Self-identity. Peer pressure. And sex. Yikes! These are three weighty issues. Are you sure you don’t want to talk about something fun like monkeys or hamsters? But I do address these thing in I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE, so, okay, I can write about them here.
Self-identity: Find it
Peer pressure: Don’t give in to it.
Sex: Ah, geez. It’s such a hyper-sexualized world anymore, and that’s just sad.
Am I done? No? More?
Let me tell you about Bronwen. She is seventeen at the start of the novel’s action, twenty or twenty-one – don’t you love how I don’t remember – at its end. These aren’t Magic Years of self-discovery. But they’re crucial. I just don’t want anyone thinking that you hit twenty-one and somehow – poof – become endowed overnight with a fully formed adult identity. You don’t. No one does.
It is formed over long years by experience, and experience is a mix of success and failure, trial and error, learning and application, practice and refinement. And Bronwen is at the beginning of this process, which is, she discovers, learn as you go.
The one advantage she has, that some girls do, some girls don’t, is that she takes into the process of self-discovery some depth of understanding about herself already. Some. She knows a few things that are right for her – including no sex before marriage. She has started this process already – whether she is wholly aware of it or not. And much of it comes from the very good emotional and moral foundation laid by her father and reinforced, initially, by her step-father. So no matter how battered she gets by heartache and loss or by the errors that are unavoidable as we all grow, she always has this foundation to return to and to build on.
So – now can we talk monkeys and hamsters?
Thank you Erin for stopping by today. Oh, and just in case haven't already read or heard about her debut novel I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, then all I can say is you do not want to miss adding this to your must read list, and I am going to help you do just that by giving away to one lucky reader a copy of Erin's new book. More about that later. First, here is my review of I Now Prounounce You Someone Else.
Although I Now Pronounce You Someone Else is a fun, light read that had me laughing and giggling and wishing I had been more like Browen when I was in high school, it is also a book that deals with some important teen issues such as self-identity, peer (and parental) pressures, and teen sex.
Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She's really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That's the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can't wait to get away from her "family" for good.
Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He's sweet, funny, everything she wants — and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he
proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he's not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do? (Publisher's summary from Powell's Books)
I adored Browen. She is strongly committed to not having sex until she is married. And I applauded her decision. While she stays true to her belief, she also has some deep seeded issue with her mother, which unfortunately caused her to feel like she doesn’t belong. In some ways, it is Browen’s whole switched at birth mentality that has her deciding in her senior year to marry Jarred, a college senior.
Browen’s decision to marry Jarred changed the tone of the book for me and had me worried up until the end. Don’t get me wrong I really liked Jarred, he was the perfect guy: attentive, sweet, and always the perfect gentleman. And although I felt that Browen and Jarred really did love each other, I am afraid my own mother instincts kicked in and I felt that Browen’s decision was based too much on her need to be a part of a family that was the exact opposite of the one she had.
The true strength of the novel is Erin’s writing. The originality of the plot and Erin’s marvelous characterization was stunning. The fact that I wanted to have a long talk with Browen about her marriage plans proves that Browen was a very believable character. I also really disliked Browen mother and completely understood why Browen felt disengaged in her own family. None of these feeling would have surfaced in me if Erin’s writing had been anything less than perfect.
Unfortunately, I feel that I have not even come close to adequately explaining just how much I enjoyed this book. Therefore, I really hope you will read this book for yourself because I am positive you not be disappointed.
And to back up my recommendation, I am very pleased to able to offer (courtesy of Erin and her publishers) one lucky person US resident their very own copy of I Now Pronounce You Someone Else. And I am throwing in an additional copy from the Book Depository to all my international friends. All you have to do is leave a comment below. Make sure you also leave an email address and let me know where you live. Giveaway ends November 5.
Source: Received copy from publisher for review