Someone Else's Life by Katie DaleSomeone Else's Life by Katie Dale

Someone Else's Life

byKatie Dale

Paperback | February 12, 2013

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Fans of Jodi Picoult, Caroline B. Cooney, and Lurlene McDaniel--teens and adults alike--will relish this emotional roller coaster ride of a novel.
     When Rosie's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington's disease, the girl's pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. But when Rosie tells her mother's best friend that she is going to be tested for the debilitating illness, Sarah, a midwife, reveals that Trudie wasn't her real mother after all. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly baby who was destined to die.
     Devastated, Rosie decides to join her ex-boyfriend on his gap-year travels, leaving England to track down her birth mother in California. But all does not go as planned. In America, Rosie discovers more of her family's long-buried secrets and lies, and she is left with an agonizing decision of her own--one that will be the most heartbreaking and far-reaching of all.

KATIE DALE studied English literature at Sheffield University, spending a year at the Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by a year at drama school, a national Shakespeare tour, and eight months backpacking through Southeast Asia. She is now busily working on a variety of projects, from novels to picture books.
Title:Someone Else's LifeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 8.18 × 5.51 × 1.01 inPublished:February 12, 2013Publisher:PRH Canada Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385670761

ISBN - 13:9780385670760


Rated 2 out of 5 by from Review from Esther's Ever After Someone Else's Life tackles some heavy issues head on, and Katie Dale isn't afraid to open up these discussions and question them. Abortion, adoption, teenage pregnancy, life-threatening disease, dysfunctional families, and law- all have their own part to play in this story and come together to form a bizarre turn of events. Yet this combination of themes in one book means that it relies heavily upon shock and awe, and a number of twists throughout the story that further complicate matters and convolute the story rather which ultimately takes away from what could have been an exceptional novel. Reasons to Read: 1.Huntington's Disease: I'm like the majority of people and I really don't know much about Huntington's Disease. Neither did Rosie, until her mom was diagnosed with it later on in life. Now, Rosie's life seems to revolve around Huntington's Disease, until she finds out an even bigger shock when she decides to get tested for this hereditary disease. But Katie Dale deserves huge kudos for dealing with and featuring a disease that very few people are aware of and this provides a great avenue for readers to learn about something new and unfamiliar. 2.Rosie's growth and maturity over the course of the book: Confession: when I started reading Someone Else's Life I was seriously unimpressed with Rosie and how she chose to handle her grief. I was afraid I would have an extremely difficult time connecting with her, but she truly does grow up (by leaps and bounds) as the book goes on. By the end, I was inspired by Rosie and the hard decisions she had to make but how often she thought of those around her, yet kept her own needs and desires in mind. She isn't completely selfless (so few people are), but she is thoughtful and considerate. My main problem with the book began with the introduction of another character, Molly. There was too much focus on Molly, a character that I simply could not stand and I couldn't bring myself to care for her because she was just so frustratingly immature and bratty. Yes, I know Molly had her own difficulties to overcome. But the difference in attitude and actions between Molly and Rosie is striking, and really makes it easier to dislike Molly when one compares her to Rosie who is just so much easier to like. Similarily, I found many of the characters to be a bit back and forth in their attitudes, especially Rosie's ex-boyfriend. Nobody seemed to be able to make a decision they could stick with and so the story just dragged on. And while I did enjoy the number of twists in this book, after a while it just got to be too much. It seemed as if every possible bad thing that could happen had to happen, and that characters had to react in the worst possible way just to amp up the drama. It wasn't necessary and it didn't feel realistic; it was far too implausible and while I can handle some improbability this just got to be too much. I think that was the ultimate reason why I didn't enjoy Someone Else's Life as much as I wanted to: I had a hard time buying into the story and its characters, so consequently it just fell flat for me. Review copy received from Random House Canada/e-galley from Net Galley.
