My Second Life
Author: Faye Bird
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release Date: Jan 19, 2016
No. of Pages: Hardcover, 272 pages
Synopsis & Review:
Teenager Ana has always known that she has lived her life as someone called Emma before this lifetime. What she doesn’t know is a life-changing event that involves Emma and a young girl drowning. In My Second Life, Faye Bird brings readers into the mind of Ana as she tries to comprehend the sudden flood of memories related to that incident and deal with the aftermath.
I was slightly hesitant getting into this novel as I did not usually read paranormal stories. However, My Second Life is not actually about the reincarnation per se, but about Ana trying to figure out her past and solving the mystery. As a result, it is more of a thriller than a paranormal book.
Being a psychological thriller, it is all about the suspense and tension. Fortunately, Faye Bird has successfully delivered what a mystery book requires. My Second Life is very compelling and readers will easily get addicted to the story. The first person point of view really helps in capturing the emotions of the protagonist and the author also manages to ‘show’ the readers instead of ‘telling’ them the feelings of Ana. The sentences are all very short and precise, making the narrative very powerful. There aren’t a lot of descriptive languages to set up the scenes but I found the narration to be enough for readers to imagine the rest.
However, I do think that there are some things that can be further improved in order to produce an even more gripping thriller. While Ana is discovering the secrets of Emma’s life, she often becomes immensely overwhelmed. As a result, she demonstrates a lot of weird behaviors that would certainly cause her family and friends to raise their eyebrows and demand answers. And they do just that. However, Faye Bird did not get into the details of how Ana faces their questions and instead spent most of the book on Ana trying to get answers from the past.
I found myself wanting to know how she had managed to make up a story and explain everything to her concerned family and friends without telling the truth. After all, when she has been demanding answers from the past, shouldn’t her give some answers to the present too? I believe that by showing how Ana deals with the present’s interrogation, not only will My Second Life create a better balance between the two worlds, but also make a special connection between the two timelines.
Overall, this is a truly compelling piece of work and I cannot wait for you guys to read it. Psychological thrillers have become one of my favorite genres and My Second Life is definitely one of the best ones that I have read so far.
Disclaimer: ARC provided by Raincoast books in exchange for honest review. All opinions are my own.