Friday, 23 March 2012

Someone Else's Life

Author: Katie Dale
Genre: Modern Fiction/YA

Format: Kindle Ebook (ARC)
Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Publishing Date: February 14, 2012
ISBN-10: 0385740654
ISBN-13: 978-0385740654
Source: NetGalley e-ARC

Synopsis: Rosie Kenning has just experienced the devastating loss of her mother Trudie from Huntington's Disease.  After seeing how the disease ravaged her mother's life Rosie is terrified to learn that she has a fifty percent chance of developing the hereditary disease herself.
When Rosie informs Sarah, a local midwife and Trudie's best friend, that she's going to get tested to see if she carries the Huntington's gene Sarah reluctantly informs Rosie that Trudie was not her birth mother.  With this new information Rosie is adamant that she wants to meet her birth mother.  Along with her boyfriend Andy, Rosie follows her birth mother's trail to the US.  While there Rosie gets more than she bargains for when she unearths more dark family secrets and betrayals and is left with a heartbreaking decision that will affect an entire family.

My Thoughts:  If you're looking for a fast-paced read with family secrets being exposed left, right and centre then this is the book for you.  This book is literally FILLED with plot twists.  Personally, I love twists and turns in a plot but this story was a little too jam-packed with them for my liking and started to take on a 'soap opera-esque' quality to it about half way through. 
There just seemed to be so many big reveals and twists that it started to feel unbelievable and implausible.  Some of the plot twists were based on misunderstandings (ie no cell phone, misplaced messages) which unfortunately added to the soap opera feel.  With all of these twists and turns being added into the story the characters (and reader) barely had enough time to digest one twist when another one was divulged leaving their reactions to feel very superficial to me.  But once I decided to stop thinking about whether or not these twists were feasible and decided to just go with it I really enjoyed the roller coaster ride of twists that the author continued to bring to the table.

As for the characters?  Admittedly, they were a little clich├ęd and over the top at times (some frustratingly so).  Kitty is the typical diva, Jack is the perfect self-sacrificing dad, Ben is the cute little brother etc.  While I did find Rosie to be a believable and likable main character, I found Holly to be over the top.  She had every right to be ticked about the news but she seemed overly vindictive and almost like a totally different character at times.  But I had to remind myself that she was only 18 years old and just had a huge secret dumped on her so I'll cut her a little slack. 
One thing that did surprise me was the ending.  I was shocked that the person who started this whole mess had no consequences for her actions whatsoever.  Not even a slap on the wrist or anyone mad at her in the end?  She changed so many lives with one decision but because her motives were pure everything is hunky dory?  Apparently I'm more jaded than the characters.
I also would have liked to have a different ending.  Everything was concluded a little too nicely for my liking and I would have liked a more dramatic ending.  The ending felt like it petered out and didn't maintain the energy that the rest of the book was filled with.

Overall, I did like this book for what it was -- a fast-paced, emotional, Sydney Sheldon-type read.  I also come away from this book with more knowledge about Huntington's Disease since I really had no idea the extent of devastation that this disease inflicts on its victims or their families.
If you want a fast-paced read with oodles of twists then this is for you.  If you're looking or more of a tear jerker or emotional read that delves deeply into characters' feelings of loss and betrayal then you might come away from this book a little disappointed

My Rating: 3.5/5
Note: Thanks to Doubleday Canada and NetGalley for providing me with this digital Advanced Reading Copy for my honest review.

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