Saturday 18 April 2020

Book Review - Someone Else's Life

Title: Someone Else's Life
Author: Katie Dale
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Release Date: 2 Feb. 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0857071415

When seventeen-year-old Rosie's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington's disease, Rosie's pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty percent chance of inheriting the crippling illness. Only when Rosie tells her mother's best friend, "Aunt Sarah," that she is going to be tested for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie wasn't Rosie's mother after all. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly baby who was certain to die.
Devastated, Rosie decides to join her ex-boyfriend on his gap-year travels, leaving England to find her birth mother in America. But all does not go as planned. After Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonizing decision, one with heartbreaking and far-reaching consequences.
Readers will be gripped by this thrilling emotional roller-coaster ride as a web of family secrets is ripped apart, profoundly affecting lives on both sides of the Atlantic.

My Review
I remember when this book first came out, I was still working at the library and there was such a hype for it. Everyone was requesting it and talking about it. I added it to my 'to read' list but it was never really a priority. Then a few years ago I was in one of my local bookshops and they do a '3 for £5' deal on books and I spotted this one and remembered that I wanted to read it, so I picked it up. It has since sat on my shelf and not been picked up. Even thought everyone said it was good, I wasn't sure it would be my sort of read so I kept putting it off, then I admit that I totally forgot about it.
Anyway, seeing as we are in Lockdown I have a bit more time to read at the moment, I had a spare hour and was browsing my bookshelves when this caught my eye, I picked it up and felt like now was the time. Still not really sure what it would be about, I read the blurb and decided it sounded alright. 
I sat down and began to read and was instantly hooked! I seriously haven't had a book that has grabbed me so severely in a long time, I did not want to put it down and I was hungry for more. I was supposed to read for an hour then start dinner, but I didn't want to stop. Reluctantly I put it down and put dinner on, then raced back and sat down and picked it straight up again - to cries from my husband of 'i thought we were going to watch something together'. I agreed to finish my chapter then put it down whilst we ate and then watched some TV. My husband then asked me about the book and could tell how invested I was with it, and with a smile he told me to read some more! (I am the luckiest girl ever! My husband totally understands my book craziness) I then spent the next couple of hours reading and got 350 pages through the book before I conceded that we should go to bed as my eyes were getting blurry and i was yawning a lot. But i still didn't want to put it down. So this morning I was desperate to pick it back up and finish the story - i just had to know what happened to everyone.
The book follows Rosie, an 18 year old who has spent the last year and a half nursing her sick mother Trudie who has now just died from Huntington's Disease - I didn't really know anything about this disease so the book also helped to educate me a bit about this too. Rosie is terrified that she would have inherited the disease as it is a genetic disorder - she has a 50% chance of getting it in her future, desperate to know the answers she decides to be tested. But this decision changes more than she ever thought it would - her friend 'Aunt Sarah' tries to convince her it isn't necessary to know, and in an argument reveals that Rosie wasn't really Trudie's daughter - she was a baby, switched at birth. Now Rosie is on a mission to find her really family, and find out who she really is. This quest takes her to America with her boyfriend Andy who is going traveling, but she fails to reveal the real reason for her trip. All I can say is that Andy is a saint and she is so lucky to have him, Rosie constantly lies to him and acts rather selfishly, but he always stands by her and comes back to her. I didn't dislike Rosie though, she was raw, passionate, angry and totally selfish, but you could see why she was feeling this way and she never intends to hurt anyone, she just wants to find out the truth. She's actually a very likeable character and her mixed emotions and flaws just makes her that much more real.

The chapters are divided between Rosie and at first an unknown source - I thought I knew who this would be but I was wrong, great plot twist there! We are then introduced to Holly, the girl that Rosie was swapped with at birth, the baby that everyone thought would die - but somehow survived and lived the life Rosie should have had. I liked Holly at first, but then she becomes very irrational, jealous and a bit crazy at times. She thinks everyone is abandoning her, that Rosie is trying to steal her life and quite frankly she becomes a bit of a b****h, as the story progressed I was starting to get annoyed with her and wanted someone to just slap her and tell her to wake up. I didn't really care what happened to her because she annoyed me so much, but at the same time I couldn't look away and I had to know - it was like a car crash, you know you shouldn't look but you can't help but stare. 

There is a lot going on in this book, lots of dramatic events, twists, turns and surprises, but it was perfect to keep up the pace and make you want to read more. Even though there was a lot going on, I was never confused, I just felt like I was being carried along on a boat riding through choppy waves but thoroughly enjoying the ride. This book is raw and exciting, and honestly one of the best books I have read in a long time. Katie Dale takes a difficult subject and presents it in a fantastic story that will make you truly feel for the characters. 
This was a book that I literally could not put down and had to know what happens. Katie Dale wove the story perfectly and I feel like she has re-invigorated my passion and hunger for reading. 
I honestly would highly recommend this book, it's got everything - Drama, Romance, Adventure, Suspense and characters that you can really connect with. 

My Rating

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