Friday, March 16, 2012

Someone Else's Life Book Review

Title: Someone Else's Life
Author: Katie Dale
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 14, 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0385740654

464 pp.

ARC from publisher via Netgalley

I was really intrigued by this book. The basic plot starts with Rosie, a young woman in England, who watches her mother Trudie slowly die from Huntington's disease. What's worse for Rosie is that Huntington's disease is hereditary and she has a 50/50 chance of getting it. Except a secret is finally revealed ... Rosie is not Trudie's daughter. She was switched at birth with a girl named Holly. Rosie tracks down her real family in the United States, but the repercussions, especially for Holly, are life-altering.

I liked Rosie, a lot. She was believable in all her fears and doubts and missteps. I did not, however, like Holly. Holly has every right to be freaked out and miserable, but she comes off as unstable. There were certain scenes where her actions and/or reactions were beyond unstable and into the land of the mentally disturbed.

Which is problematic when the chapters alternate between Rosie and Holly. (That's a bit of spoiler because the narrators aren't identified for the first several chapters, which is supposed to come as a big surprise when it's revealed. It's not. It's just confusing. And annoying.) Because I don't mind spending time with Rosie, but I didn't enjoy reading Holly's interior craziness.

It's also a problem because Katie Dale wants to end each chapter with some big twist, which leads to what I consider a lot of artificial conflict. Characters would leave to create conflict, then return at THE WORST POSSIBLE MOMENT to create more conflict. The whole book seemed over-bloated with conflict.

This was a hard review for me because I'm torn between liking Rosie and almost giving up on the book when I'd had enough of Holly. But I would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoyed emotional family stories.

Someone Else's Life book trailer:

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