Message From The Author

Janet Gurtler

Book Title: I'M NOT HER
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult, Young Adult

View Janet Gurtler's Profile

Author's Message

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?


To me, I’m Not Her, is a story about self-discovery and learning to embrace who you really are. The story came to me with the image of two sisters at a party, one sister, pretty, confident and popular, dancing to music while the other sister sits alone watching and envying her.

I was motivated by showing how our perceptions of people are often different from how they see themselves. In I’m Not Her, the change for the sister who gets cancer is perhaps more abrupt but both sisters are forced to deal with it.

Internal struggle resonates with me in what I write and what I read. Personal growth is important to me as a reader and author. I’m also fascinated by roles we are assigned in families and how these roles stick to us even though they’re often not a true reflection of who we are outside our family circles. It’s funny that we continue to fall into these roles around our families, even in adult years.

With I’m Not Her, I wanted to rip away the assigned family roles. The sisters have to find new roles especially as their parents collapse in the face of adversity. The sisters find out how much they can rely on each other.

Of course, there had to be romance too, but each sister discovers that who they are meant to be with, is different from who they are supposed to “want.” The happy ending isn’t embedded in this story, but I firmly believe that in ending my Young Adult fiction with hope. In I’m Not Her each sister has hope for her future, even if the future isn’t what she thought it might be.

- Janet Gurtler 

GIVEAWAY ALERT: One lucky reader will win a copy of I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler. To enter leave a comment about a role that someone has in your family. Or email your comment here with your US shipping review and the subject line "Janet Gurtler's I'm Not Her Giveaway". The winner will be announced on June 9.

BLOG UPDATE 6/9/2011: And the winner is ... Laura Morales!

Read Book Review ›