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Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale | Waterstones

Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale: A Book Review

If you are looking for a gripping and emotional read that will keep you hooked until the end, you might want to check out Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale. This debut novel by the British author is a stunning story of secrets, lies, and identity that explores the complex issues of family, genetics, and choices. In this article, I will give you a brief overview of the book and its main themes, as well as my personal opinion on why you should read it.

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The Plot: A Journey of Discovery and Secrets

The book follows the life of Rosie, a seventeen-year-old girl who has just lost her mother, Trudie, to Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is a fatal genetic disorder that causes progressive deterioration of the brain and body. Rosie knows that she has a 50% chance of inheriting the disease from her mother, and she decides to take a test to find out her fate. However, before she does that, she learns a shocking truth from her mother's best friend, Sarah: Trudie was not her biological mother.

Rosie is devastated by this revelation, and she sets out to find her real mother, who is apparently living in Los Angeles. She convinces her ex-boyfriend, Andy, to take her with him on his gap year trip to America. Along the way, she discovers more secrets and lies about her family history that will change her life forever. She also meets new people who will challenge her views on love, friendship, and identity.

The Characters: Complex and Relatable

One of the strengths of the book is its well-developed and realistic characters. Rosie is a sympathetic protagonist who struggles with her sense of self and belonging after learning that she was adopted. She is brave, curious, and determined to find out the truth about her origins. She is also flawed, impulsive, and sometimes selfish. She makes mistakes and hurts people along the way, but she also learns from them and grows as a person.

Andy is Rosie's ex-boyfriend who still cares for her deeply. He is loyal, supportive, and adventurous. He agrees to take Rosie with him on his trip despite his own plans and dreams. He also has his own issues with his family and his future. He tries to help Rosie cope with her situation, but he also gets frustrated by her actions and decisions.

Sarah is Rosie's adoptive aunt who reveals the truth about Trudie's adoption. She is a midwife who delivered Rosie when she was born. She is kind, compassionate, and protective of Rosie. She feels guilty for keeping the secret for so long, but she also wants Rosie to be happy and safe.

Holly is Rosie's biological mother who lives in Los Angeles as a famous actress. She gave up Rosie for adoption when she was young and never looked back. She is glamorous, successful, and confident. She seems to have everything she ever wanted, but she also hides a dark past and a painful secret.

There are also other minor characters who play important roles in the story, such as Rosie's adoptive grandparents, Andy's friends, Holly's agent, and a mysterious boy named Blake.

The Themes: Identity, Family, and Choices

The book tackles some serious and relevant themes that will make you think and feel. The main theme is identity: how do we define who we are and where we belong? How do our genes, our environment, and our choices shape our identity? How do we deal with the uncertainty and the possibility of losing our identity?

The book also explores the theme of family: what does it mean to be a family? How do we cope with the loss of a family member? How do we deal with the secrets and lies that our family members keep from us? How do we forgive and accept our family members for who they are?

Another theme that the book addresses is choices: how do we make the right choices for ourselves and others? How do we face the consequences of our choices? How do we balance our own desires and needs with those of others? How do we live with the choices that we cannot change?

The Style: Engaging and Emotional

The book is written in a first-person narrative from Rosie's perspective. The author uses a conversational and informal tone that makes the reader feel like they are listening to Rosie's thoughts and feelings. The author also uses rhetorical questions, analogies, and metaphors to convey Rosie's emotions and dilemmas. The book is divided into short chapters that keep the pace fast and the suspense high. The book also includes some flashbacks, letters, emails, and diary entries that add more depth and variety to the story.

The book is engaging and emotional from start to finish. It will make you laugh, cry, gasp, and smile. It will make you empathize with the characters and their struggles. It will make you question your own assumptions and beliefs. It will make you appreciate your own identity and family.

The Verdict: A Must-Read for Young Adults

In conclusion, Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale is a must-read for young adults who enjoy realistic fiction with a twist. It is a captivating and touching story of secrets, lies, and identity that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. It is also a thought-provoking and heart-warming story of family, love, and choices that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

If you are interested in reading this book, you can download it in PDF or EPUB format from various online sources. However, I would recommend buying a physical copy or borrowing it from a library to support the author and enjoy the full experience of reading this amazing book.

If you liked this book, you might also like some of these similar books:

  • Before I Die by Jenny Downham

  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart


  • What is Huntington's disease?

Huntington's disease is a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive deterioration of the brain and body. It affects movement, cognition, mood, and behavior. There is no cure for Huntington's disease, and it usually leads to death within 15 to 20 years after symptoms appear.

  • Why did Holly give up Rosie for adoption?

Holly gave up Rosie for adoption because she was young and scared when she got pregnant. She also wanted to pursue her career as an actress and did not want to be tied down by a child. She thought she was doing the best thing for Rosie by giving her to a loving family.

  • Who is Blake and what is his role in the story?

Blake is a boy who Rosie meets in Los Angeles. He is handsome, charming, and mysterious. He helps Rosie find her mother and shows her around the city. He also has a secret connection to Rosie's past that will shock her.

  • How does Rosie cope with her situation?

Rosie copes with her situation by trying to find out the truth about her origins. She also relies on her friends, especially Andy, for support and comfort. She tries to be optimistic and hopeful about her future, but she also faces some challenges and doubts along the way.

  • What is the main message of the book?

live our lives. We can also choose to accept and love ourselves and others for who they are, regardless of their flaws and secrets.



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