March 5, 2013

Latest Read: Someone Else's Life

Here are the basics ...
Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
Publication date: Feb 14, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Borrowed from library

Summary: When 17-year-old Rosie's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington's Disease, her pain is intensified by the fear of inheriting the crippling disease herself. When Rosie tells her mother's best friend, "Aunt Sarah," that she is going to test for the disease, Sarah, a midwife, reveals that Trudie wasn't her real mother. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly, dying baby. Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother in California by joining her ex-boyfriend on his gap year travels. But all does not go as planned as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply buried secrets and lies. (Adapted amazon.com
My thoughts…
When I finished Someone Else's Life, I knew I needed a couple days to think about my review. The writing is engaging and fast-paced so you really don't have to worry about not enough happening. The problem here is actually the opposite - there's way too much going on. There is one jaw-dropping revelation after another and another.. and another. At one point, my head was just spinning because there was no way this could be real life. (Or could it? Maybe if life resembled the CW or ABC Family.)

Rosie has just watched her mother, Trudie, suffer and die from a long battle with Huntington's disease. This is where the book starts and through a few flashbacks, it's clear how close she was to her mother. How much she loved her. It really made me wish we could have seen more moments between them while she was alive. But this book is about the aftermath of her death and Rosie is struggling with her grief and fear that she could get Huntington's as well. It's when she decides to take the test that her lifelong neighbor and friend, "Aunt" Sarah, reveals she's not her mother's biological daughter. Sarah, as the mid-wife tending to her mom during childbirth, switched Trudie's dying baby with Rosie. No one and I mean no one ever knew. Until now. This understandably turns Rosie's world upside down. Suddenly she's questioning everything - who she is, who her biological mother is, does this change what Trudie meant to her? The truth becomes the catalyst for Rosie's journey in this book as she searches for the answers.

I liked Rosie a lot. Even when she made mistakes and looked for her birth mother with little regard to anyone else, there was something very likable about her character. She's flawed but resilient and I think she handled every tough decision she made as best as she could. And I wish the entire book had been from her point-of-view. I don't know if this is a spoiler alert or not but mid-way, a new perspective is introduced. Or rather a third? In the beginning there's a second point-of-view which I honestly found confusing and unnecessary. But this "new" person was just not likable. At all. I tried to feel empathetic but it's hard to feel bad for a brat and it's even harder to read from the POV of someone you don't like. Rosie was already a great protagonist with a compelling coming-of-age story. I would've enjoyed the book a lot more if it had focused solely on her and one (or maybe two) revelations. But the multiple point-of-views, all the soap opera-like twists and a lukewarm ending just made the overall story feel unfocused.

Do I recommend?: It personally wasn't for me and I was letdown by the direction it went in. But if you like crazy twists in your contemporaries, you might enjoy this more than I did.

Happy reading!

8 comments:

  1. The storyline for this book sounds really good! I'll have to check it out :)

    Natalie @ BooksEtceteraBlog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you like it if you do decide to read it!

      Delete
  2. I love the new paperback cover that came out last week for this book! But yeah that does sound like a little too much going on! Good review though :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw, that's a nice cover too. I like both :)

      Delete
  3. This sounds like it would be a CW series indeed, and I don't even mean that in an awful way! Rosie sounds like a compelling character, even though it seems like there's so much happening to her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, definitely soap opera material. But I did like Rosie.. her character and overall kindness made up for all the crazy parts haha.

      Delete
  4. Yeesh, this definitely does sound similar to an ABC Family special. I love contemporary fiction, but not when the drama is so overwrought as to be unrealistic and pushy. It is good that Rosie was an engaging and proactive main character though; that's one of the most important things in a book (in my opinion).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! I think if not for Rosie, I would've been completely turned off by all the drama. Which definitely bordered on unrealistic.

      Delete