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She, Myself, and I


She, Myself, and I

In Emma Young’s new book, SHE MYSELF AND I, she presents a new twist to her usual nonfiction writing and teachings. She writes the story of a girl named Rosa, who is 18-years-old and suffering from a terminal nerve disease. Rosa is a courageous, conscientious and extraordinary teen who just wants a shot at life as herself. Halfway across the world, a girl named Sylvia becomes brain-dead after a terrible accident. Her parents know that there is no chance to save their daughter, but there is a chance to save Rosa. Finally, they decide to perform the first brain transplant, making Rosa a true miracle. The only problem is: Rosa is unsure about who she is anymore, and whether she is now meant to live the life of Sylvia, or Rosa.

"Young really captures all the things most teens experience, including, for example, questions about self-identity and confidence in your own body....a unique story like no other...."

Faced with challenges of making choices and finding her own self-identity, Rosa embarks on a journey outside of her confined hospital, meeting new people along the way who teach her about herself, Sylvia and the life she should be living. She ventures out to Sylvia’s hometown in Lexington where she goes to meet her best friend Althea and find answers that will hopefully help her find closure. After she visits all the places and meets all the people to try and make peace with her new self, Rosa has to learn that the only life she is destined to live is the one she chooses.

In this novel, one of the things I enjoyed most was the fact that despite our differences, I could really connect and understand Rosa. Emma Young really captures all the things most teens experience, including, for example, questions about self-identity and confidence in your own body. Emma Young also writes a unique story like no other, because she incorporates adventure and a life-changing experience that will remain in Rosa’s memory for as long as she lives in our hearts. Something that I think the author could have used to deepen the novel was using other character’s points-of-view, such as Rosa’s close older brother and Joe, the “love interest.” I believe that I didn’t receive as much input of the other character’s feelings and the author could have tried to do that more. However, the story did really capture a positive vibe. I felt emotion and sadness, but also pleased when I finished it. Rosa was just a complex but strong character, the type of character I’d want by my side when life troubles me.

This book is perfect for the type of reader who likes deeps reads over a spring break or needs a place to escape to. A romantic would love this book, because it does have an inspiring romance between Rosa and Joe, an intern journalist who loves to tell remarkable stories about great people that he meets on park benches. I am the type of reader who loves adventure, self-identity, love and strength all wrapped in a perfect 400 pages. I loved this book because it did exactly this. Even though it had some flaws where the author could use more depth, SHE MYSELF AND it definitely deserved at least 4 stars in my eyes.

Reviewed by Lillian B., Teen Board Member on November 2, 2017

She, Myself, and I
by Emma Young