Cover Image: She, Myself, and I

She, Myself, and I

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Member Reviews

I loved this book! The full review will be posted soon at kaitgoodwin.com/books! Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity to connect books to their readers!
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This book was great in that it was unexpected and made me think about things I’d never considered before, i.e., the whole brain-switching thing. It brings up whole debates about the ethics of such a procedure and brings into it the repercussions involving both her family and the family of the girl whose body they have donated. A real page turner—I enjoyed it very much!
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Unfortunately I no longer have or interest in reading this book so I have made the decision not to. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused and truly appreciate the willingness to share this book with me.
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The premise honestly sounded so promising, but I just couldn't push myself to get through this one because nothing was pulling me in. Had to DNF unfortunately.
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This book was just not my cup of tea and I was not able to finish it. Thank you for this opportunity, though!
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This book just wasn't for me. I read about 50 pages and then had to DNF because I had other books to review.
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Lots of representation and I felt for the characters.
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I tried really, really hard to like this book, but I just couldn't do it. I thought the premise sounded soooo cool! Brain transplants? Disability rep? Count me in! Unfortunately, it just didn't meet up to my expectations. For one thing, obviously it's going to be really tough to write about a teen girl who's quadriplegic, but some things in this book did come off as fairly ableist - just this sort of idea that this girl had no quality of life until her transplant didn't sit very well with me. Second, there was so little information about her condition, and the transplant, which obviously is a good thing for readers who aren't interested in learning about the medical aspect of the story, but didn't work well for me.

All in all, I think this book has an audience it could do okay with, but I wasn't it.
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Rosa is the first ever recipient of a brain transplant. She had a disease that left her paralyzed from the neck down. The donor, Sylvia, fell into a frozen lake and was brain dead with no hope of recovery. So Rosa and her family come to Boston to have the operation. It takes months of recovery and even more months of rehab before Rosa is able to get up and about, but the surgery was a success. Now she has to get used to being in a whole new body. She starts wondering who Sylvia was and if part of her is still left in the body. While in the hospital she meets Joe, a young blogger. They hit it off and after discovering Sylvia’s dad in the hospital park decide to take a road trip to Sylvia’s home town to learn more about her. All the while Rosa is experiencing hallucinations and blackouts that she thinks may be Sylvia trying to communicate.

I was intrigued by the premise of this book, but it didn’t really deliver for me. First of all, we know almost nothing about Rosa’s life before the operation. We don’t get to know about her or care about her in any way before the transplant. We don’t even really know what disease she had other than something about a nerve disease. This tells me either the author didn’t do research into what kinds of diseases could cause that kind of damaged or didn’t really want to make that information part of her book. I was actually ok with the brain transplant idea. After all, medical science is advancing all the time and that didn’t seem all that far fetched for the future even if this book appears to be set in the present. I did find it a bit hard to believe that Rosa would take off on a weekend road trip with a boy she just met, not letting anyone know where she is going, turning off her cellphone so they can’t find her all while experiencing blackouts and hallucinations. I also thought it was a bit crazy that she didn’t even contemplate telling her doctors about these symptoms thinking maybe they could be related to the major operation she just went though. Nope, she believed they had to be signs Sylvia was trying to contact her. There were other things in the book that were just not plausible in a realistic sense. Don’t waste your time on this one…it was a clunker.
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There are a lot of different reasons to pick up a new book: the author, the cover, or, as in the case of She, Myself, and I by Emma Young, because the concept behind it was really interesting. This is a novel about a teenager girl, Rosa, who has a terminal nerve disease and has her brain transplanted into the body of another teenager girl who has died. Of course, there are all kinds of philosophical questions this leaves Rosa with about who she is, and it’s really a coming-of-age/self-discovery novel.

But for a novel that had a concept I found so interesting, I feel like the book was not that memorable. Young’s writing is quite simplistic and straightforward, and there was very little about Rosa’s life before the transplant, so it’s doesn’t feel like there’s nearly as much growth or change as there could be. It really is just a plot device, where Rosa claims her life was pointless/meaningless before, she had no friends and apparently did nothing, and now her life is going to be great. Probably not the best message about people with disabilities. Plus, Rosa herself…not that great. She’s really selfish and puts people through a lot of unnecessary worry, all leading to a very predictable romantic storyline I didn’t especially enjoy.

