Review: Your Life for Mine (Karen Clarke)

Your Life for Mine opens well: a text to a woman, on her birthday, saying this was the last birthday she would ever be alive to celebrate.

Alas, the rest of the book does not quite live up to the promise of this opening. There are likely spoilers galore here.

Beth, the birthday girl and recipient of the message, is a walking ball of anxiety. Her boyfriend therapist is annoying when she relays the message to him. She wonders if this has anything to do with “what happened to her” when she was a child – and that “something” isn’t laid out until we’re a third of the way into the book.

I found this book VERY annoying, mainly because of Beth, who seemed to need intensive therapy, and because the author holds back the good details until halfway through the book and then in the last 20-ish pages. No one acts like a real person would act, and the impetus behind the would-be murder is not credible at all. Nor is the end, for the would-be murderer.

Didn’t like it, wouldn’t recommend it unless you had nothing else at all to read. The only good thing about this book is that it is a fast, fast read: 80 minutes for me, even without skipping Beth spiraling into yet another meltdown about something like a spoiled child.

Two out of five stars: one for writing and another for there at least being some cohesiveness in the story, despite the ridiculous motives.

Thanks to HQ Digital and NetGalley for the review copy.