October 22, 2021

#BookReview: The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng

Synopsis: Two lives. The one you wanted. The one that wanted you.

Her birthday should be like any other night.

One minute Kelly’s a free-spirited artist in Chicago going to her best friend’s art show. The next, she opens a door and mysteriously emerges in her Michigan hometown. Suddenly her life is unrecognizable: She's got twelve years of the wrong memories in her head and she's married to Eric, a man she barely knew in high school.

Racing to get back to her old life, Kelly's search leads only to more questions. In this life, she loves Eric and wants to trust him, but everything she discovers about him—including a connection to a mysterious tech startup—tells her she shouldn't. And strange things keep happening. The tattoos she had when she was an artist briefly reappear on her skin, she remembers fights with Eric that he says never happened, and her relationships with loved ones both new and familiar seem to change without warning.

But the closer Kelly gets to putting the pieces together, the more her reality seems to shift. And if she can't figure out what happened on her birthday, the next change could cost her everything...


Rating:  3 Stars
My Review:  My biggest issue with this one was that I just hated the characters. I wanted to like them but I just didn't. I did still enjoy how the story ended. But I wished that the characters would have been more likable.  It really read like a debut book.  The mystery was sub par and the overall explication wasn't there. If you leave belief behind and you end up liking these characters you might enjoy this one. 


“Mind bending and emotional...a taut psychological thriller with a twisted question at its core: Would you be willing to lose a life you love in order to gain something you thought was lost forever?”
Julie ClarkNew York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight

"The definition of unputdownable...This is one of the most innovative thrillers I've read in a long, long time."
Samantha DowningUSA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

“Breathtaking, inventive, and irresistible... Who hasn't wondered what alternate versions of their lives might look like?...As relatable as it is suspenseful, cleverly exploring adulthood, identity, and shifting realities. A knockout debut.”
Margarita MontimoreUSA Today bestselling author of Oona Out of Order

“Perhaps this book’s greatest pleasure—and there are many to choose from—is the way Jeng leads the reader down one road, then makes a sharp right turn and heads off in a new direction. The Other Me is not what it seems to be, and Kelly’s story is not going to end where you think it will. This is Jeng’s first novel, and it immediately establishes her as a writer to watch very closely.”

“Jeng’s novel intricately weaves together two worlds and makes the reader question throughout whether the narrator is a victim of her own mind or something more sinister. In her premiere novel, Jeng builds a unique narrative, complete with compelling characters and continued suspense at every turn. The Other Me is not one to be missed and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.”
Criminal Element 

“Both a suspenseful psychological thriller and an astute reinvention of the time travel narrative.”

Black Mirror-esque rabbit hole.”

“Well written and engaging...Recommended for fans of Blake Crouch and anyone interested in the concept of alternative lives.” 
Mystery & Suspense Magazine

The Other Me is an electrifying sci-fi thriller. It’s Sliding Doors mixed with quite a bit of toxic masculinity, constantly grappling with ideas like fate vs. free will as well as woulds vs. coulds vs. shoulds."

“Jeng’s debut is a page-turner with well-developed characters... A good pick for fans of modern women’s fiction about controlling one’s destiny.”
Library Journal

“Convincing alternate-universe mechanics and a subtle lesson in the perils of manipulating other people to get what we want raise the bar in this fun, well-paced story. An enjoyable adventure with a likable heroine in search of the life she really wants.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Satisfyingly intricate and genuinely innovative.”
Eliza Jane Brazier, author of If I Disappear

“An ingenious twist on the domestic thriller...This assured, compelling debut will leave you nostalgic for all the lives you’ve never lived.”
—Layne Fargo, author of They Never Learn

“Clever and unique.”
Thoughts From a Page

“[B]lends science fiction and thrills."

About the Author

Sarah Zachrich Jeng grew up in Michigan and always had a flair for the morbid and mysterious (for her dad's thirty-fifth birthday, she wrote a story entitled "The Man Who Died at 35"). She had a brief career as an aspiring rock star before she came to her senses and went back to school to become a web developer. Sarah lives in Florida with her family and an extremely hyper rescue dog. The Other Me is her first novel.

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