Title: Someone Like Me
Author: M.R. Carey
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Plot: She looks like me. She sounds like me. Now
she’s trying to take my place.
Liz Kendall wouldn’t hurt a fly. She’s a gentle woman devoted to bringing up her kids in the right way, no matter how hard times get.
But there’s another side to Liz – one which is dark and malicious. A version of her who will do anything to get her way, no matter how extreme or violent.
And when this other side of her takes control, the consequences are devastating.
The only way Liz can save herself and her family is if she can find out where this new alter-ego has come from, and how she can stop it.
I received Someone Like Me from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Someone Like Me has been sitting on my Netgalley shelf for a while because I completely forgot about it. Even re-reading the synopsis didn’t remind me of why I requested it.
This is one of those books where I’m not certain how I feel. It was also an unfortunate case where the formatting was off (always a risk with ARCs) and because there were no line breaks between the narration changes or chapters, there were several occasions where I had to re-read a bit because it had switched. It did impact my overall experience of the book.
The plot is interesting: a woman has an out-of-body experience and is able to defend herself against her violent husband. A teenage girl struggles to move on from being kidnapped as a child and confides in her imaginary friend to be able to deal with the world around her.
Both Liz and Fran have their demons. Liz just wants to take care of her family, even if that means being pushed around to avoid conflict. It was hard to relate to Liz because she is portrayed as being so weak for the majority of the book. But through an escalating cascade of events, you find yourself rooting for her. Liz has to overcome a darker presence, and must find the inner strength to do so. I didn’t like Liz, but I liked her more than her enemy and so wanted her to be victorious!
It was strange that there should be this duality – that her naked will, having once fought its way free of her own dying body, remained a thing apart from this new body she had won. She could put it on and take it off, and still be herself.
Fran is more relatable, mainly because she goes on more of a journey throughout the book and you feel like she is given the chance to confront her past. She finds the bravery to do what must be done, despite it terrifying her and, again, you want her to be able to face down everything that has haunted her. There were moments when you were reminded that she was a teenager; she reacts a little too strongly to innocent events that could have been irritating if they happened more often.
As mentioned, the plot was an interesting one. It’s about more than just facing your demons. It ventures into a fantasy route: for example, imaginary friends that may not actually be imaginary. Venturing out of normality helped keep the book more engaging: I feared to start with it was just going to drag and focus too much on overcome self-doubt (not that there’s a problem with that, it’s just not how the book is presented!).
The pacing felt slow but the tension does reach a strong climax. The ending left me quite dissatisfied though. Due to how circumstances come about, the “villain” of the piece cannot be punished without it ruining one of the main characters. But it was frustrating there seemed to be no fall-out or comeuppance after what had been some pretty drastic events up until that point.
The book could have been a little shorter and the pacing increased to keep it more engaging, especially to start with. It wasn’t a strong read for me personally.