Date published: 2012-05-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Secrets Are About To Be Revealed... When it comes to knowledge regarding Huntington's disease, I'm certainly inexperienced, so I thought reading Katie Dale's Someone Else's Life was an eye-opener. Alternating between the perspectives of two teenage girls separated by an ocean and years of lies, the story follows the complications and drama which unfold when Rosie learns she's been living someone else's life. The novel brings a whole new level to the complexities of family relationships, and with Katie Dale's wonderful storytelling, readers see what it truly means to be a family... and that there's more to it than simply blood ties. Ever since Rosie first learned about Huntington's disease and watched as her mother slowly gave into the illness, she's been haunted by the possibility she may have inherited it as well. But when she learns Trudie wasn't in fact her biological mother, and that she was switched at birth, she sets out to find her birth mother in the U.S... and sets in motion a turn of events where family secrets will be uncovered. I really found myself sympathizing with Rosie! She gave up part of her education in order to remain home to care for her mother, and now that she's gone, she feels lost in her grief. And when she feels betrayed by her Aunt Sarah for keeping such a huge secret for so long, there's only anger left to direct at her and an impulsive desire to learn more about her birth mother right away. With the help of her ex-boyfriend Andy (he's so sweet!) and her Grandmother, she gathers the courage to travel overseas, but the answers she hopes to find are beyond anything she'd ever imagined. Someone Else's Life is a longer novel than I may have first imagined, but there were issues and revelations to discover which couldn't be rushed too quickly and had to be further explored. However, I really do wish the book had a more eye-catching cover! Older YA and adult readers will have a great appreciation for Katie Dale's debut novel. You can also read this review at:
Date published: 2012-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What happens when the truth comes out? We’re introduced to Rosie, whose mother just died of Huntington’s disease. The loss of her only parent is too much for Rosie, as her thoughts are painful memories of the way her mother was before the disease took over her body. She’s not alone because the boy that she loves Andy is there for her and together they go in a vacation. What Andy doesn’t know is that Rosie is looking for her real mother, her biological mother. Her mom’s best friend Sarah has told her the biggest secret of all, she was swapped at birth. I absolutely devoured this book, just because I couldn’t stop reading it. When one problem was resolved, another popped right up! It was a little intense at times, knowing how some of the characters reacted. I admired Rosie, her tenacity to do the right thing always made her look like the “bad apple” to others, yet in spite of everything she has been through, she always came out stronger and wiser in the end. I couldn’t care for Molly’s character, even though I did pity her. She acted like a spoiled child, when things did not go her way. What a heart warming tale of family relationships! You’ll love this book! Trust me on that. Rating 5/5 Quotes “You are the decisions you make. The things you do. The people you love and who love you. They’re the things that really make you who you are.”—Jack (346) “The truth may hurt, but lies—they’re vicious. They hide coiled up inside you, ready to strike without warning, without your even knowing they’re there.”—Holly (357)
Date published: 2012-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Captivating and Heart Wrenching! *Copy provided by publisher for review* Ever read a novel so emotional that it continues to tug at your heart strings days after reading it? Someone Else's Life, for me, is that novel! Someone Else's Life tells the story of Rosie, a girl who has recently lost her more to Huntington's Disease. When Rosie begins to tell Aunt Sarah that she wants to be tested, a terrible truth is revealed. You see, Trudie, Rosie's mother, wasn't really her mother at all. In fact, she was switched at birth! Completely devastated, Rosie leaves with her ex-boyfriend during his gap year and travels with him, beginning to learn more about herself and of the only family she's every known. Katie Dale's characters were absolutely wonderful! Rosie, the main protagonist in Someone Else's Life, completely captivated me! She was realistically vibrant and her personality easily shone through it's pages. I sympathized her, cried with her, and hoped for the absolute best. She was a character that got the best of me, something I really hate to admit, but I can't help loving the fact that a character actually managed to do this to me. Moving forward, Someone Else's Life is surprisingly told through two key point of views, that of both Rosie and Holly. To be quite honest, I never really connected, or rather cared, for Holly. For the most part, Rosie's story was far too strong and captivating and I just couldn't stand to be torn away from it. Unfortunately, that was Holly's biggest downfall. Additionally, one of the things I loved most about Someone Else's Life wasn't just the character interaction or it's vivid emotions. It was the fact that Katie Dale tackled Huntington's Disease and created an inspiring and heart wrenching tale that not only opened my eyes but also my heart. Without a doubt, readers will find the same thing happening to them when they devour this novel in hopefully one sitting. Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale was emotional, fearless, and completely heart wrenching! It is, without a doubt, a novel that will blow you away!
Date published: 2012-02-08

