.
WHO SHOULD READ THIS: The question is, Who shouldn't read this? I never liked the phrase/term "coming-of-age", but that's what this was and it worked out really great!
* DON'T FORGET *
GUEST BLOG - OCTOBER 12 - ERIN MCCAHAN