I also wish that there was a better reason for the brain transplant–maybe Rosa’s nerve disease would have spread to her face already–but instead the only excuse is that the scarring will be better if they do a brain transplant instead of a head transplant. The best part of She, Myself, and I was definitely Rosa’s relationship with her brother, which I quite enjoyed. I really appreciated the topics Young attempted to address in She, Myself, and I about what makes a person who they are, but unfortunately, the book as a whole was a miss for me. I will be curious to see what Young writes in the future and if she continues to tackle big ideas like this.
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This novel has a really interesting premise, but this novel starts vaguely and confused me enough that I couldn't get past it.
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This story is amazing. 

It's such a unique concept, but realistic too. It's hard to imagine a brain transplant but it's definitely a possibility for the future. Since other organs can be transplanted into a new body, why not a brain too?

The complications from this kind of surgery are fascinating as well. Not only does Rosa have to adjust to having a new body and a completely new face, the families of both Rosa and Sylvia have to adjust as well. It's easier for some more than others. 

Many parts of this story reminded me of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Rosa must stay in the hospital to recover from the surgery, until she meets a boy... It wouldn't be a YA book without a little romance. 

Though this book isn't a thriller, some parts were so chilling that it made my heart pound. Just the idea of waking up from surgery with a new face and body is so hard to imagine. But that's the magic of reading: living through things that are almost unbelievable. 

This is a great novel. I definitely recommend it.
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Thank you so much Netgalley for giving this my book to review. Unfortunately, I didn't like this book very much at all. I honestly couldn't get past a few pages in. I hope that other people that read this book enjoy it because even though I didn't like it doesn't mean that other won't.
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I gave this book 3.5 stars. This review is kinda late, I meant to finish it before the release date, but I ran out of time and this review just got pushed back. I didn't mean to, but life got in the way. Anyway, onto the actual book.

This book was so easy to read, it was such an interesting idea that I was drawn right in. There were some aspects that weren't possible, and pretty ridiculous, but it didn't deter my reading in any way. When I had the time to read it, I would read large portions of it at once, it was a bit addicting.

The authors writing style was definitely a positive, the story played out smoothly and it was easy to connect to the characters, because the author made them relatable.

I have no bad feelings about this book, it had some parts where I didn't think it was possible, but then again, a brain transplant has never actually happened so I can't say for sure, but theoretically some of the things that happened couldn't have actually happened.

Rosa was a relatable character. She was just like any other teenage girl, she just got the short straw in life and ended up with a nerve disease which made her unable to live her normal life. She had a complete identity crisis which is also completely understandable considering she was put into another persons body.

This book gave me a very calm, warm feeling. I never had any intense feelings of emotion during this book, which can be good or bad depending on whether you like books that make you have strong feelings. It wasn't the greatest book ever in existence that I will tell you that you have to read, but I think that if you like the premise, or you enjoy casual reading of the contemporary genre then you would enjoy reading this book.
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Having to watch a child’s life transition from one of never-ending promise and light into the creeping and unrelenting darkness of shadows is the very skeleton that worst nightmares are made of. Desperation has sent a London family across the pond to the brilliant medical minds of Boston, where they hope to find a solution to their problem. Rosa’s parents are hopeful and optimistic even though they are at the end of their ropes; it is critical that they do everything they possibly can and leave no stone unturned in their efforts to save their daughter.

Rosa’s body has been deteriorating since she was very young, but she did have a few years of a blessedly normal childhood before the robbing of her freedoms began. It almost makes it worse, being able to remember what it felt like to pedal a bike through the park or chase after an older brother. As a teenager she is completely immobile and confined to a wheelchair under the constant eye of her parents, and Rosa has been privy to each and every audacious betrayal of her body. Her brother provides a bit of welcome comic relief and familiarity, but he cannot take the place of the carefree friendship a best mate can provide, nor the tender kisses a relationship could bring. Rosa knows if she doesn’t go through the with the surgery, she will have no future. She will have nothing.

But is it worth it? The medical team in Boston has what they believe to be the cure for all that ails her — a new body. An actual new body. With medical advances allowing places around the world to transplant kidneys, hearts, arms, and even . . . heads, they feel confident that they can once again push the boundaries of science and transplant Rosa’s brain into that of a new body, rendering her “whole” once again. Rosa keeps having these terrible thoughts. . . that of Frankenstein and his sad and twisted monster, and she cannot help but be terrified that even if her brain is kept intact, that some part of her will be lost in the transition from broken to repaired.

With no choices left, Rosa has to take the plunge. She has to allow this to happen — or die. Putting her trust and faith in the team of doctors around her, she submits to their surgery.

