Review: His Other Life by Beth Thomas *spoilers at the bottom of the post*

His Other Life by Beth Thomas
Publication Date: March 12, 2015
 
Synopsis:

Gracie has the perfect life. A handsome husband, amazing house, and nothing to worry about.

Then her husband, Adam, disappears suddenly, making Gracie wonder why he he just vanished. In his disappearance, Adam leaves behind a whole life, and many questions that don’t have any answers to them.

Determined to find out why Adam disappeared, Gracie begins to dig into his past, realizing that the life she thought they had together, might not be entirely what she envisioned. After all, how can you be married to someone and know absolutely nothing about them?

 

 
Rating: 1 star

Thoughts:
I was excited to start this and finally get around to reading it after having it on my Kindle app for awhile now. The cover was what drew me in first, then the plot. It was something a little more fun, mixing a contemporary with a bit of mystery and putting it out there.

When I was adding it to my Goodreads “currently reading” list, I noticed that the rating was a lot lower than I had expected. The first few reviews that came up were all 1 star reviews, which made me wonder if it was just a lack of readers who liked it, or if the book really was that bad.

Yes, I do have a spoiler section for this book, and I’m going to warn you now that a massive rant will be in the spoiler section. In fact, most of this review will be a rant. But if you want to know the details, go ahead and read the spoiler section. Don’t say I didn’t warn you *continues humming Blank Space*

And I found out on the first page that the book really was just that bad. The first 4 or so paragraphs went to describe how a phone vibrated with a text. Yes, 4 paragraphs. After which, the main character, Gracie, immediately went on to talk about how she has never liked the fact that her husband, Adam, always has his phone with him. Then it goes into how she has tried to look at his phone when he forgets it momentarily. Most of the first chapter is just stuff that doesn’t quite make a lot of sense when you think about how the synopsis sounds and how Gracie is acting. Within that chapter, I could already understand why people gave it such a low rating on Goodreads.

In fact, 3 of the 4 notes I made in my notebook were questioning how Gracie could be so paranoid and distrusting of a text message. One text message. That’s it. I mean, yes, she explains that Adam never leave his phone around where she can see it, but I still didn’t understand how that could make her so incredibly paranoid to the point where she tries to plan a way to get her hands on his phone to see that one text message. Maybe Adam is just more private and doesn’t want people looking at his phone. I can understand that completely. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to look at each other’s phone and read each other’s texts all the time, if at all.

Part of the way through Chapter 1, I started to make notes in my Kindle app instead, just because I thought it would be easier, and also it would tell me what chapter I made the notes in. I think I might add a couple of screenshots of those notes in the spoiler section below, so that you can read my thoughts as I was going through the book.

I’m going to throw something out there and say that I never thought of DNF-ing the book. It never occurred to me because I wanted to continue reading to see if it got any worse and also because I already had a theory about what would happen.

Something that I struggled with throughout the book is that the author kept explaining it whenever a character used sarcasm. It was annoying because it happened so often, but also because it was entirely necessary. It was so hard to tell when her characters were being sarcastic or joking, because her writing did not reflect that at all. In fact, I thought that, for the most part, her writing was simplistic, bland, and rather one-dimensional, which went on to mean that her characters were incredibly one-dimensional as well.

The entire time I was reading the book, I just could not believe that this had been approved by an agent and publisher because of how badly written it was. Paragraphs went on and on describing one small event and then went back to Gracie’s whining, complaining, and stupid imagination that never did her any good.

And being a book written by a British author, based in the UK, with a British protagonist, halfway through the book, I just started swearing like a Brit at Gracie and the plot. Yes, I picked up swearing like a Brit by reading this book and used it in my notes. Honestly, I don’t even know why. I just thought it was appropriate considering the context. Heck, I don’t even know if I was doing it right.

The more I read of the book, the more I could understand why Adam disappeared. And the more I thought that Gracie was one of the stupidest protagonists I have ever read about. It was so unbelievable.

There were also certain points in the book where I corrected the author’s grammar, including one part where she wrote “He has previous” instead of “He has priors” to describe a character. Seriously, did the editor, agent, and publisher not notice this error at all? How is it possible that no one noticed it and the author got away with saying that a character had previous instead of priors???

There was also a point where the author talks about a cereal brand called “Special K,” which also happens to be a very common nickname for…..KETAMINE. If you have no idea what that is, it’s a drug that is most often used on horses to sedate them. It’s also a common date-rape drug and has been used to help people get high and rave. So when I read that part, all I could think about was the drug and not the cereal. I’m probably the only one who did that, but really, if you’re writing a book with crime and mystery in it, don’t just use Special K loosely as a cereal brand, because anyone who knows crime will know that it’s the most common way to refer to ketamine.

Okay, I actually looked up other people’s reviews of this book, and I might actually be the only blogger out there who hates this book… Everyone else has really great things to say about it, but I just can’t bring myself to like any part of this at all. For me, someone who has read plenty of crime and mystery books, as well as a decent amount of contemporary, I just found this to be so bad. I mean, if you’ve ever watched anything crime related, or even know the basics about the law, then you could definitely understand how stupid Gracie was and how stupid and unrealistic the whole thing was.

I thought that everything was so incredibly obvious and I couldn’t understand how the characters were so stupid. I just couldn’t. It baffled me so much.

Honestly, I don’t think I can even describe how bad this book was. All I can say is, it’s so bad. It’s the worst book I’ve read so far this year. Oh gosh, I really can’t find the words for this.

