First reads giveaway win (Nov 03 2014) - Book arrived 7 Nov 2014
I received a copy of What She Left as a first reads giveaway and I also received a digital copy from the publisher in return for an honest review.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. The blurb caught my eye and the idea of rebuilding someones life from their digital footprint was something that I had never really thought of before reading this book. Many people put a lot of their lives online and on social media and I'm sure very few of us have ever considered the impression it would leave behind if ever something was to happen to us.
I liked the format, wasn't sure I would enjoy it but I did. The only thing I didn't like about it was the dates on everything, it jumped back and forth so often that eventually I gave up trying to follow the timeline. I did enjoy reading it, if asked to describe it, to give a simple rough explanation... It's a book about a book, Alice is found dead, Prof Cook is rebuilding her life from what he can find online and from her friends. He's putting it all in a book, we are now reading that book.
My feelings on the Prof were a bit all over the place, he wasn't easy to like and was a bit of a letch. A bit of a letch is putting it mildly actually, he was a disgusting, dirty old man and I didn't like him at all most of the time. I can't say I particularly liked Alice either, although everything you learn about her comes after her death and gossip is never a good thing, it always tends to focus on the negative and the flaws. The other characters didn't stand out at all. I don't know exactly what it was that kept me reading, although I didn't like Prof Cook much, his voice was captivating and kept me reading.
The book really explores the devastation of losing someone to then have a stranger expose all different parts of their life publicly without those left behind having any control over it. It really makes you think about yourself and what echoes of ourselves will we leave online and in diaries etc. What will our online legacy be when we are gone? How will what we have left behind affect the people we love after we're gone? What kind of impression of who we really are will it give?
Reading this book sort of feels like you're peeking through the window at someones life and they don't know you are watching. All the good, bad and ugly exposed for all to see. It's a bit like putting together a scrapbook of someones life, revealing all the different sides of them that not everyone gets to see. Their inner thoughts on the page before you, exposed to all. Diary entries, blog posts, emails, text messages, notes on their computer, all there for everyone and anyone to read and interpret any way they like. It certainly gives you a lot to contemplate on, makes you more aware of what you say and do online in a way that perhaps many haven't ever considered before.
Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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