I received a copy of Second Life from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Having previously read and enjoyed the authors debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, I was looking forwards to his new one and anticipating another great read. I have to say I was really disappointed.
The story starts off slow and stays that way for around 70% of the book. The whole time I was reading I felt like I was waiting for something to happen. I was honestly getting really fed up of the I'm such a neglected housewife routine and the decisions the character was making.
Julia has a good life, granted she's just lost her sister, but she has a loving and supportive husband, son and friends. I really struggle to see why things took the turn they did. I can't for the life of me understand why she was so easily taken in and made the choices she did.
For all this to have steam-rolled from the loss of her sister and her desire to find out what happened, I'm not buying it. How on earth can it jump from her looking into what happened, to all this needing to feel desired, beautiful and wanted stuff. Sure she was grieving, but given her situation and the love and support she had, I can't see it.
The story does however show the dangers that can be found online. You never really know who you are talking to and shows how easy it is to be drawn into a situation and quickly lose control. At the same time, a lot of the decisions and choices that Julia made in regards to this just didn't seem real or very smart, I found her character to be rather frustrating at times.
The ending, what? How does that even work? Where on earth did that twist even come from? There wasn't enough to that part of the story to justify that result, no suspicion planted, no hints given. There was no how the heck did I miss that moment that comes from not picking up on the clues, there were no clues.
Honestly it would have worked better to have gone with what Julia herself suspected near the end, there was something that happened earlier in the story, between Julia and this person, that makes it all the more impossible for me to believe that all this fell below Julia's radar. It basically blows the whole plot right out of the water.
Add to that the abrupt way the story ended, it felt like the past chapter was missing. I was hoping the last 30% and the ending would save the book for me, it didn't.
Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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