I’m sorry. I really am. I feel bad for how much I’m trashing this book. I really do, believe me. But I just can’t find anything nice to say about this. If it weren’t for the fact that it was on my Kindle app, I would burn this book. Gosh…I’ve never said that before about a book.

The ending was stupid. Saw it coming from a mile away. I already knew it was going to happen pretty early on in the book, but I’m not surprised that it took everyone so long to figure it out when it was right in front of them all along. Plus, the fact that the foreshadowing was overdone and simultaneously also terrible, just confuses me. And honestly, when I got to the end, I just didn’t care anymore. I was so completely, 2000% done with the book by that point and didn’t even care if it made sense, which it both did and didn’t.

 
Characters:
Gracie is a bloody mess. Not in terms of literal blood. She’s just this stupid, naïve, messy, overly-imaginative, illogical, immature, ignorant mess. Yes, that was partly redundant. I don’t care. I JUST CAN’T FREAKING BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS OUR MAIN CHARACTER. She’s so one-dimensional and has NO character development AT ALL. In fact, I thought that all her character did was go downhill, crash, and burn. I have absolutely nothing positive to say about her. She annoyed me so much and I thought she was absolutely ridiculous as an adult. If I ever met anyone like her in real life, I would hate them immediately and just never be bothered to be around them for the fear that I would punch them the moment they opened their mouth. And the whole time, she had this annoyingly over-active imagination that did absolutely nothing for her or the book. She would think about stuff that would never actually happen because it wasn’t at all possible in her situation. It’s like talking to someone and realizing that they know nothing except for what they see on TV and think that it’s reality.

Gracie’s family was stupid. I hate everyone. Well, okay, her dad wasn’t too bad. But everyone else can burn.

I’ll say the same for all the other characters too. They could burn for all I care.
Overall:
Congratulations, you hold the record for the book I’ve given the lowest rating to. Ever. 1 star. No, I don’t recommend this book. Unless you think you would have an entirely different opinion, or have read other reviews and think this sounds good, I honestly don’t think you should waste your time with this at all.
Acknowledgements:
Thank you to NetGalley for hosting this on your site. Thank you also to Avon for approving my request to read this in exchange for an honest review.



*SPOILERS* DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK OR WANT TO BE SPOILED*
 
I HATE THIS SO MUCH WITH A BURNING PASSION OF A HUNDRED SUNS. Okay, I’m calm now *pulls out shiny, sharp knife*
 
There are these portions of the book where Gracie goes on and on with her stupid imagination about how Adam is dead and coming back to visit her as a bloody, gory zombie. Then she goes to imagine that her entire family has been gruesomely slaughtered because of nothing. And when she finds the sodding key, she imagines that it leads to some kind of bloody treasure that she will get to keep because she’s so good at keeping secrets and not having anyone suspect anything. It’s not like anything she finds WILL BE FREAKING EVIDENCE IN A POLICE INVESTIGATION ANYWAYS. NO, THAT WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS. Gracie basically had this annoying imagination that came up with scenarios that were so unrealistic, I’m surprised she didn’t just punch herself every time she thought of it.
 
I honestly couldn’t understand how I was supposed to like her as a protagonist and feel sorry for her. I just felt like it was impossible to date, be engaged to, and marry someone, all while knowing literally nothing about them and not thinking twice about it until your husband ups and leaves you. Frankly, I don’t blame Adam for leaving. I don’t even know why he married her or even dated her in the first place.
 
There was this part in the book where the police alerted all family members that they found a dead body, but had no idea who it was. Yes. You’re the police, if you find a dead body that could match the description of a missing person, you should just notify the family before finding out who it is. In fact, let’s call the step-father down to the station and have him identify the body instead of looking through fingerprints, dental records, DNA, or any other form of identification. Let’s just traumatize the family, only to have them find out that it’s not their missing family member and you were just too incompetent to do your job properly and identify the body before doing anything else. Bloody hell, the police work in this book is disgusting.
 
And then there was another part where Gracie was like “Oh I wonder why they’re updating me on my missing husband’s case.” Geez woman, someone needs to whack you over the head multiple times. I have no idea why they’re telling you, MAYBE IT’S JUST BECAUSE IT’S THEIR JOB AND HE’S YOUR HUSBAND AND YOU SHOULD BLOODY WELL CARE ABOUT WHERE HE IS BECAUSE EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING IS STUPID AND DESPITE EVERYTHING, YOU STILL CLAIM TO LOVE HIM AND YOU SHOULD AT LEAST CARE A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE MAN YOU MARRIED.
 
LET’S ALSO JUST FREAKING TALK ABOUT THE FLIPPING FACT THAT GRACIE IMMEDIATELY FORMS AN ATTRACTION TO MATT AND STOPS CARING ABOUT HER HUSBAND ENTIRELY. YES, LET’S TALK ABOUT HOW IT TOOK HER A WHOLE 48 HOURS TO MOVE ON FROM THE MAN SHE WAS WITH FOR 3 YEARS AND JUST FALL IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE LIKE SHE WAS NEVER IN A RELATIONSHIP, MUCH LESS MARRIED. AND OF COURSE, IT HAS TO BE THE FIRST GUY THAT IS DECENT TO HER. HONESTLY WOMAN!

I found the ending to be so stupid. When Gracie was just like “I think I wasn’t ready for the real world. It’s like I’m back in my parents’ house and I’m sixteen again! I get to act like I’m sixteen again and grow up all over again and really become an adult this time!” I just shook my head. I was never like that at sixteen. I know people who are, but I’m not friends with them. Because I can’t deal with having them in my life. I would just punch them. Gracie is stupid.
 
I’m actually trying so hard not to swear profusely at this book. 

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