Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

I got an ARC of I Now Pronounce You Someone Else at a visit to Scholastic during my trip to New York in 2010 for BEA. I have to admit I was sort of whatever about it, reading about a teen wedding wasn't all that appealing to me and the cover was kind of goofy, etc, but for whatever reason I held onto it, and then it was a Cybils finalist that year, and I read this little blurb on the editor's blog and I knew I wanted to read it someday. Enter in the great book purge of 2012, and I come across the ARC again and I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of it, so I decided to read it first! (long drawn out stories of how I came to read this ARC are everyone's favorite I know)

I am so so so glad I did because this book is truly and utterly fabulous. It is heartfelt, tender, funny, real, and gorgeously constructed. Even though it's a romantic comedy, I have to admit it moved me to tears, I ached so much for Bronwen but not in any like really sad way, just in that way of life being hard, and things she felt being true. (I don't think the book is actually meant to make you cry, I also sobbed during Rebecca, Can You Keep a Secret? etc, I just end up having these uncomfortable empathy issues with fictional characters)

Bronwen doesn't feel like she fits into her family and neither does her mother, so she's always joked that she was switched at birth. And humor is how Bronwen tends to deflect from all the serious things she really feels and how she copes with the fact that she feels out of place in her own family. So basically, her light and funny tone serves an overall purpose in the book besides simply being funny, which I don't know, just made me love it all the more fiercely. Shortly after she breaks up with her boyfriend, she runs into one of her brother's old friends and a relationship strikes up between them.

And they move fast and she loves him a lot, but she also just really loves his family, how much they accept her, and how easy they are around each other. Jared still feels she's holding stuff back from him and in a way she does, because that's the way she's been raised, to please others. And so then she has a big breakthrough and tells him all this stuff about when her dad died and her stepfather and mother got married, about her mom's preference for her brother, and this big thing that I don't want to spoil because you deserve the chance to have your heart break in the same way mine did.

So stuff continues to progress between her and Jordan and eventually they end up engaged, which, I don't think is a spoiler because of the cover and back cover, etc.

I love this book, though, because yes it's a romance, but it's also just a really beautiful and rather brilliant way to tell the story of a girl that longs for belonging and how she goes about looking for it and how sometimes that doesn't necessarily lead to destructive behavior, but may lead to a few bad choices. And it's a story about coming into your own, discovering who you are, and finding a family that loves you and accepts you and wants to know you.

It's sooooo good guys! It's so sensitive and perceptive and funny and heartwarming and basically everything you want a book to be. I LOVED IT.

Rating: 4.75/5
Source of Book: ARC received from publisher
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)


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