Thursday, March 8, 2012

Book Review: Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale

Title: Someone Else’s Life
Author: Katie Dale
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: February 14th 2012
Length: 464 pages
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Netgalley

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all...

Summary by Goodreads 

Katie Dale makes it easy to love SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE right from the start. I was only about eighty pages into the book when I started re-reading my favourite scenes. Yeah it was that good!

SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE is made up of two parts. The first one is smaller and both parts contain alternating point of views. Rosie does most of the talking in the first half of the story. The person behind the second point of view is revealed in the second part. They both are fitting and create a complementary pair of perspectives. The second point of view really confused me, until I knew who was the other narrator. What a surprise!

Katie’s writing is really engaging and she totally surprised me, because I never expected so much to happen. I didn’t want to stop reading even though I had to hold back my tears all the time.
I really felt with  Rosie who lost her mum Trudie to Huntington’s disease and now finds out that she wasn’t her real mother. She is an emotional and impulsive character so it doesn't take long for Rosie to decide to search for her biological mother. Of course we are invited to follow her on that journey.

Then there’s Andy, her ex-boyfriend who she hasn’t seen since her mother was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. Now after Turdie’s death, he wants to be there for Rosie and does anything to help her and make her happy again.
He’s a character I liked so much, because he never gives up and shows how much Rosie means to him. You will love him!

I liked that Rosie and Andy's relationship felt familiar and still there were many new things to learn about the other. To me it was a balancing act between weeping and being enchanted by their romance. Rosie can be a bit unfair towards Andy, although he is a truly good guy. But I can imagine that it’s a hard task to keep a newly blooming love stable when Rosie finds herself in a rush of emotions crashing down on her. Their relationship is not the typical love story, it is absolutely authentic and real and feels like a love story life itself couldn't have written any better.

Hesitant at first, SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE explodes into so much more. The story is not only about Andy and Rosie’s relationship, there are more family, love and friendship bonds to care about. I expected the story to be mostly about the search for Rosie’s mother, but then it becomes huge and huger after only a few chapters. I never expected that much drama and hurt behind it. It’s about difficult decisions that could change you and your life forever. All characters fit into a net of lies and secrets. I hoped all the time for a happy ending for every single one of them.

1) of an utterly sweet and caring companion
2) of the people and moments that shape your life and make you who you are
3) of mingling foot prints
4) of a perfect NY
5) of every single word dedicated to rise awareness of Huntington’s Disease

5/5 ***** A sensitive & moving story about the hardships in life and the possibility to balance them with moments full of sentimental and heart-breaking joy, never-ending dreams and all-consuming desires.

Love, friendship, family, moments of joy, grief and everything in between.
Katie Dale tells a sweet love story, a story about family bonds and a story about belonging. At the same time she raises the awareness for Huntington’s Disease, a terrible illness. She is one of the awesome authors who mark my reading year 2012 with a highlight of a debut. 


* Here's the beautiful UK cover for SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE. 

* Read an excerpt of SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE here

* Watch the book trailer here

* Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's Books!


  1. Wow... After reading your review I know have to get it ASAP. To be honest I was still deciding whether to read it or not... somedays I thought I ought to, as soon as possible, but others I was unsure if I'd like it.

    Really sounds like such a nice read! Great review, Sarah :)

  2. I have an eGalley of this on my Kindle and really need to get to it soon - especially now after having read your review. I'm so glad that you liked it so much, since I was a little bit wary of the book's topic. But now I can't wait to finally start it.

    Thanks for sharing, Sarah!


  3. I loved this book too! I didn't expect to at all - but I'm SO glad I gave it a chance :) I was holding back tears all the time too - learning all about Huntington's and all the drama and everything was just too much ;) Great review, Sarah! :)

  4. I started reading this thinking I will read a few pages till bedtime but my plan didn't work. I read this book in a 5 hour marathon reading session finally sleeping at 4 in the morning. And no, reading the rest of the book in the morning was NOT an option.

  5. Great review! I absolutely ADORED this book, glad you enjoyed it as well!
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