Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Born Wicked

Author: Jessica Spotswood
Author's Website: http://www.jessicaspotswood.com/
Publisher: Putnam (Penguin)
Editor: Ari Lewin
Agent: Jim McCarthy
Released: February 7, 2012
Genre: YA Historical Fantasy
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles (Book #2, Star Cursed, June 2013)
Source: Library
Challenges: 2012 Debut Author Challenge, Witchy Books

Cate is a witch, at a time when the Brothers have an iron grip on society and sentence girls and women to cruel fates for the merest suspicion of independence or witchcraft. Not only that, her mother was a witch and two sisters are witches, too, and after she finds her mother's diary revealing a secret that could mean her life is even less hers than she thought, Cate is more determined than ever to keep her family together and safe from the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood. She has her personal affairs to deal with too - her old friend Paul who wants more than friendship and her confusing but exhilarating feelings for the gardener Finn, her new friendship with the most sought-after girls in town. But navigating it all may come at a price too high to pay.
I love the world of Born Wicked. Okay, no, I hate it - it's cruel and evil, with the controlling Brotherhood. But it thrills me to read about all the secrecy. It's like when on TV a character has a secret she must hide from another character, and my stomach is in knots the whole episode waiting for her to slip up and spill the secret. The whole book was like that - heart in my throat with each interaction, each time Cate decides to share a secret with someone, wondering if it's the wrong move, if this is the time she confides in the wrong person and gets turned in to the Brothers.

Cate herself is a wonderful character. She obviously cares about others a great deal, especially her sisters, and it's both heartwarming and heartbreaking to watch her try to keep them together and united, against so many forces, including her sisters themselves. But she also wants things for herself, and she's not totally swallowed up by her feeling of obligation to her sisters - which Maura accuses her of at one point. True, she does consider the effects of her decisions on her family first and foremost, but when it comes down to it, she does think about herself. She's a strong girl, with just enough weakness and vulnerability to soften her that I felt for her completely, got mad right along with her, cried when she couldn't stand it any longer, cheered for her when she got her kisses.

And those kisses... Her romance with Finn is absolutely amazing. It develops so beautifully, from her initial involuntary noticing him to her admitting she loves him. Finn himself is the perfect guy. He's possibly a bit of a klutz, though that may be Cate's fault, but he's introduced as somewhat incompetent because he doesn't actually know anything about gardening and intends to learn about it from books! A complete contrast to Cate, who prefers to learn by experience than from books. Paul points out that he and Cate are a good match because they're exactly alike. Finn and Cate are very different, but they're perfect for each other because they balance each other out that way, with Cate's outbursts and slight moodiness, and Finn's steadiness and constant calm. Though Finn has his moments too.

I love how good and evil are so mixed up in the book. You're never sure, first of all, who's on which side, who's a witch, who sympathizes with witches, and who's a witch hunter. But beyond that, once you do know, hardly anyone is either pure good or pure evil. Some are, but  most aren't and it's hard to tell. Every time you think you have it figured out, something changes.

That's a big part of what makes this book so good - the constant surprises. Just when everything seems to be falling into place, everything is shaken up and thrown upside down and Cate has to figure it all out all over again. Which leads to the very shocking ending...

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Author: Meg Cabot
Author's Website: http://www.megcabot.com/
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
Released: January 1, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: The Abandon Trilogy: The Myth of Persephone, Darkly Reimagined (Book #2: Underworld, May 8, 2012)
Source: Library

Pierce died. She knows what lies in wait after death, and it's nothing good. Especially not for her, after she caught the attention of John, the one in charge of the Underworld. But she managed to escape and get back to life - though all the doctors claim credit for that - and now she spends her time dodging John. Because he keeps showing up. And along with him comes lots and lots of danger. Pierce and her mother move back to the island where her mother grew up, Isla Huesos, but things only get worse after the move. Strange things get stranger, dark things get darker, and it seems Pierce is the key to setting things straight. All Pierce wants is to live this life like a normal teenager and to forget all about the Underworld and John. But it looks like that's impossible.
I love the way the story is told, starting out with the move to Isla Huesos and going back and forth to reveal the past bit by bit, a little at a time, showing Pierce's time in the Underworld and what happened in her old school after she came back from the dead. It really places Pierce in a state of living and grappling with the past, trying to come to terms with happened while trying to move forward, which doesn't seem to be working very well for her! 

