Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale.
Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 2012
List Price: $17.99
Review: A seventeen-year-old should be in the prime of her life, anxiously awaiting all the adventures of adulthood. But that is not the case for Rosie. Her mother has recently died from complications related Huntington's disease. As she faces the reality that she too has a 50% chance of being struck by Huntington's disease, she is struck with a seemingly more traumatizing reality. When she finally decides to undergo testing to determine if she indeed has the genetic abnormality that rears its ugly head in adulthood, her mother's closest friend confides a secret that has plagued her since the day Rosie was born. She was switched at birth. Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale is a thrilling tale of a girl and her ex-boyfriend leaving England and heading to America on a quest to find her "real" mother.
"A person cannot exist without a past. Someone famous said that. But what if your entire existence is a lie? It's like I've been wearing stilettos all my life, leaving footprints everywhere I go, and then one day someone says, 'Hey! Those shoes don't belong to you!' and they take them away. And I look back, and all I have left are the old footprints, which don't even fit my feet anymore, so I can't go back, but I haven't got any new shoes to go forward in, so I'm stuck. Frozen in this place. Not even existing." This is how Rosie views her destiny. As she tries to fill in the gaps in her life, her ex-boyfriend invites her to tour America with him. She agrees unbeknownst to him because she has found the true identity of her mother - a Hollywood star. However, once they hit the States, nothing goes as planned. The secrets that plague her life are far deeper than she'd ever expected, and soon she is tangled in a web of deceit that only she can untangle. Someone Else's Life is a heart wrenching tale of love, lies, and a roller-coaster ride readers won't quickly forget.
From the first page through to the end, Katie Dale keeps readers on the edge of their seats in Someone Else's Life. Not only is the exposure of such a frightening, yet less widely known disease gripping, but the information shared regarding Huntinton's disease is thorough and valuable to readers. In addition, the character development is superbly crafted. It's nearly impossible to watch Rosie travel on her quest for knowledge without noticing the growth she makes as a person. She leaves England a child, but leaves America an adult. Although at times the character's reactions to the situation seem overly dramatic, it only helps in reinforcing the severity of the issues faced when being swapped at birth. The reader, knowing the background for the decision to swap the babies is faced with a moral dilemma that cuts at the core of everything known to be right. Katie Dale has hit on a fabulous young adult novel that will keep readers thinking after the last page.
Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).
We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Someone Else's Life for this review.
Have you read Someone Else's Life? How would you rate it?