Friday 10 July 2015

Book ~ "I'm Not Her" (2015) Cara Sue Achterberg

From Goodreads ~ 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?

Carin and Leann are both in their early twenties but their lives are totally different.  Carin was raised as an only child of older rich parents.  She is pretty and thin and, along with her friends, makes fun of people who aren't perfect like they are.  Scott is her friend who is more than a friend at times.  Carin works for an insurance company in a job that isn't too demanding of her.  She doesn't lack anything ... for example, she has 50 shades of lipstick lined up on her dresser.

Leann is poor, lives in a dump of an apartment and works as a cashier in a grocery store.  She is abrasive and uneducated.  Seven years ago she got pregnant when she was 16 with Trevor and her mother made Leroy do the right thing and marry her.  Leroy is a truck driver who is only home on the weekends.  He loves nothing better than to drink, do drugs, belittle Leann by calling her stupid and fat (Leann is almost 400 pounds) and push her around.

There is an accident at the grocery store while Leann was working and Carin was shopping.  The next thing they knew, Carin and Leann had switched bodies and were living each other's lives.  Carin now lives in the kind of body she had mocked in the past.  She has nowhere to go, no money to go anywhere and no one will believe that's she's really Carin, not Leann.  Not knowing how to switch back or why it happened in the first place,  Carin must now live Leann's life, dealing with things she's never had to deal with before.

You would think that Leann has the easier life now living in Carin's nice apartment and spending Carin's money.   She doesn't know how to act in this new way of life, though, plus she misses Trevor.

What an intriguing storyline!  I enjoyed the writing style and the story.  It is written in first perspective perspective from both Carin and Leann's point of view, though there is more focus on Carin.  It's clear whose voice it is.   I think the author did an excellent job writing the dialogue to distinguish Carin and Leann.  Though Leann has Carin's body, it's definitely Leann's uneducated mouth that we hear.  It was interesting to read Carin's reactions as she has to learn how to maneuver Leann's obese body (even getting in and out of bed is a struggle) in addition to the reactions of others to her appearance (those same ones she had exhibited in the not too distant past).  As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

I look forward to reading other books by the author.

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