Both of Me  -     By: Jonathan Friesen
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Both of Me

Zondervan / 2014 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Elias Phinn copes with his painful reality by slipping into the imaginary realm of Warilia, a world that colors his every waking moment and feels more real than the actual one around him. When his carry-on luggage is switched with that of the beautiful and mysterious Clara, Elias becomes convinced that she is a Warilian diplomat's daughter. But as the two become friends and their carefully constructed words begin to crack, Elias must save them both before everything falls apart.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 256
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0310731887
ISBN-13: 9780310731887
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years.

 

When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she’s beginning to love from ever disappearing again.

Author Bio

Jonathan Friesen is an author, speaker, and youth writing coach from Mora, Minnesota. His first young adult novel, Jerk, California, received the ALA Schneider Award. When he’s not writing, speaking at schools, or teaching, Jonathan loves to travel and hang out with his wife and three kids.

Editorial Reviews

A girl with a mysterious past embarks on a journey across America to save a friend and find herself. Haunted by a family tragedy she feels responsible for, 18-year-old Clara has traveled the world but can't leave her past behind. This seems especially true when, on a flight to Minneapolis, she sits next to 'an interesting bloke' named Elias Phinn, who seems to know her life, including details of the tragedy---her Great Undoing---she has never revealed to anyone. Clara follows Elias to his home, an inn 'populated with the mad and deranged.' It turns out that Elias is suffering from dissociative identity disorder: There are two Eliases, the 'real,' lucid one and the mentally ill one inhabiting an imaginary world that he calls Salem---and the paranoid one seems to be taking over, unless 'normal' Elias can figure out how to destroy the evil that comes from a mysterious 'Keeper' at a lighthouse. Friesen's writing is at times stunning, neatly adept at capturing the 'terror of loose footing' that affects both Elias and Clara and creating an unease in readers as well. The sheer weirdness of Elias' alternative world will intrigue readers, and after Elias and Clara's phantasmagoric road trip following stars and myths, those readers will appreciate a grizzled old Mainer's matter-of-fact story that neatly explains everything. A haunting tale for teens with a taste for the bizarre
Believing she caused a family tragedy (AKA her Great Undoing), 18-year-old Clara bolted from her London home. She has since been traveling the world using her father’s journal as a guide. On a flight to Minneapolis, she meets Elias, who eerily seems to know everything about her. Discovering that their bags were switched, she locates his home and discovers two Eliases. He suffers from DID---Disassociative Identity Disorder---and swings from sweet Elias to the Other One, who lives in the imaginary world of Salem. Troubled by her past and about Elias' condition, Clara has as much difficulty finding her footing as does Elias about his lost spans of time. Nevertheless, determined to help good Elias overcome the Other One, Clara nevertheless takes him on a journey to find and destroy a mysterious being Elias calls “the Keeper.” They follow the stars, interpret myths, and utilize Clara's journal only to end up at a lighthouse on the coast of Maine, where they meet someone who knows the truth. Part Alice in Wonderland, part roleplaying game, and all weird road-trip adventure, Friesen's storytelling is laser-beam sharp, making the characters (and the readers) teeter as if on a warped balance beam. The concept of DID will fascinate readers as will the semi-otherworldly adventure. --- Jeanne Fredriksen --- STARED BOOKLIST REVIEW
BOTH OF ME by Jonathan Friesen is unlike any other story. With its unique premise, scenes that will make you laugh out loud one minute and then totally break your heart once you turn the page, this is one book that is just going to stick with you. BOTH OF ME tells the story of Clara, a girl from London who runs away from her family obligations in search of a life filled with adventure. She carries her father’s journal, which documents his crazy travel experience from before she was born, and uses that as her guide around the globe. Clara knows not to get emotionally attached to anyone (especially boys) since she has proven to herself that anyone she loves ends up hurt by her actions. On a flight, she sits next to a boy named Elias. He is totally cute, but super strange. He speaks to Clara about things she had no idea about until she notices a drawing in her sketchbook that looks just like her dead mother. Intrigued by this guy and how he knows about her life, Clara tries talking to him, but he resists any interaction with her. Once they’re both off the plane, Clara realizes someone took her bag and the one she has belongs to the boy she say next to, Elias. Clara goes to Elias’ home to trade her bag back and she sees that he lives in the bed and breakfast his mother owns. Elias, though, has no recollection of meeting Clara and this time she meets the side of Elias that is sweet, charming and could be the guy who steals her heart. Elias’ mom tells Clara that Elias suffers from a type of multiple personality disorder and when the Other One makes his way to the surface, the real Elias disappears and never remembers what he does as this other personality. The other side of Elias is all about going on a mission to save the fictional world of Salem he thinks he lives in and to destroy the evil Lightkeeper. Clara decides it’s her duty to help the Elias she cares about figure out what made this other side to him appear when he was eight years old and to find out what he know
“A riveting novel of complex storytelling and deftly crafted character dialogues, 'Both Of Me' is a thoroughly entertaining read that is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections. Simply stated, Jonathan Friesen is a compellingly gifted novelist who will leave his readers looking eagerly toward his next literary effort.'

Product Reviews

2 Stars Out Of 5
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Displaying items 1-2 of 2
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  1. Minnesota
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Not for Me
    February 26, 2015
    LYSZ
    Minnesota
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    I just couldn't get into to it as much as I wanted too. The writing felt too forced, too contrived. I couldn't connect with Clara. She became attached to Elias much too quickly for a self-professed wanderer. I couldn't swallow the fear and anger Elias's mom had to have been feeling as her DID son disappeared. The ending was so dramatic and sudden. Overall, the premise was interesting but it was all still bare bones. I can only give this one 2 stars. A reader who enjoys prose, a brief adventure, and touching ending would thoroughly enjoy this one. Also, it is being sold as a YA but really doesn't feel like one. It could go adult or YA.
  2. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Not My Type of Book, I Guess
    January 1, 2015
    StoryGirl
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Do you ever read a book and realize that, objectively, the book isn't bad, but it just isn't for you? That's how I feel about this book. My sister asked me what it was about, and I did my best to tell her.

    "Well, that sounds interesting," she said.

    Exactly. That's what I thought, too, which was why I decided to read it. However, it quickly became clear that this wasn't a book for me. I struggled to get through it and probably wouldn't have finished except for the fact that I had received it for review (and after all, it's not very long, anyway). I didn't really connect to the characters, and while I technically understood what was going it, it was difficult for me to understand why it was happening and why characters were doing certain things. Thus, I didn't find it terribly interesting because I didn't necessarily care about what was going on. (there was also one scene I didn't care for, either)

    So while I have read several good reviews of this book, I guess you're enjoyment of it depends on what type of person you are. And I guess I just wasn't the right type.

    I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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