IF I WERE ME                                J. CORRINE

Can a free spirit find the freedom she craves? 
Jeannie Astor chases after her dreams while her identical twin adheres to the path their parents laid. The wild child seeks relief from her stifling life in New York and will do anything to see the world at large. 
After Jeannie makes her escape, she soon discovers that freedom may come at too high a price. When she returns home, she tries in earnest to live up to the demands of her family name. Stymied by rules, rejection, and criticism at every turn, she fights to hang on to what little is left of herself. 
When reality and dream collide, will she become someone she swore she’d never be? 

     This is a book that had me going from the moment I picked it up.  It had me in twisted turmoil all the way through to the last chapter and then it lost me.  I realized none of the answers to a whole lot of questions presented were going to be answered.
     Jeannie Astor is a free spirit who has always been the explorer, the out of the box thinker, the twin that always made her parents gasp with each new decision she made without thinking it through or consulting them on it.
     But she was different than her twin Natty who did everything her two parents wanted her to do all the time.  So, she at times would talk her into things and when it went south she would take total blame.  Even when Natty was the one with the idea.
     Now that they are older it’s not just the two of them against the world.  There is their sister’s boyfriend, Mark.  She met him in the sixth grade and it has been love ever since.  They are the Three Musketeers.  Mark is a good guy he has always known better than to try and come between them.  On this night they all have to make an appearance at her dad’s work party.  Their mom is a lot anal about these things.
     When they’re in front of a crowd you can’t smile, laugh, wave at one person too much. You can’t smile too little, too loud, or make a scene.  I think you get the picture. 
     Anyway, as the speech is over she is getting off the stage to engage in the required conversation time slotted by her parents.  When she is scoping out the crowd.  She sees the rather sexy looking guy talking to Mark.  She beelines to Natty to find out who it is and to ask her to introduce them.  To which Natty just laughs.  She tells her she already knows him and that she has never ever given the poor guy the time of day before.  She is like what are you talking about I don’t know him.
     Natty is, you do.  She is like I have to meet him.  Natty is he won’t give you the time of day for the way you have always treated him just watch.  She’s like no way.
So, she goes over Mark says, hello to her but his friend Ryan Beckett.  But Mark just says Ryan…you remember Jeannie Astor?  Mark makes a point to say, Ry… He finally looks over in her direction but no eye contact and says, Yeah!  Then keeps looking around.
     Mark excuses himself to go over to Natty.  Jeannie extends her hand to reintroduce herself and he just looks at her and then her quickly and says her name and then his.  He just looks at her hand and then her and then says excuse me I see someone I need to talk to.  And walks off.
     Later at the party, she goes with her father talk with a client her dad talks with the father.  She talks with the son about a European backpacking trip he is taking and she is so excited to talk about it and getting info.  It is something she has always wanted to do.  They exchange numbers and he leaves with his father.  As he watches him leave from behind her she hears someone say, “You really can’t seriously be thinking about doing that are you?  She’s like, “It’s really none of your business what I do.”  They start bantering back and forth.  She leaves for home soon after.
     It’s that exchange and the exhilaration she feels for him on that night and the several encounters over the next year that shapes a working relationship of bantering, arguing, yelling, and heated kisses.  But she never finds out how she knows him, Mark mentions a secret he keeps for or about him, which reminds me of an argument that Mark and Ryan had in Rome.
     But the thing that really disturbs me is that her sister is really so mean to her.  But in a passive-aggressive way.  With her invites of people to their home unannounced and unwelcomed, making her do things she doesn’t want to do, acting like their mother, telling stories that put her in a bad light all the time, making her out to be the fall guy too.  Even her husband tells her to cool it.  I feel like Jeannie lost herself trying to conform to everyone else’s way of thinking and living.  She let the one person who fed her heart and soul go for a charge that hasn’t lasted.  

     As far as Ryan why does he take back Jemma?  She is the one that hurt Roxie.  Just too many questions left.  I really hope book two will fully answer all my questions. I have to give this: 4 stars.  Got it free on Amazon Unlimited.  Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

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