My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m not Her, by Cara Sue Achterberg, is the compelling story of two women, Leann and Carin, whose lives could not be more different! Carin is a beautiful, well-educated, wealthy young woman, and Leann is a poor, uneducated, obese woman with a 6-year-old son. While Leann is checking Carin out at the grocery store where she works, a Valentine’s Day display accidentally crashes down on Carin, knocking her out! In a very stunning turn-of-events, the 2 women end up exchanging bodies in a total identity switch. Suddenly Carin finds herself in Leann’s 375 lb. body, the mother of a little boy, married to an abusive man, and living in a poor neighborhood with almost no money. While Leann is recovering in the hospital, she realizes that she is now in Carin’s slender body, living the life she might only have dreamed of. There is a learning curve for each of them, especially Carin, who has to deal with the stigma and the physical struggles of being overweight. Carin’s journey is very interesting. She wants a better life for herself than the one Leann is living, but she also wants to do what she can for the boy who is now her son, and whom she has come to love. She also is terrified for herself and Leann’s son, as she realizes how dangerous Leann’s husband is. Leann is in a better position, living in Carin’s body, which means living in a nicer home and having money for the first time in her life, but she misses her son. This story has so many layers and interesting characters. I especially liked Jimmy and Mr. Giovanni, 2 men who take an interest in Leann and would like to help her all they can. There is a lot of humor in this book, but also sadness, as we find out how badly Leann is treated and taken advantage of, because of her size and her poverty. There is also an element of suspense and danger, since Leann’s husband is violent and abusive. I found that I could not put this book down, once I started reading. I had to find out if and when the 2 women ever got their own identities back, and I especially wanted to know if Leanne would ever be able to live a better life.