Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Mykayla’s parents’ marriage is in trouble, but they’re working on it. Unfortunately for Mykayla, that means she’s getting shipped off to Boston to spend her summer with Uncle Yushua while they work out their issues. Mykayla has issues of her own-like her confusion about her sexuality, or apparent lack of it-that she’d like to explore alongside her best friend, Xiu. The situation at her uncle’s house is weird to say the least. There’s something off about his coworkers-aside from the fact that they won’t go away. Things go from strange to stranger when a supernatural being shows up to protect Mykayla from someone he calls the Shadow Pharaoh. Sutekhgen is a sorcerer who never made it to the afterlife, with a huge Set Beast as a companion… and the mistaken assumption that Mykayla is the reincarnation of his lost romantic partner. She doesn’t know what’s worse: being caught in a metaphysical conflict between ancient gods or being stuck with a pushy jerk who doesn’t know the meaning of personal boundaries.
“I’m Not Who You Think I Am” was a bit of a mixed bag for me. There were some elements I really enjoyed and others I didn’t really care for.
I haven’t seen a lot of books that mix old Egyptian mythology and urban fantasy, so this was a nice change. While I’m not completely ignorant of Egyptian history and religion, I’m hardly an expert and I did feel a little bit lost at times. Sometimes the in-depth on page research actually bordered on info-dump for me and it was hard to keep track of all the facts.
Mykayla is a girl after my tastes. She thinks museums are just as interesting as bookshops and can easily spend hours there without getting bored. That made me like her immediately. She’s also obsessed with knitting and still struggling a bit with her asexuality. Or rather, how and who to tell about it. She did get a little bit annoying toward the end, with her seemingly endless internal rants about sexism and how she was very much NOT attracted to anybody.
Her best friend Xiu was kind of annoying from the beginning. She never shuts up and kind of refuses to accept Mykayla’s asexuality. She’s the only person who knows about it and yet she keeps going on about how she wants to date Mykayla. It seemed quite insensitive to me, even if it was passed off as a sort of running gag. Plus, she acted awfully mature for a 15-year-old and not at all how I think a normal teenager would behave.
The adults were also very lenient towards the two teenagers. Who allows two 15-year-olds to go out alone at 11pm to have a coffee at the train station of a big city? And Mykayla’s parents were extremely neglectful. They weren’t abusive or anything, but they just seemed to not be as concerned about her as I’d expect. They’re actually somewhat important to the story, even if they don’t get all that much on-page time. That was actually a nice change from the usually absent parents of the YA genre.
I did like the fantasy elements and the scenes with Sutekhgen and his adorable Set Beast. Kudos to the author for creating two truly unique animal characters in this story. I’m still halfway convinced Yushua’s cat is secretly not a cat at all, but a shapeshifter or something like that. I think the animals were my favourite characters of the entire book.
Not a lot actually happens here. There’s one big event pretty early on, followed by lots of talking and research, and then there’s another big event toward the end. I didn’t quite understand the big reveal at the end, tbh.
Overall, I did find “ I’m Not Who You Think I Am” a mostly rather entertaining read. It does have its ups and downs, though, and it was far from a “great read” for me. I do believe there’s going to be a part two, the overall story arc definitely isn’t done just yet, even if there was no horrible cliffhanger at the end. I’m not sure if I want to read the sequel, yet.
I’m not a huge fan of the cover by Tiferet Design. While the cover model definitely has the right hair and skin tone, she just doesn’t look like she’s 15. Plus, I’m fairly sure Mykayla didn’t wear make up. I do like the font that was used for the title, though.
eBook, 200 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press LLC