Read from the Book

Sunlight dances over the little girl’s dark curls as she toddles clumsily through the dry grass. Her rosy cheeks dimple as she grins, her green eyes sparkling as she lunges sticky fingers toward the camera. Suddenly she trips. The picture immediately jolts and twists into the grass, continuing at a skewed angle as a chestnut- haired woman rushes over to the child. But she is not crying. The screen fills with silent giggles as her mother scoops her up, her beautiful face filled with tenderness as she cuddles her daughter tightly, protectively, holding her so close it seems she’ll never let go . . . The picture begins to blur . . . I click the remote and the image flicks off, plunging the room into darkness. I stare at the blank screen. It’s weird watching your memories on TV, like watching a movie. It’s like somewhere, in some wonderful world, those moments are trapped, bottled, to be enjoyed again. I wonder if heaven’s like that— if you get to choose the best moments of your life and just relive them over and over. I hope so. The world outside looks different already. A desert of white— the first white Christmas Eve in Sussex in years. The snow hides everything, glossing over the lumps and dips and tufts to leave a perfect, smooth surface. Like icing on a Christmas cake. It’s all still there, though. The dirty gravel that hisses and spits as you drive over it, the jagged rocks in the garden, the muddy patch where nothing grows— they’re all still there, hidden, sleeping, beneath the mask of snow. Like my mother. Nothing on the inside changed, the doctors said. She could still understand what we were saying, she just couldn’t respond like she used to. Couldn’t hug me and tell me everything was going to be all right, like she always had. Like I needed her to. Because everything was not all right. I pull the blanket tighter, but it makes no difference. I’m already wearing three sweaters. Ever since Mum got ill I’m always too hot or too cold— I can’t explain it. Yesterday was one of the hot days, even though it snowed practically nonstop. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy, standing in the snowy graveyard in Mum’s strappy stilettos and my red velvet dress among the whispering sea of black, disapproving sighs rising like smoke signals in the frosty air. But I didn’t care— the biddies could tut all they liked— she was my mother and the dress was her favorite on me. She called me her Rose Red. The shoes were her favorites too— I remember her dancing in them at my cousin Lucy’s wedding. I was about four or five at the time, hiding beneath the buffet table in protest at the fuchsia meringue I’d been forced to wear as flower girl. But when Mum started dancing I forgot all about that. I crawled out and just stared at her, mesmerized. God, she was graceful. Everyone stopped to watch her whirling, swirling form as she glided around the room, those heels clacking like castanets. When the song ended she stopped, breathless and slightly dizzy, and looked around as if unsure where she was. Then someone started to clap. Embarrassment flushing her cheeks, she ran a hand through her hair and scooped me up into a tight hug, her eyes shining with tears. It was only later that I discovered it was the first song she and Daddy had danced to at their wedding. The stilettos were one of the first heartbreaks of the diagnosis. I remember hearing Mum crying in her room one day and padding up to find her sitting on her bed, placing them carefully into a silver box like a coffin, shrouded with beautiful rose- colored tissue paper. The doctors said high heels were just an accident waiting to happen, and that, with everything else, was something she really didn’t need. I watched as she kissed each shoe before pressing the lid down gently and tying the whole precious package together with a blue ribbon. The first of many sacrifices to Huntington’s. That was a long time ago, though. That Mum died long before her heart stopped beating last Tuesday. The real Mum. The way I’ll always remember her, wearing those precious shoes and swirling and whirling away to her heart’s content. Not lying alone, small and frail and empty, in a hospital bed. The sharp ringing of the telephone makes me jump. I count the rings— one, two, three— and the machine kicks in. “Hello!” Mum’s voice sings, and my heart leaps. “You have reached the Kenning residence. Trudie and Rosie are out at the mo, but if you’d like to leave a message— you know what to do!” I swallow painfully. Aunt Sarah’s been on at me to change it— and I know I should— but I just can’t bring myself to erase her voice. She sounds so happy. So alive. The caller clears his throat uncertainly. A familiar trait, no matter how much time’s passed. My eyes flick to the phone. “Um, hi— Rosie? It’s Andy. It’s uh, it’s been a while, huh?” Awkward pause. “Listen, I’m— I’m sorry about your mum, it must be . . .” Another pause. “Shit. Look, I’d really like to see you— call me, okay? No pressure. Just as friends. Okay? You know I’m always here if . . . You know where I am. Bye.” Wow. Andy. He’s right, it has been a long time. “You should call him, you know.” I twist to see Aunt Sarah in the doorway. Is it that time already? Sarah works long hours at the local hospital, but that hasn’t stopped her checking up on me whenever she can— to make sure I haven’t slit my wrists or burned the house down or anything. I shrug. “Maybe.” No, I think. No, no, no. “And why not?” She leans accusatorially in the doorway. “I didn’t say no, I said maybe,” I protest. “Same thing,” she replies. “I know you.” It’s true, she does. She’s known me my whole life— literally. I was my mother’s last hope for a child, at the age of forty- two— the miracle baby— and Sarah was the midwife who delivered me that night. The night my father never came back. She’s not really my aunt, or even a relative at all, but she’s Mum’s best friend and our next- door neighbor, and she’s been there at every major event of our lives. Our guardian angel— younger than Mum, but older and wiser than me. A fact I’m never allowed to forget. “Seriously, Rosie, you should go out, see people— enjoy the snow! God knows it won’t last long!” “I’m fine,” I tell her. “I know you are, sweetie . . . but it would be good for you, you know?” I hate it when people tell me what’s good for me— Have a nice cup of tea, it’ll make you feel better. Go on, Rosie, have a good cry, it’s good for you. Yeah, coz that’ll bring my mother back.

Editorial Reviews

“This is a really powerful book with one of the most amazing twists I’ve ever come across. It’s one of those books that tugs at all the heartstrings one moment, then has you grinning happily the next. Katie Dale is an author to look out for.” —The Guardian (UK) “It reads the way a haunted house might, with the unexpected lurking behind every door. . . . [Readers will] be hard pressed to let Rosie out of their sight until the last page is turned.” —Kirkus Reviews “Readers should be drawn into the fast-paced, high-stakes narrative.” —Publishers Weekly “What starts out as a simple trip snowballs into a journey of discovery … Dale constructs an intriguing story about how families come in many forms and [how] love can be found in unexpected places. This book is sure to resonate with teens, especially those who live in nontraditional homes.”—School Library Journal