Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she's an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn't find out she's a freak.
As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.
But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.
The Other Me is definitely one of the more unique books that I have read this year. Part teenage angst, part romance and part a journey of complicated self discovery, it follows Treasa, a social misfit who hates the body that she was born into and is near convinced that she is an alien. I think that by taking it a few steps past the norm, Suzanne Van Rooyen has perfectly encapsulated the teenage feeling of being different and that no one understands you.
I loved that this book didn't just focus on Treasa but was also from the point of view of Gabriel, a boy with a few problems of his own. I do greatly enjoy dual pov books as it is nice to see events from the perspective of more than one person. This book had a large focus on teenagers overcoming there problems without it coming across too much like a morality.
As this book is set in South Africa there is some slang that can at times be hard to understand. It didn't affect my enjoyment of the story however and there is a glossary of terms at the start of the book for if you get overly confused.
The Other Me is a great book that isn't afraid to shy away from the gritty aspects of teenage life such as bullying, drugs and sex. For me I felt that the ending was a little rushed and I would have liked to see just a few more chapters but it was more than satisfying and believable enough.
This book most certainly wont be for everyone but I enjoyed it. It is very well written and is a fresh, unique story that I would recommend.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not affected my opinions or rating in any way.*
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About the Author
Suzanne is an author and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu. She is rep'd by Jordy Albertof the Booker Albert Agency.
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