It also means that we get to see her relationship with John evolving over time, because she gets mad at him as she remembers certain events, each time he shows up. The way she softens to him is really great also - if you can even say she softens to him! But that whole part, the way John and Pierce interact with each other, is developed really well, built up slowly and steadily.

The mythology of the story is really fun to watch. There is one point where everything is explained, but for readers who know the mythology and have been following the parallels, that section is easily skimmed over, which I did just enough to get the character of the person giving Pierce the information but not enough to slow me down with unnecessary explanations. And the epigraphs from Dante at the head of each chapter are a nice touch!

For once, I don't have to wait for the next book in the series because I'm so late in reading the first one! So off I go to find Underworld!

In My Mailbox 37

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi of The Story Siren, where bloggers share the contents of their mailbox that week - books bought, borrowed, received... It's a great way to see lots of new books all at once, and leads to great coveting and more buying!

From the Library:
The Dark Unwinding, Sharon Cameron         Goodreads / Amazon
Born Wicked, Jessica Spotswood            Goodreads / Amazon

That's it for this week!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Author: Kiersten White
Author's Blog: kierstenwrites.blogspot.com/
Publisher: HarperTeen
Editor: Erica Sussman
Agent: Michelle Wolfson at Wolfson Literary
Released: July 24, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Series: Paranormalcy #3
Source: Bought

All Evie wants is to settle down in very normal high school life, with all her clubs and planning the dance. But when management changes at the IPCA mean that she's being stalked and "asked" to come back to headquarters, when the Dark Queen is torturing humans, when every paranormal creature believes that Evie and Evie alone can help them - what's a girl to do? Evie fights it every step of the way, but with the help of friends - and some not-so-friends - she manages to get into and out of danger about a million times a day. And then she makes a decision that affects the rest of her life, permanently and without a chance to change it ever.
What an end to the series! Fast and fun, exactly like Evie. As everything builds to the final moments in this book, it becomes Evie concentrated, with all her personality coming through full force. But at the same time, she's changed since the beginning of the series in very slight, subtle ways. She definitely takes more responsibility for her actions in this book than she does in the first - though Reth doesn't seem to think so! And she has the courage to face a really difficult decision with maturity and clarity, thinking it through rationally and making a decision, and then telling Lend her decision calmly and clearly. 

Still, with these changes, the book has the same light, sarcastic tone, with all the characters constantly getting on each others' nerves and getting into little - erm, disagreements. I love it! The way they all work together, but at the same time, they are all so completely different, their personalities clashing at every turn. It certainly messes up the plans a number of times!

And the plan, the plans... Evie is sick of plans by the end of the book, but I'm not. I love seeing each plan, how they set it up - or not - how it falls to pieces and they fumble to piece something together in the thick of the action. It's nonstop from one to the next, lots of improvisation, and that means that we get to see a lot more of each character, as each one responds with his or her own unique style. They're thinking on their feet, reacting instinctively, and I love how each one's reaction matches their personalities so perfectly.

I flew through this book. It's not just that the action was nonstop, it's the way the story is told - there are some really heavy moments, like when Evie sees how the Dark Queen is torturing humans, but in general, the events are narrated with a tone that makes it so easy to read, that makes the words flow off the page. There's banter among the characters, but even when there isn't, the story is fun.

And I love the way it ends. Evie's decisions seem impossible, but it all works out, with unexpected sacrifices. A perfect end to a perfect series.

Life! Death! Prizes!

Author: Stephen May
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Genre: Contemporary (New Adult)
Series: No
Source: ARC from Publisher

Billy is left to take care of his brother Oscar after their mother is killed in a robbery gone wrong. Not everyone thinks nineteen-year-old Billy is the right one for the job, and the lax bedtimes, neglected housekeeping, and ignored healthy meals in the freezer don't add to his  credibility. Billy also has to deal with his preoccupation with his mother's killer and his drive to prove to himself, via the Life! Death! Prizes! headlines, that he doesn't have it that bad, that crazy and senseless things happen to people all the time, that others have it much worse than he does. But Billy fiercely loves Oscar and will do anything to keep him.