As Rosa begins her new life in a new body, she can’t help but wonder about the person who used to inhabit it. Is it really so easy, to fit her brain into another skull, suddenly attach her feelings to another’s heart, breathe through foreign lungs, touch with hands previously used by someone else? Do all of these things now belong to her, free and clear? Is there such thing as a soul, and does the former inhabitant of this body still have some claim? Is Sylvia, the girl who had to die to Rosa could live, still lingering? Rosa’s mind won’t shut off and she finds herself caught in a sticky web of something almost like an obsession, not able to recognize herself in this new skin and fearful of the repercussions. Who was Sylvia before she died? Was she happy, did she love? Was she kind or was she a mean girl? What sort of adventures had this body had before Rosa was inserted inside of it? And can Rosa simply move on and live a life of normalcy, or will she forever be an invader in someone else’s private space?

In an attempt to wrap her mind around present circumstances, Rosa sets out to find out everything she can about her donor. With the help of a handsome journalist, she road-trips to the town Sylvia grew up in, anxious to weave her way into the places and people that helped mold the person who gave her life for hers. But it’s complicated — Sylvia is dead and no one knows about the transplant, not to mention Rosa is legally forbidden to initiate any contact with Sylvia’s mourning family. Unfortunately for Rosa, being able to move on with her life depends on knowing Sylvia from the outside-in, and so she throws caution to the wind and embarks upon an adventure of her own.

She, Myself, and I is the new novel by Emma Young, an award-winning journalist and author. While diving into the mind of a self-conscious and emotional teenage girl cannot be easy, I found that the author slipped into Rosa’s brain accurately and with the restraint that I would expect from a young lady who’s accepted that she was doomed to a life of nothingness, but then is given the chance of a lifetime. Rosa held back much of her emotions in a way that spoke to me, in that I felt at times that Rosa was afraid to embrace her panic and trepidation at the surgery and results, so she kept her feelings in check with as much control as she could muster. She almost seemed to shrink even further into herself, and with no medical precedent to truly help her navigate her complicated beliefs and feelings (and that of those around her), Rosa felt very much alone.

Despite that, I rate She, Myself, and I a 3 out of 4 stars. Reading that the author is well-versed in science and technology, as well as an expert in psychology, I was expecting. . . more. The transplant surgery in itself is extraordinary and revolutionary, and while I did not expect (nor want) a ton of science, I did expect more of an explanation on some aspects. Because Rosa was so shut off from her feelings, almost as if she was afraid a dam would break if she delved too deep, a lot of the plot around the surgery felt flat and one-dimensional. I also felt as if the author could have pushed more — more into the romantic relationship between Rosa and the journalist, more into the relationships between Rosa and her family, and definitely more into the relationships between Sylvia and HER friends/family. Rosa struck out on the trip to find answers, but I feel as if she returned with just as many questions. The closure was not complete for me, and a lot of the dialogue felt hollow.

All in all, I would recommend She, Myself, and I to readers 15+ due to some sexual content and mature situations.
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Many books where the main character has a medical condition are going to be sad, full of desperate hope for a happy ending, and end with an extreme feeling of loss at losing a character that the reader has gotten to know, and most times lose. She, Myself, and I is different, because when we meet Rosa she's preparing to keep living, even if her body does not.

Rosa meets Sylvia after her successful brain transplant. With a new lease on life, Rosa unexpectedly wants to know more about the girl who saved her. After meeting Joe, a reporter in training, Rosa learns not only about Slyvia, but also about herself.

The characters of the book are genuine and try to be heart felt. Rosa and Joe are the most well written, but their true selves are not revealed until close to the end. Learning the truth about Joe, while I understand he was keeping a secret, left me wondering if any character was honest or truly the person they seemed to be.

Rosa, like I'm sure most transplant recipients are, is apprehensive of her donated self and tries to learn more about the life of the person that matters so much to her. After months in the hospital, she doesn't seemed phased by the world outside and jumps into her new world with little hesitation or apprehension. She seems pretty well adjusted to leap into Boston when being from the UK and doesn't seem scared by the world she hasn't moved through on her own in years. I expected her to have a bit more reservations about going out and traversing the outside world.

Elliot seems to be the most genuine character and his parts throughout the book are short and even shorter lived. I suppose his part as Rosa's rock made him more like a conscience, a Jiminey Cricket, if you will, providing the most help, and small glimpses into Rosa's old life and family dynamic.

Rosa's mother seemed driven to keep her daughter alive, which I understand, but I never saw warmth and kindness from her. She came off as cold and not the kind of mother I expected for a character with a terminal disease.

