Published by Bloomsbury Circus on January 14, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Format: Arc, E-Arc
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Helen and Ellie are identical twins – like two peas in a pod, everyone says.
The girls know this isn’t true, though: Helen is the leader and Ellie the follower.
Until they decide to swap places: just for fun, and just for one day.
But Ellie refuses to swap back...
And so begins a nightmare from which Helen cannot wake up. Her toys, her clothes, her friends, her glowing record at school, the favour of her mother and the future she had dreamed of are all gone to a sister who blossoms in the approval that used to belong to Helen. And as the years pass, she loses not only her memory of that day but also herself – until eventually only ‘Smudge’ is left.
Twenty-five years later, Smudge receives a call from out of the blue. It threatens to pull her back into her sister’s dangerous orbit, but if this is her only chance to face the past, how can she resist?
Beside Myself is a compulsive and darkly brilliant psychological thriller about family and identity – what makes us who we are and how very fragile it can be.
So Beside Myself is a creepy little book and the moral of the story is never ever swap with anyone, even for a moment as it may effect the rest of your life.
Beside Myself is told in alternative chapters, with one chapter focusing on the past and the next focusing on the present. This creates a tantalising suspense element as bits of the past explains the present ever so slowly. But this way of story telling allows for the caring of the characters to grow, to want to protect them. It’s impossible to stay unattached.
To be honest there is nothing really ‘happy’ with this story. No one lives happily ever after (and I don’t feel like that is a spoiler). None of the characters are likeable, all have this faults and issues. All are a cause of the problems, none of them do anything really to listen to the problems and to do anything helpful.
It is hard to say I enjoyed this book when so many terrible things happened. But I did like this book. It was impossible to put down as I needed to know the outcomes. To know how things would be resolved.
This is an uncomfortable and sad story, that will leave you frustrated. But there is a charm about this story that means that it will have a place firmly in your heart.