She, Myself and I by Emma Young
I received this arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t know what it is about stories that include brain transplants that I love so much. Maybe it’s the science element? Maybe it’s how easy it is to add in that case of confused identity trope that I adore so much? Or maybe it’s just the fact that brain transplants are incredibly weird, and this book touched on that perfectly?
She, Myself and I follows the story of Rosa, a quadriplegic girl from London who wants a second chance at life. Incredibly, a girl with the opposite problem is found, all the way over in the USA, whose body is fundamentally unharmed, but whose mind is gone. So, the improbable happens, and Rosa’s brain and consciousness are placed into that of this unknown American girl. But suddenly being seen as someone who is not you, and being given the opportunity to live a full life in someone else’s body, has consequences.
The main plot of this story is Rosa’s struggle to come to terms with her new life, inside someone else’s body. Suddenly, she’s immediately seen to be someone completely different to herself, and the journey she goes on to learn more about the dead girl, and her friends and family, is completely justified in such a context, and really well handled.
I’ve read a lot of criticism about this story for it being “ableist”, in that it suggests that Rosa would have had no opportunities in her condition. I don’t see this as a massive issue myself, as it was a really small part of the plot, and I think it’s a justified statement, because, as an eighteen-year-old in a body that doesn’t function, she wouldn’t have had many opportunities. I do understand why some people might see it as problematic, but it didn’t bother me, personally, and definitely didn’t detract from my love of the story.
It was a really quick, enjoyable read, and one I know I’ll continue to love. It actually reminded me a lot of Airhead by Meg Cabot, a book I read when I was much younger, so it was nostalgic for me, too.
I have this a full five, deserved stars.