Billy is so confused. That's what hit me right from the start. He tries so hard to put up a brave face, to act like he has all the answers. That beard - he forgets to shave and then ends up liking his beard. I think it serves a double purpose - it makes him feel more like an adult, but at the same time, it hides him from the world. When he finally shaves it, he feels different, and I got the impression that he felt naked, exposed. His face was once again discernible. And all along, he's trying to hide behind a facade, pretending to be someone and something he's not. With Lucy, he's not attracted to her so much as he is attracted to what she represents, and that is the confidence that he so utterly lacks. He knows one thing: he loves Oscar and wants to protect him. But he has no idea what that even means. He learns things along the way, sure, but Billy is really just an old adolescent.

That's something about the book that I found really interesting. In England, a nineteen-year-old can buy beer for kids. In England, a nineteen-year-old is seen as an adult. In America, some things that happen in the story would never be able to happen simply because of the difference in the way Americans versus the British see teenagers. It's really a question of what a kid is, what an adult is, when that change happens, and who has the right to say when it is. Aunt Toni obviously feels that Billy is not quite an adult yet, but Billy feels he is, and the courts don't dismiss him right off the bat, so they at least consider the option that he could be a responsible adult. That's part of why the book is sort-of New Adult, sort of just plain adult, because Billy acts like an adult but thinks like a teenager most of the time. I don't think the question is answered in the book, it's just an interesting thing to think about.

There's really a lot to think about in this book, and I'm not going to go through each point. It's a poignant look at family and responsibility, told with pathos and wit.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In My Mailbox 36

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi of The Story Siren, where bloggers share the contents of their mailbox that week - books bought, borrowed, received... It's a great way to see lots of new books all at once, and leads to great coveting and more buying!

From the Library:

Raising Wrecker, Summer Wood
Wrecker is born in 1965 in flower-powered San Francisco, but by his third birthday, his mother has landed in prison and he's been taken by the state. Up among the California redwoods, a clan of eccentrics will come together to raise one remarkable child, and feel themselves transformed.


The Declaration, Gemma Malley

In the year 2140, it is illegal to be young.
Children are all but extinct.
The world is a better place.
Longevity drugs are a fountain of youth. Sign the Declaration, agree not to have children and you too can live forever. Refuse, and you will live as an outcast. For the children born outside the law, it only gets worse – Surplus status.
Not everyone thinks Longevity is a good thing, but you better be clear what side you’re on. . . . Surplus Anna is about to find out what happens when you can’t decide if you should cheat the law or cheat death. 

From the Publisher:

The Uninvited, Liz Jensen
(January 8, 2013)
A seven-year-old girl puts a nail gun to her grandmother's neck and fires. An isolated incident, say the experts. The experts are wrong. Across the world, children are killing their families. Is violence contagious? As chilling murders by children grip the country, anthropologist Hesketh Lock has his own mystery to solve: a bizarre scandal in the Taiwan timber industry. Hesketh has never been good at relationships: Asperger's Syndrome has seen to that. But he does have a talent for spotting behavioral patterns and an outsider's fascination with group dynamics. Nothing obvious connects Hesketh's Asian case with the atrocities back home. Or with the increasingly odd behavior of his beloved stepson, Freddy. But when Hesketh's Taiwan contact dies shockingly and more acts of sabotage and child violence sweep the globe, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy the rational principles on which he has staked his life, his career, and, most devastatingly of all, his role as a father. Part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare, The Uninvited is a powerful and viscerally unsettling portrait of apocalypse in embryo.

Life! Death! Prizes! Stephen May
(December 11, 2012)

Billy's mother is dead. He knows-because he reads about it in magazines-that people die every day in ways that are more random and tragic and stupid than hers, but for nineteen-year-old Billy and his little brother, Oscar, their mother's death in a bungled street robbery is the most random and tragic and stupid thing that could possibly have happened to them. Now Billy must be both mother and father to Oscar, and despite what his well-meaning aunt, the PTA mothers, social services, and Oscar's own prodigal father all think, he feels certain that he is the one for the job.The boys' new world-where bedtimes are arbitrary, tidiness is optional, and healthy home-cooked meals pile up uneaten in the freezer-is built out of chaos and fierce love, but it's also a world that teeters perilously on its axis. As Billy's obsession with his mother's missing killer grows, he risks losing sight of the one thing that really matters: the only family he has left.


