Review: As I Am

“You’re not invisible. You’re invaluable.”

When Kinley Carmichael looks in the mirror, she doesn’t see her blonde-haired, blue-eyed, size 4 twin sister. She sees her dark-haired, brown-eyed, size 12 self. 

Kinley and her twin sister Addison are excited to start their second summer as counselors at The Camp at Lake Hollis. All Kinley wants is to earn enough money to meet up with her mother so they travel the world as professional photographers. All Addison wants is to work on her tan, seduce a boy, and build her fashion budget. And while Kinley and Addison couldn’t be more opposite, nothing has ever stopped them from being the best of friends. 

It’s an especially great summer for Kinley as the official camp photographer and Notre Dame Quarterback Cal Harper showing interest in her. But when poet Miller Conrad arrives and rejects Addison’s advances, showing more interest in Kinley, true colors will shine and the sisters’ bond will be tested.

As Kinley and Miller’s connection deepens, Kinley feels like she can truly be herself without the internal scrutiny she’s developed in the shadow of her sister. But when Kinley inadvertently uncovers a terrible secret at the camp, Miller is left facing the demons of his own reasons for coming to Lake Hollis.

What was supposed to be the greatest summer of Kinley’s life turns out to be more life-changing than she ever imagined.

This was a cute read!  I really liked it.  One of the things that stands out most about this book is that it is something I would let my teenagers read.  These days, books for teens are not much different than adult books.  They are full of sex, swearing and adult situations.  This book is not.  It is down-to-earth and universal for anyone.

The story is relate-able.  It isn't far-fetched or over-the-top.  It reminds me of an after-school special.  Sweet.  Refreshing.  Real issues that aren't exaggerated.  

Kinley has always walked in her beautiful twin sister's shadows.  Now it is her time to shine.  It is her time to start becoming her own person.  She struggles with her issues with her weight and being who she wants to be versus who her family wants her to be.

It takes two males vying for her attention to get her to see that she is someone too.  She learns the difference between a crush and attraction.  She battles with what the right thing to do is when it comes to conflicting feelings, or lack thereof, between two men.  She has to accept that her perception of some isn't real.  She finds that she is blind to others faults.

Miller and Cal couldn't be more different.  Miller is the somewhat tortured soul.  He is an artist and covered in tattoos.  Cal is the stereo-typical rich jock.  Kinley has had a crush on Cal for a year.  They have stayed in contact and gotten to know one another.  Miller is unfamiliar and new.  His presence brings feelings inside her she has never had before.

The breaking and forming of friendships and relationships isn't fast moving.  They all happen at a pace I was comfortable with.  Nothing was rushed or forced.  Overall, I enjoyed this story. 

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