Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bird, Faye. My Second Life.

Bird, Faye.  My Second Life.  Macmillan/Farrar Strauss  2016  264p  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-374-34886-1  hs  Fantasy  VG-BN 

When Ana meets Frances, she realizes that she (Ana) has lived another life as a girl named Emma, and that Emma has a terrible secret.  Emma may have killed her childhood friend, Catherine.  As she delves more deeply into Emma’s past, Ana comes to realize that in order to enjoy her current life, she must stop living two lives and let go of the past.  Caught up in the complex emotions and compelling personalities Emma must cope with, Ana (and vicariously, the reader) will find that escaping the past is easier said than done. 

Catherine’s mother, Frances, has never recovered from the loss of her daughter.  Fueled by cruelty and hate, this chilling character conveys convincing malevolence; readers will be both repelled by and drawn to Frances.  Few teen novels explore the concept of reincarnation, which also makes this debut novel a standout. While Ana’s mother appears clueless about her daughter’s discovery of a past life, Frances’ response to Emma-reincarnate perfectly captures the essence of a woman shattered by the past.

Compelling, dark and brooding, My Second Life by Faye Bird takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, exploring family relationships, particularly those of mothers and daughters.   With expertly plotted, fast-paced action and engrossing characters, this original novel will keep readers up late at night.

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Ana is haunted by her past. She lived once before as Emma, and she wants to reunite with her old family.  To enjoy her current life, Ana must learn to let go of the past.  Why does Ana keep having flashbacks to a different life?

Reincarnation-Fiction                                 --Hilary Welliver

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