I don't want to talk a lot about the doctors and nurses, but was appalled by the "Jane" incident, and surprised by how it ended so abruptly near the end of the book even though it was only a couple paragraphs about it in the beginning. It felt like an unnecessary conflict in the story.

The plot, in the beginning, I feared would be focused solely at the hospital. I was glad when it headed in a different direction. Once things got moving, it was an enjoyable read. I was as determined as Rosa to learn more about her and Sylvia along the way.

I don't want to lead to any spoilers, but I wish that Rosa's black outs were resolved a bit differently. I feel like what began as an insightful journey about self discovery fell a bit flat with the "Leave it to Beaver" easy way of tying up lose ends. I feel like an epilogue would have helped give a more satisfying ending, even if it was just a tiny glimpse, maybe one month later, into Rosa's future.
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I thought this book was solid. Not the greatest book ever, but definitely not bad either. I enjoyed reading it and I especially enjoyed the main character, Rosa. I thought the writing style flowed well and the narrative voice seemed plausible. 

Otherwise, though, it didn't have a lot going for it. Not a lot happened in the book, to my mind, and I also felt that there wasn't enough emotion for the subject matter. Not that I like my books to be overly dramatic/angsty, but I felt like there should have been at least some more complex emotions evoked throughout Rosa's journey to come to terms with her new self. 

Overall, it was just kind of bland. Interesting character, interesting subject matter, but not a remarkable read.
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Unfortunately I found myself marking this one as "did not finish" on Goodreads. Regrettably I found that this book just did not hold my interest. The premise of this book is definitely an interesting idea, but I felt incredibly disconnected from the main character. I apologise for not being able to provide a full review for this novel, and I'd like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy.
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A thought provoking novel. Seems like it could never happen, but heart transplants probably seemed ridiculous at some point and now they're kind of a run of the mill thing. Makes a person wonder.
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When I first heard about this book I was actually very excited to read it. When I saw it on NetGalley I had just watched both Criminal (2016) and Self/Less (2015) two movies with the same exact same concept and both strangely staring Ryan Reynolds. Similar to those movies, this book is about a girl who gets her brain transplanted into another body and then things start to happen. So, I figure that since those movies didn’t totally suck, and that their concept was cool, I would want to read a YA contemporary about it, because why not.

In the end, I was kinda disappointed with what I got.


When Rosa, a girl with a nerve disease that rendered her a quadriplegic get her brain transplanted into the body of a brain dead girl named Sylvia, she goes on a search to find what makes a person a person. Is it just the body? Is it the mind? Is it the soul, and if so, where does that lie? Also, is there anything left of Sylvia in the body Rosa now inhabits?

To answer these, Rosa goes on a journey of self-discovery to find out about Sylvia’s past and her own future. Along the way, crazy things happen and love begins to bloom. Some parts of it were nice, some parts of it seemed slightly unrealistic. I admit, I was not a huge fan of the writing and the romance felt a little forced. Really, I think the book could have done without it.

Also, I feel like this book took a turn. I wanted it to focus a bit more on the effects of the transplant, in a physical and psychological way. I wanted more reaction from Rosa and those around her. I wanted a little less romance. Still, I didn't hate this novel. 

Ok, so time for me to make some slightly controversial statements.

There are people complaining that there wasn’t enough information on the disease and the way the transplant went on. Personally, I prefer it. I want to read a contemporary, not a medical journal. Sure, I would have wanted some specifics but not to the point that people are demanding.

There are a lot of people complaining that this book implies that Rosa had no life due to her being disabled. They say that this is ableism (discrimination in favor of able-bodied people) and that it suggests that Rosa would not have had any opportunities while in her condition. Let’s be clear, I am not an ableist. I have never discriminated against someone for any condition that they may have. That said, if you are a quadriplegic teenage girl, there isn’t much you can do. The opportunities for her were very little and that’s just a sad reality. So, yes, she now gets to actually stand up and see the world, and have a new life. One with more opportunities than she would have. It’s not saying that people with disabilities can’t be happy and have lives. It’s stating the fact that there is a lot more that you can do when you aren’t completely paralyzed in your entire body, as Rosa was.

So, why am I defending a book that I rated only two stars? Well, because this book barely held my interest. At times I was into it, but mostly I was entirely out of it. It took me weeks to finish this book, when usually I read books in 2-3 days, tops. Sometimes, when a book is just that good, I’ll read it all in one sitting. This wasn’t one of those books. That’s why I gave it two stars. Not because I saw it as an ableist novel, or whatever.
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