Wednesday, August 29, 2012

i now pronounce you someone else totally lives up to my memories

The first thing that hit me when I started rereading I Now Pronounce You Someone Else was that the switched-at-birth aspect felt just as out of place as I remembered. I barely touched on it in my review of the book the first time I read it, but part of the "hook" of this book is that the protagonist, Bronwen Oliver, doesn't fit into her super-blonde, super-polite family and has this whole story in her mind about how she might be switched at birth and what her real family is like and how one day the phone will ring and she'll get the family she always wanted while her mother gets the blonde, peppy daughter she always wanted.

But Bronwen doesn't actually think she's switched at birth, which is part of why starting the book out this way strikes me as a bit odd. It confuses things a little right off the bat. However, this is such a small thing in the big picture of the book and honestly, rereading this incredible novel was just so, so great. Bronwen's the sort of character I wish there were more of and this is the sort of book I'd like to read more of. It's long on emotion and relationships with such well-developed characters. It's the sort of book you might be able to refer to as, "good clean fun!" if not for the fact that many of the issues are a little too deep and close to the heart to be taken so lightly.

I love this book. I know these rereading recaps are supposed to be about my experience reading the book a second (or third, or whatever) time, but with this one... honestly there were very few differences in my first and second readings. The book is just as great as I remembered it being, if not more so.

The one real difference in my reading this time as opposed to the first time around is that this time I didn't see the ending as being as vague and open-ended as I had the first time around. Maybe because I chose a more optimistic outlook or maybe because last time I just hadn't been able to see the optimism because I'd been so gobsmacked by some of the events that came before it, but the ending felt a bit more settled this time (in a good way) than it had before.

(Okay, a second thing I noticed that I didn't pay as much attention to the first time I read it is the fact that everyone in this book is wealthy. Not in an annoying way either, but just a matter-of-fact way that could easily come off as ugh, rich people and their summer houses but instead doesn't because it's woven into the story so seamlessly and the writing is so top-notch.)

I love this book. Absolutely love it. It's my kind of comfort read and a book I could easily see myself wanting to reread year after year: Bronwen and Jared's love story and Bronwen's personal journey are just so great.

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