Monday, June 22, 2015

Second Life by S.J. Watson


When Julia gets a call saying that her sister Kate was found dead in an alleyway in Paris, Julia is in shock. Julia has to deal with her grief but also help her adopted son, who happens to be Kate's biological son, through the emotions that he's feeling. When the police have no leads, Julia tries to take matters into her own hands, viewing the online dating sites that her sister did. This leads down a path of horrible choices for Julia and she is wrapped up in an affair that starts great and ends dangerously.

Having loved S.J. Watson's first book, Before I Go To Sleep (you can see my review here), I was very much looking forward to this one. In some ways it met my expectations and in some ways it did not.

The big elephant in the room will be the ending. Some people will hate it and some people will love it. Personally, I don't mind open endings in books but can understand why people don't. If you're one of them, this book will not be for you. Looking beyond the ending, I found myself disappointed in a few things. The first was the twists to get to the ending. I felt like there was a huge buildup and then the twists fizzled out the story line for me. The second was Julia's decisions.

Julia starts up an affair with a man from a website, thinking that he may know something about her sister's death. Eventually they meet, and of course have sex. This is when I start to question Julia's judgement. And that's ok, I fully expect to do this for characters. But by the 10th time she's made a completely idiotic decision, I can't chalk it up to building suspense anymore. The character is a complete moron and I care slightly less about what happens to her because of it.

The build-up in the book kept me up late, turning pages, waiting to see what would happen to Julia and whether the killer would ever be caught. While I was reading I felt satisfied but it was once I put the book down that I felt a bit of dissatisfaction bubble up. I think part of it was because of the expectations set from Before I Go To Sleep. Having not read that book, I think this book would rate as a good (not fantastic)thriller and one that I would recommend.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me be a part of this tour!

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First Line: "I climb the stairs but the door is closed."


About the Author
S. J. Watson was born in the Midlands and lives in London. His first novel was the award-winning Before I Go to Sleep, which has sold over four million copies in more than forty languages around the world. It was recently adapted into a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong. Find out more about S.J. at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Grief is hard to deal with on your own, and made more difficult when you have to help someone else through it as well like Julia does.

Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one even if it didn't quite live up to her previous book for you.