A Distant Dream,  Levi Kaufman
A Distant Dream by Levi Kaufman, a historical novel, is set against the vivid backdrop of Medieval Europe and the religious hostility that was its hallmark. In the year 1290, England's twelve thousand Jews became the continent's first community to face expulsion. Despite oppressive and unfair taxes and restrictive living conditions, the Jews had somehow managed to survive and even prosper. Now they were to be forced to abandon their homes and belongings. Where should the uprooted families go? Would any other Christian nations welcome them? Would they be allowed to remain in any one place for more than a few years? Perhaps some tired and idealistic English Jew dreamed of breaking away from Europe and the ever-deepening anguish of his exiled people. Perhaps he spoke to others around him and, together, they make plans. Perhaps there were some who dared to set out for some new land where they could live their lives as Jews. Where they could live undisturbed by the outside world.

The Grounds of English Literature, Christopher Cannon
The centuries just after the Norman Conquest are the forgotten period of English literary history. In fact, the years 1066-1300 witnessed an unparalleled ingenuity in the creation of written forms, for this was a time when almost every writer was unaware of the existence of other English writing. In a series of detailed readings of the more important early Middle English works, Cannon shows how the many and varied texts of the period laid the foundations for the project of English literature. This richness is given credit for the first time in these readings by means of an innovative theory of literary form that accepts every written shape as itself a unique contribution to the history of ideas. This theory also suggests that the impoverished understanding of literature we now commonly employ is itself a legacy of this early period, an attribute of the single form we have learned to call 'romance'. A number of reading methods have lately taught us to be more generous in our understandings of what literature might be, but this book shows us that the very variety we now strive to embrace anew actually formed the grounds of English literature-a richness we only lost when we forgot how to recognize it.

Sovereign Fantasies: Arthurian Romance and the Making of Britain, Patricia Clare Ingham
During and after the Hundred Years War, English rulers struggled with a host of dynastic difficulties, including problems of royal succession, volatile relations with their French cousins, and the consolidation of their colonial ambitions toward the areas of Wales and Scotland. Patricia Ingham brings these precarious historical positions to bear on readings of Arthurian literature in Sovereign Fantasies, a provocative work deeply engaged with postcolonial and gender theory.

Ingham's study suggests the nuances of the insular identity that is emphasized in this body of literature. Sovereign Fantasies shows the significance, rather than the irrelevance, of medieval dynastic motifs to projects of national unification, arguing that medieval studies can contribute to our understanding of national formations in part by marking the losses produced by union.

Okay, so I know I included books that are not usually included in these IMMs, but I'm excited about them and I wanted to share them! As to the rest - I've started a couple already, and I can tell you, I got a really good haul this week! I actually think I've read The Declaration already, but if I did, it was a great book and I'll enjoy reading it again!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Midnight in Austenland

Author: Shannon Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Released: September 4, 2012
Series: Austenland / Standalone
Source: Library
Challenge: None

After her husband left her for another woman, Charlotte escapes to Jane Austen - and gets so involved in her world that she takes advantage of an exclusive opportunity to spend two weeks at Pembrook Park living in simulated Regency times! But as Charlotte gets involved with the crafted plot lines and the other characters, she begins to wonder how much is acting and how much is real life - a question that becomes of great importance when a murder enters the storyline.

Charlotte is a great character. She's witty - though she fears she isn't - she's brave - though she thinks she isn't - and she's independent - though she thinks she isn't. She starts out very un-self-aware, swallowed up by a life lived by following wherever the current took her, as the opening lines of the book suggest. But through her adventures in Austenland, her investigation into the murder and her eventual romance proving her desirability to herself, she comes to realize that she is in fact a very interesting and complex woman - not the "nice Charlotte" of the beginning of the novel. Though she is nice. But she gets a backbone, and that's nice too.

And I find myself echoing somewhat the tone of the book, that drily humorous way of saying things. Charlotte's thoughts come into play a lot as she goes through each scene, and I love hearing her inner dialogues. Her conversations with her Inner Thoughts are just so much fun - like she's arguing with a teenager. And the tone of her inner dialogue is always that tongue-in-cheek, slightly sarcastic way of saying things - real British humor.

That carries through the entire book as well. It lends an almost whimsical effect to the whole mystery. There is the fact that Charlotte herself is not sure whether there actually was a murder or it's part of the actors' games, but in general this is not a mystery novel because there's not a lot of tension and suspense. The focus is on Charlotte's development as a character, and this leads to the murder mystery being somewhat fun, even when Charlotte is in imminent danger. Especially, even, when she's in imminent danger!

Partly that's because when she's in danger, the other characters who are involved behave in ridiculously funny ways. Well, that's not entirely accurate. They behave in dangerous and believable ways, but the way it's told makes it caricature-y. Because everything is seen from Charlotte's view, I guess. Though her love interest seems to be the way he is regardless of her interpretation of him, if that makes sense.

