Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Bronwen Oliver was switched at birth. Well not really she just likes to think she was. It seems logical. She does not have her mother’s blonde hair or her love of ketchup. She doesn’t have a serious case of craziness like her extended family. She doesn’t even have the same teeth! So as almost-a-senior Bronwen tries to define herself and find a place to fit in, her life is completely changed over a simple cup of coffee. Bronwen meets Jared, a long lost friend of her brother’s and completely perfect in everyway. So she thinks. Jared finally gives her a place to belong, a family that accepts her for who she is and would never even think of handing her a ketchup bottle (she loathes the stuff). But as things start falling out of control Bronwen must decide if this is who she really is or if she is changing into a person people expect her to be.

So I want to apologize that this is going to be more “Ode to Realistic Fiction” than an all out analysis of the book (Though I’ll try to include some of that too!). This is the first realistic fiction I have read in a very, very long time. So this was a blind leap of faith, tackling this book. Anyway enjoy the review…

The Good: INPYSE was such a refreshing, welcome change to paranormal/fantasy. And Bronwen was so hilarious! I mean how can someone have such an aversion to ketchup? She really drove the book and made it keep with a good pace that you didn’t get bored in. McCahan’s writing style was absolutely not what I was expecting – in a good way. It was sophisticated and not some teeny-bopper “let’s gush over Justin Beiber” crap. I think Bronwen’s age (17-18) had a lot to do with it as well. But I felt like it was something a high schooler or even college student would absolutely enjoy and relate with. Jared is also the most romantic guy ever and the romance in this book is incredible! You have many heart-squeezing, all-tooth-smiles to look forward to. Overall this novel was funny and refreshing and a welcome change from the deep twisted world of paranormal. It even inspired me to vow to read more realistic fiction, which I’m hoping all of you will keep me accountable for.

The Bad: As a very uncreative person, creativity really astounds and impresses me. I love when all the crazy details and twists all fit together to make a totally plausible story. Realistic fiction in general, I feel, lacks creativity. And I know I’m not being fair when I compare INPYSE to big paranormal titles like Twilight and The Mortal Instruments series but something about all the attention to little details impresses me. So this is probably why I prefer the supernatural genre to the realistic fiction. That said, this book brought a well needed kick to my behind telling me to wake up and smell the….realistic fiction? Anyway the only complaint I had with this book was the issue Bronwen has to deal with (sorry for the vagueness, trying to keep it spoiler free) was a little hard to relate with. I think we all deal with trying to define ourselves but not all of us have a situation that is forcing us to change.

The Ugly Updates: This is Erin McCahan's debut novel. It is available for purchase. Check out McCahan's website, blog, and facebook.
On September 16, a week from today, I will be part of Erin McCahan's blog tour! So please check back for either a guest post or interview and a chance to win a copy of I Now Pronounce You Someone Else!

Rating: B+

Review copy received from publisher.

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