Judith D Collins
I'm Not Her
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: 8/4/2015
My Rating: 3 Stars
It was a Tuesday like any other. And then it wasn't. A simple encounter at a supermarket changed Carin Fletcher's and Leann Cane's lives – literally. Suddenly Carin, a pretty, self-absorbed, underemployed college graduate, finds herself living as Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, obese checkout clerk, and vice versa.
Carin is at first horrified: she’s enormous, she can barely make ends meet, her husband is an abusive loser, and she's saddled with the kid Leann had when she was a teenager. Meanwhile, Leann is initially thrilled: she's escaped destitution, she looks like a model, and people treat her completely differently.
But as the days pass, it becomes clear that life isn't clear-cut for either woman. Carin finds herself attaching to Trevor, Leann's precocious son, and developing feelings for Jimmy, a fellow employee who treats her with the respect few others bother to give her because of her appearance. At the same time, Leann is living a life she's always wanted in a body she's always dreamed about, but that doesn't mean that all of her problems have gone away...and a new one is emerging with Carin's sometimes-boyfriend.
Both women are facing unknowable futures that neither could have imagined. Are they destined to live this way forever? And if so, where will it all lead?
A brilliant, nuanced, and surprising tale about the way the world sees us and the courses we are on, I'M NOT HER is a remarkably assured first novel that introduces a profound new storyteller.
About the Author
Cara Sue Achterberg is a freelance writer and blogger who lives on a hillside in South Central, Pennsylvania with her three remarkable children, three horses, a dog with compromised impulse control (but a sunny outlook), a frequently changing number of chickens, three perfect kitties, and a husband who can build, fix, or tolerate just about anything. Her novel, I'm Not Her, will be published in August 2015 by Story Plant. A momentary twitch in the fabric of reality leads Carin, a beautiful, self-absorbed, underemployed college graduate, to swap lives with Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, obese check-out clerk who is bagging her groceries when a Valentine’s display falls on Carin’s head. Website Twitter Goodreads
A special thank you to The Story Plant and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Cara Sue Achterberg delivers her debut I’M NOT HER, a body swap in the theme of Freaky Friday and Vice Versa for an inside look at two different personalities, from different walks of life –filled with humor and insight. We meet two women, Carin and Leann. When the two women meet at a Shop N’ Save, their lives begin to change. Leann is poor, overweight, and uneducated working at a dead end job as a clear at the Shop n Save. Carin is beautiful,fit, trim, college graduate, and self-absorbed. She happens to be shopping in the store and gets knocked out. After the accident, they switch places. Of course, it is very difficult for Carin, to be immersed in Leann’s lifestyle with her abusive husband and six year old son Trevor. She immediately starts trying to change things, since she is out spoken; things Leann never tried. Of course she misses her own life, while getting pulled into this is strange world. Leann, you would think may be delighted to be rich, slim, smart, and pretty. However, she too realizes, the grass is not always greener. She misses her son. Each see the pain and joy from different viewpoints as they walk in the other’s shoes. A look at life from both sides. The body swapping storytelling device has been seen in a variety of fiction, most often in television shows and movies, in which two people exchange minds and end up in each other's bodies. I am not a big fan of switching places, reality TV, paranormal, or time travel—however, a certain audience may find it appealing.