Midnight in Austenland is a fun, light read, with an engaging plot and mystery and with inviting characters.

50 Follower Giveaway!

We're almost at 50 followers!

When Reader's Dialogue hits 50 followers, I'm going to have a giveaway. The prize will be a book of your choice from The Book Depository up to $10.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

In My Mailbox 35

In My Mailbox is a meme created by Kristi of The Story Siren, where bloggers share the contents of their mailbox that week - books bought, borrowed, received... It's a great way to see lots of new books all at once, and leads to great coveting and more buying!

From the Library:

Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2), Shannon Hale
Nora Roberts:
Chasing Fire
Carnal Innocence

Library Kindle Books:
America Aflame, David Goldfield
Second Honeymoon, Joanna Trollope
The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir, Cylin Busby & John Busby

Friday, October 12, 2012


Author: Tammara Webber
Author's Blog: http://tammarawebber.blogspot.com/
Publisher: Penguin (though I bought the self-pubbed version)
Released: October 9, 2012
Genre: New Adult Romance/Women's Fiction
Series: No
Source: Kindle
Challenge: None
Jacqueline is still trying to get over the shock of being dumped by her boyfriend of three years, the boyfriend she followed to college. And then she's assaulted by a guy she thought was a friend - and saved by a mysterious stranger who knows her name and insists on taking her back to her dorm and making sure she's okay. She just wants to forget about the incident, but that doesn't seem possible, especially when the stranger - Lucas - keeps popping up everywhere she goes. Her friends convince her to use him to get over her ex, but their relationship turns into so much more, as Jacqueline learns to stand up for herself and prevent her attacker from harming anyone else.
My thoughts on this book: Oh. My. God.

Okay, aside from that, a more logical assessment. Tammara Webber certainly knows how to write - she hits just the right note in every scene, with every emotion. EASY deals with rape and assault, and there's the painful, serious quality to those parts of the book, but it's also a romance, and boy, are those parts romantic!

I love how Lucas is a real person. I felt like I really got to know him, like I would know what to say to him in conversation if I met him. That's something that's always really important to me in a romance, that the love interest not just be a handsome lover but have personality and depth as well. And Lucas really does. Not just from his many jobs, from Starbucks server to maintenance man, but I got to see his humor, his intelligence, his moodiness, his loyalty, his chivalry (not overdone), his sensitivity... A fully-rounded character.

At the same time, Jacqueline is also a great character. She starts out unsure of herself, but she's never wimpy, and she gains strength as the book progresses. Yes, there is the more obvious aspect of her learning to cope with the effects from her attack, but there's also the subtle changes she undergoes via her relationship with Lucas - and Landon, the tutor, too. Tammara shows Jacqueline's transformation in her correspondence - emails, texts, and conversations - as she breaks free of her ex Kennedy's influence and begins to take more control of her own life.

The subtle changes are what drive the plot, and I love the way everything flows and fits together so well. I have to say I guessed the twist way before the big reveal, but it only made it more fun to watch Jacqueline so unaware and to wonder with each scene if this is the one where she'd find out! But every event follows smoothly from one to the next, and nothing ever seems forced - especially the romantic scenes. They always make sense, and they always match exactly what's going on in Jacqueline and Lucas' relationship.

And those scenes - hot! Like sizzling hot.

As if that's not enough, there's more: the whole story is really supported by the secondary characters, especially Erin, Jacqueline's roommate. She's so different than Jacqueline, and it's really important to the story. The other characters who play more minor roles are just as real and believable - and let me just say I almost cheered out loud when I-won't-say-who shocked everyone at the meeting towards the end of the book! Way to empower women!

Which is what this book ultimately does, by the way. It's definitely a romance - see the hot comment above - but it's also a women's power novel. And it's pretty amazing that Tammara manages to do both believably and really really well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

