Saturday, July 10, 2010
Review: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
17-year-old Bronwen Oliver operates under the theory that she was probably switched at birth. That explains why she is unlike the rest of her perfect, golden family. In the life she was supposed to have lived, her name is Phoebe Lilywhite, and she and her parents have an amazing relationship because they are just like her.
However, her Phoebe Lilywhite days get put on the wayside when she starts dating college student Jared Sondervan. Jared is charming, kind, funny, sweet—and best of all, he has a great family that she fits right into. Then Jared asks her to marry him. At first, Bronwen is ecstatic. Finally she has the chance to fit in with the family she has always dreamed of. But as the wedding date approaches, she starts to doubt if marriage is really what she wants.
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE is the perfectly light yet fulfilling read for the reader who’s in between the teenage and adult years. It is endearingly thoughtful, with memorable characters and a modern humorous sensibility.
Erin McCahan’s writing is bright and witty, reminiscent of a more succinct version of Meg Cabot’s. Bronwen wastes no words with her narration, instead providing us just enough to get the picture, get her tone, and focus more on the story and characters. Bronwen's intelligence, irreverence, and simultaneous disenchantment and idealism about family and love made her a unique YA character that I didn't want to look away from.
The strength of I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE lies in its characters. Debut author Erin McCahan uses the simplest of dialogue to create differentiated and well-rounded characters without the dose of melodrama that YA contemporary fiction sometimes has. This means that, no matter how far-fetched the plot might get (Bronwen IS muleheadedly determined that she is not related to her family, after all), we are still charmed and want more of Bronwen, Jared, Jared's family, Bronwen's family, and all others.
I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU SOMEONE ELSE is a delightful contemporary read with a surprisingly strong amount of depth and feeling to it. I know for sure that this is one book I'll be returning to when I'm in the mood for a not-so-ordinary tale of romance and growing up!
Alicia Thompson (Psych Major Syndrome)
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Cover discussion: 2 out of 5 - Ugh, I was definitely put off by this cover. I like the blue and pink, but really, what do the textbooks have to do with anything? So Bronwen's in high school. And? Aren't most YA protagonists high school students?
Arthur A. Levine / June 1, 2010 / Hardcover / 272pp. / $16.99
ARC received from Around the World Tours.