Publisher: Harper

ARC Review: Second Life by S.J. Watson

Posted on 06/09/2015 in Book Review / 3 Comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
ARC Review: Second Life by S.J. WatsonSecond Life by S.J. Watson
Published by Harper on June 9, 2015
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 432
Source: Edelweiss
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The sensational new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep.\r\n\r\nShe loves her husband. She's obsessed by a stranger.\r\n\r\nShe's a devoted mother. She's prepared to lose everything.\r\n\r\nShe knows what she's doing. She's out of control.\r\n\r\nShe's innocent. She's guilty as sin.\r\n\r\nShe's living two lives. She might lose both . . .

I had a tough time with this one. I went in with no expectations, having never read the author’s first book, although I had heard good things about it. It started off slowly, and I struggled to like Julia, the main character. It was obvious that there were secrets from her past that still haunted her, and were no doubt part of the reason that she started making such bad choices. Understandably devastated by her sister’s murder, Julia begins exploring a hook-up website to try to gain some insight into what her sister may have been involved in. However, instead of doing any serious sleuthing, she gets involved with one man and begins a dangerous affair. He soon becomes an addiction, and she can’t stay away, even when she realizes that she’s risking everything.   Second Life by S.J. Watson should have been exciting. Sex, a murder mystery, an illicit affair, dark secrets…on paper, it all sounds very thrilling. However, I found most of it fairly boring, and a lot of that was due to Julia being so very annoying. I understand that she was supposed to have an addictive personality, but a lot of her decisions were just ridiculous, almost to the point of being offensive. And for an intelligent, modern women in her 30’s, she didn’t know much about technology, which I found unrealistic. No one ever knows how they will respond to tragedy and grief, but the way that Julia acted (and reacted) often made her unrelatable. Flawed characters can be the most interesting, but that definitely wasn’t the case this time.   The real beef that I had with the book was the ending. I kept trying to turn the page of my e-reader, looking for another chapter or at least an epilogue. I don’t like books with inconclusive endings, especially when something big happens, and then, BOOM – I’m left with nothing but my imagination to fill in the blanks. I understand why the author ended the book this way, and the statement he was trying to make (no spoilers), but I didn’t like it. If you’re looking for a good thriller, or a sexy drama, I would skip this one.