False Memory

Author: Dan Krokos
Author's Website: http://dankrokos.com/
Publisher: Hyperion
Editor: Catherine Onder
Agent: Suzie Townsend
Released: August 14, 2012
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Thriller
Series: Yes
Source: Library
Challenge: 2012 YA Debut Author Challenge
Miranda wakes up with no memory of who she is, and when she feels threatened, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Then Peter shows up and takes her back home, where, he explains, she's been genetically altered with three other teens and prepared for special missions. She just has to continue taking her memory shots so she doesn't lose her memory again. But when it becomes clear that Miranda and her friends are being prepared for something far more sinister than what they've been told, they're on the run, and recovering her memory becomes secondary to securing their future. But the two may be one and the same...
There's something about Miranda's voice that just draws you into the story and doesn't let you go. She has such a matter-of-fact way of presenting things, even when everything is going to pieces, and even a bit of humor. Though Noah provides more of the dark humor than Miranda does. I immediately cared about Miranda, but at the same time, I cared about Peter even when she wasn't sure she trusted him. I think she did, too. And that's the thing - I responded to each of her teammates the way Miranda responded to them, I saw them through her eyes. I love that it happened that way, that I experienced the whole story the way she experienced it.

Miranda's confusion is an important part of the story, of course, but what I love is that Miranda is such a  strong, kick-ass character, not just in action, but in her personality as well. She exhibits such strength in dealing with every new situation, keeping her cool, assessing and deciding. All the characters have very distinctive personalities, especially Peter and Noah - which makes things very interesting as things develop. But because Miranda's voice is so strong throughout, I connected to every character and was emotionally connected. Even though the main part of the book is the thriller, the emotion is really strong, too.

The cadence of the way the story is told is perfect, the pacing spot-on, with just enough lulls between the action, and lots and lots of action. I found it interesting that each character seems to have a preferred method of killing - one pushes people off roofs, one snaps necks... But at the same time, they're versatile, and they adapt to each situation. I especially like the way the big fight Miranda fights at the end uses the surroundings to aid and hinder the action. It adds another dimension to the scene.

The way the plot unfolds, with the team uncovering bits and pieces of what's going on and what's in store for them, fits in with the action so that the two work together. It gets confusing, with all the details, but in a way, it's fun trying to keep it all straight. It has to be confusing, that's the point, and it's confusing for Miranda and her team as well. And little clues are dropped so that it builds up until the end when the final bombshell is dropped, setting things up for a much larger and more terrible war for the Roses in the next book...

Someone Else's Life

Author: Katie Dale
Author's Blog: http://katiedaleuk.blogspot.com/
Publisher: Delacorte (Random House)
Released: February 14, 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: No
Source: Library
Challenge: 2012 YA Debut Author Challenge

Rosie is about to be tested for Huntington's, since she has a fifty-percent chance of having it because her mother just died of Huntington's. But then her mother's friend tells her that she doesn't need to be tested, because Trudie wasn't actually her mother. Reeling from Sarah's revelations, Rosie tries to find her mother and joins her boyfriend on a trip to America to follow her. But what she discovers there, the truth about her family, might be too much for her to bear.
This is a roller-coaster ride of emotion and tears, of shocking revelations and sudden turns and explosions. Just when you think things are settling down and people are accepting changes, beginning to deal with things, everything is turned on its head and is in an uproar again. The feeling of turmoil that Rosie feels after hearing the news, and with each new piece of information, is tangible throughout the whole novel.

Rosie's choice that the blurb talks about - "she is left with an agonizing decision, one with heartbreaking and far-reaching consequences" - is an interesting point. It's not really thought through thoroughly, but that seems to be the way Rosie operates. Most of her decisions are half-baked. She does think about them, but they're as much on impulse as they are based on rational thought. And that definitely affects the split-second decisions she has to make, which results in how others, particularly her boyfriend Andy, react to her.

Andy is an interesting character. When we're introduced to him at the beginning of the story, I felt like I should be mad at him, like I shouldn't like him. Then I found out that Rosie is in love with him and pushed him away when her mother was diagnosed, that he still loves her. It was a bit hard making the switch, and I think that affected the way I read him throughout the story. Because every time there was a down to their relationship - and that was often - I thought: there it is! But it's not. He's really a loving, loyal boyfriend. And he learns from his mistakes - even though Rosie doesn't until the very end!

In any case, all the people are very believable, they all sound like real people in real situations. And not knowing whether I liked them at some points added to that - they're all complicated. The plot itself is fairly simple, but the details of the backstory, which drives the story itself, are really intricate. But it's easy to follow what happened, because it's all tied up with the characters' emotions, which clarifies how each new detail affects the present-day characters.

Someone Else's Life is definitely not a relaxing read, with its many charged scenes. It sweeps you up in the tide of what Sarah and then Rosie unleash. I wasn't fully convinced by everything, but I enjoyed the book overall.