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?
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.
Ope’s Opinion: I wish I had known the two main characters more before they were switched. It was hard to understand their individual struggles when I didn’t feel like I knew their past.
As I did get to know their present situations, it felt a little stereotypical. There was an overweight, abusive girl and a beautiful self absorbed girl. For Leann, it is the grass is always greener on the other side until you get there. For Carin, I think it is a wake up call to appreciate the life she had even with it’s struggles.
I like at the end that Carin talks about the outside of someone being like wallpaper. You can change it, but the inside is still the same.
Rating: 3 – I like the book enough to suggest it to a friend or two.