JUST LIKE ME BY NANCY J. CAVANAUGH
SOURCEBOOKS JABBERWOCKY (EBOOK), EXPECTED PUBLICATION 5 APRIL 2016
I GOT THIS ARC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Who eats Cheetos with chopsticks?! Avery and Becca, my “Chinese Sisters,” that’s who. We’re not really sisters—we were just adopted from the same orphanage. And we’re nothing alike. They sing Chinese love songs on the bus to summer camp, and I pretend like I don’t know them.
To make everything worse, we have to journal about our time at camp so the adoption agency can do some kind of “where are they now” newsletter. I’ll tell you where I am: At Camp Little Big Woods in a cabin with five other girls who aren’t getting along, competing for a campout and losing (badly), wondering how I got here…and where I belong.
The camp bus sputtered and chugged up the interstate, sounding as if this might be its last trip. Avery sat across the aisle from me with her earbuds on, practicing a Chinese vocabulary lesson. Becca sat next to her, chewing on a straw and watching a soccer match on her cell phone.
WHAT I THOUGHT
Just Like Me is a lot of fun to read and has serious moments as well. Julia and two other girls at camp were adopted from the same Chinese orphanage. This book is really about any teenager from anywhere in the world trying to make sense of their identity. It’s a little harder for Julie perhaps than others. Julia’s confusion and frustration comes across really well. She feels resentful at being expected to bond with her ‘Chinese sisters’ simply because they started life in the same orphanage. She is embarrassed when the other two girls behave in ways that draw attention to themselves such as when they first use Chinese fans to cool themselves down. She doesn’t want to include a photo of her at the orphanage in her life collage and is doesn’t understand why Avery and Becca are happy to include it. The end of each chapter includes an extract from Julia’s journal which offers a lot of insight into how she’s feeling. I really enjoyed the way the story developed as the girls gradually find common ground that has nothing to do with being from the same orphanage. I loved the cover as well.