She, Myself, and I – ARC Review

★★


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When I first heard about this book I was actually very excited to read it. When I saw it on NetGalley I had just watched both Criminal (2016) and Self/Less (2015) two movies with the same exact same concept and both strangely staring Ryan Reynolds. Similar to those movies, this book is about a girl who gets her brain transplanted into another body and then things start to happen. So, I figure that since those movies didn’t totally suck, and that their concept was cool, I would want to read a YA contemporary about it, because why not.

In the end, I was kinda disappointed with what I got.

When Rosa, a girl with a nerve disease that rendered her a quadriplegic get her brain transplanted into the body of a brain dead girl named Sylvia, she goes on a search to find what makes a person a person. Is it just the body? Is it the mind? Is it the soul, and if so, where does that lie? Also, is there anything left of Sylvia in the body Rosa now inhabits?

To answer these, Rosa goes on a journey of self-discovery to find out about Sylvia’s past and her own future. Along the way, crazy things happen and love begins to bloom. Some parts of it were nice, some parts of it seemed slightly unrealistic. I admit, I was not a huge fan of the writing and the romance felt a little forced. Really, I think the book could have done without it.

Also, I feel like this book took a turn. I wanted it to focus a bit more on the effects of the transplant, in a physical and psychological way. I wanted more reaction from Rosa and those around her. I wanted a little less romance. Still, I didn’t hate this novel.

Ok, so time for me to make some slightly controversial statements.

There are people complaining that there wasn’t enough information on the disease and the way the transplant went on. Personally, I prefer it. I want to read a contemporary, not a medical journal. Sure, I would have wanted some specifics but not to the point that people are demanding.

There are a lot of people complaining that this book implies that Rosa had no life due to her being disabled. They say that this is ableism (discrimination in favor of able-bodied people) and that it suggests that Rosa would not have had any opportunities while in her condition. Let’s be clear, I am not an ableist. I have never discriminated against someone for any condition that they may have. That said, if you are a quadriplegic teenage girl, there isn’t much you can do. The opportunities for her were very little and that’s just a sad reality. So, yes, she now gets to actually stand up and see the world, and have a new life. One with more opportunities than she would have. It’s not saying that people with disabilities can’t be happy and have lives. It’s stating the fact that there is a lot more that you can do when you aren’t completely paralyzed in your entire body, as Rosa was.

So, why am I defending a book that I rated only two stars? Well, because this book barely held my interest. At times I was into it, but mostly I was entirely out of it. It took me weeks to finish this book, when usually I read books in 2-3 days, tops. Sometimes, when a book is just that good, I’ll read it all in one sitting. This wasn’t one of those books. That’s why I gave it two stars. Not because I saw it as an ableist novel, or whatever.

Goodreads

**I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

{She, Myself, and I by Emma Young will published by Amulet Books on September 5, 2017}


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