Contemporary, Young Adult

Review: Both of Me @FriesenJonathan

Title: Both of Me
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing
AuthorJonathan Friesen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance


★ ☆★ – 3 Stars


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.

Definitely different from what I originally read, but I must say this book kept me wanting to know more. It was like a fantasy type style book due to Elias’ identity disorder. I really enjoyed the whole book, the beginning was confusing because you are getting to know Elias, as well as “The Other One”. Once I got past the differences, and the action kept pouring in, I was hooked.
The ending of the book pulled everything together, and was the most powerful thing I have ever read. It really makes you think if mental illness is more than just a “label” and things from the past could really interfere with what is wrong inside their minds.
My overall thoughts on this read is something I really don’t know what to write. Will this book be forgettable? Maybe. Have I learned something about Mental Illness? Sure. Will I continue to look for Jonathan’s work? Of course. The only thing that completely lacked in this book was the “connection”, I really didn’t get their connection, it wasn’t like something just happened… It was really weird in places, and the kiss.. they get caught in. Just seemed out of place, and odd. Do not get me wrong. I liked the book, and I really think anyone who loves a twisted type fantasy would to.

Buy Link

About the Author
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. Read more at


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