Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale

Publisher: Delacourte Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: February 14th, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 512 pgs
ISBN: 9780385740654

Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
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

My Review: 
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book at all but what I got was a charming and touching novel about lives turned upside down.  I received this book via NetGalley and I had never heard of this book before.  The story is about a young girl whose mother just died from Huntington's Disease and after the funeral she finds out that she was switched a birth.  Rosie goes on a journey of self discovery by trying to find her birth parents.  I really liked the way the author wrote about Rosie's inner turmoil.  Rosie has a huge crisis of identity and is unsure of who she really is; she gets a major case of the what ifs.  She can't help but think of what if she had never been swapped at birth.  

At certain points of the novel I couldn't help but get frustrated with Rosie.  She seemed incredibly selfish at points but in the end this is what makes the novel all the more loveable.  Dale writes realistic characters and Rosie's selfishness is just a part of it.  It really makes you invested in the novel and you realize that the secondary characters are just as memorable as the main characters.  I kept hoping that Rosie would wake up and realize how great Andy is and how lucky she is to have had an opportunity to grow up with her mother and her family.  Instead she swoops in on Holly's family without any regard to how she might be feeling.  

On top of everything else, Holly is going through a pretty tough situation. I don't want to give too much away but Dale weaves so many different plots and issues into this book that 500 pages seems like 200.  I couldn't put this book down and read it in 2 days.  I can't wait to read more from Katie Dale and I would definitley recommend this novel.  I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.   

My only qualm about this book is that I would have liked to learn a little bit more about Huntington's Disease.  A part of me wishes that the book had started a bit before it did so that I could have seen Rosie's struggle with taking care of her mother.  I also think it would have been good to see her relationship with her mother and her Nana a little bit more. 

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