Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Someone Else's Life

Someone Else's Life

Author: Katie Dale
Pages: 485
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: NetGalley (Thank you!)
Synopsis: When 17-year-old Rosie's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington's Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty percent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when Rosie tells her mother's best friend, "Aunt Sarah," that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie wasn't her real mother after all. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly baby who was destined to die.
Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, joining her ex-boyfriend on his gap year travels, to find her birth mother in California. But all does not go as planned. As Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonizing decision of her own, one which will be the most heart breaking and far-reaching of all.

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Someone Else's Life was one of those books that completely surprised me. A lot of drama happens in it, so much more than you could imagine based on the synopsis and I got a different story than the one I was expecting. That's not a bad thing. I did think the storyline was really unique and I seldom read book like it.

There's not much I can say about the book without spoiling it, so this review will probably be a lot shorter than usual.

Character wise, I found I didn't have as much of a strong relation to the characters as you'd hope to have in such an emotional story. It wasn't as much a fault of the story than the fact that I have never experienced anything close to what any one of the characters goes through. (I'm so lucky.) They have to deal with so much and I really enjoyed reading about their thoughts and reactions. We meet the characters at a time of great difficulty so the characters all make many mistakes or just show off their imperfections. It's great because they're so real, but at the same time it's a bit heavy to read.

This book is not a light, amusing read. A lot happens that will make you think, and the atmosphere within is very gloomy at times. It shows a part of life that is the reality for some people who have to deal with genetic diseases. Frankly, it was pretty hard to read at times because there was no clear answer to the characters' problems. The situation was a tangled mess, which turned out to be surprisingly reflective of life. The story felt pretty believable. There were some events that were really unlikely to happen, but overall everything that happened has the possibility of happening in real life. That helped with the believability of the story.

I read this book while I was in a pretty bad reading slump. This kind of meant that I didn't read very much or very frequently, so it took me longer than usual to read the book and there was pauses in between reading. That being said, while I did enjoy the concept and how the story was handled, nothing really sparked for me. It may have been my mood while reading but I didn't feel compelled to just keep reading till the end. I wouldn't describe this book as a page turner.

Overall, the story will always stick with me, plus I feel a little bit more educated after reading Someone Else's Life. I think it's a pretty good contemporary read and I like that it informs readers about Huntington's Disease, something I had never heard of before. I liked it, 3.5 stars,

*** & 1/2 *

1 comment:

  1. Hm. The premise sounds fascinating, and your review indicates that the book is heavy but good. Our only concern is not connecting to the characters... but we've read a couple serious stories like this and enjoyed them despite that, so we'd probably like this one too. Thanks!


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