I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.
When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.
Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.
I adored this book! Creative, original, and fantastic- I Now Pronounce You Someone Else is one of my favorite 2010 debuts! Bronwen was an interesting, likable character and from the first page I was drawn into her narration. The summary was a little vague, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this book was so much more than I expected.
McCahan has a great writing style; it seems like she always knows exactly what word or phrase to use. The descriptions made it easy for me to visualize everything that was happening and made it much more realistic. The characters were well developed, as well. Even the secondary characters, like Spence. Every character had a place in this book and added even a little something to it.
Again, Bronwen was a great female lead. She was relatable and detailed, enough that made me really want to know her in person. Her family situation was sad, but I loved Whitt from the start. It's so great to see someone connect so well with their step-parent, when they're made out so negatively a lot of the time. Bronwen didn't have a good relationship with her mom, and it was sad to see how demanding and thoughtless of Bronwen she was at times. Some of my favorite scenes were those involving Bronwen's extended family. They really were, as Bronwen said, crazy! They brought up the oddest topics and bickered all the time. They were sweet in a different sort of way. I could see how Bronwen thought she didn't belong at times and developed the "alter ego" Phoebe Lillywhite! I liked how the Phoebe Lillywhite angle tied in with the rest of the plot!
The main plot line, Bronwen's relationship with Jared, was original and emotional. I've never read a YA book where the two characters were going to be married. It may seem like Jared and Bronwen's relationship moved too quickly, but they were perfect for each other and Bronwen is faced with a big decision in the end.
I loved Jared and I loved the scenes with his family. They were caring, understanding, and just awesome! Jared was the same, he just seemed like the overall perfect guy!
I conclusion, I loved I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, it was a fabulous debut that left me smiling and crying. The romance is sweet and unique, and you'll fall in love with the characters. Bronwen is a terrific main character, and a good influence on readers her age. I definitely recommend picking up a copy of it this summer!
Overall: 4.75 out of 5 stars
June 1, 2010/Arthur A. Levine Books/272 Pages/Young Adult
Source: Publisher (ARC)