Book Review: She, Myself and I (Emma Young)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Stripes Publishing

Pages: 352

Release Date: March 8th 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ever since Rosa’s nerve disease rendered her quadriplegic, she’s depended on her handsome, confident older brother to be her rock and her mirror. But when a doctor from Boston chooses her to be a candidate for an experimental brain transplant, she and her family move from London in search of a miracle. Sylvia—a girl from a small town in Massachusetts—is brain dead, and her parents have agreed to donate her body to give Rosa a new life. But when Rosa wakes from surgery, she can’t help but wonder, with increasing obsession, who Sylvia was and what her life was like. Her fascination with her new body and her desire to understand Sylvia prompt a road trip based on self-discovery… and a surprising new romance. But will Rosa be able to solve the dilemma of her identity?

Review:

This book had a really interesting premise and deals with themes of identity and what makes you, you.

Rosa has a nerve disease that means she is a quadriplegic, but is offered a new chance at life with an experimental brain transplant. But after the surgery Rosa questions who she really is and obsesses over Sylvia, the girl whose body she now has. She embarks on a journey to discover more about who Sylvia was and who Rosa is now.

There’s a great idea behind this book but I felt the pacing was a little slow for me. There’s a lot of Rosa questioning who she is and not a lot of action. I thought her approach to the new body was a bit strange. While I’ve never been in that situation so can’t say for sure, I feel like I’d be more excited about being able to walk again and less worried about not being myself anymore. But I suppose teenagers often struggle with their identity so it must be doubly hard when you don’t see your own face in the mirror.

Where this book really got to me was when Rosa met Sylvia’s father. I felt more for his position than for Rosa: I can’t imagine losing Little Moore, donating his body and then knowing he’s walking around out there, even if there’s someone else in his head. Knowing that his body is out there living and aging but he’s not my boy anymore is just painful.

There’s a romance story with Rosa and Joe, a reporter she meets outside the hospital. I liked his background story and could see how it linked in with Rosa, but I didn’t really feel the need for a love story in this. I thought Rosa’s relationship with her brother, Elliot, was a lot more interesting and would have liked her to take this journey of discovery with him instead.

Also, tiny pet peeve but as Rosa is supposed to be from England it annoyed me that she mentioned the ‘fall’ leaves a few times.

This was an interesting and thought-provoking book with a fascinating concept but a slow pace and little action dragged it down for me.

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