Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Someone Else's Life

Author: Katie Dale
Author's Blog:
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.

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