Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

April 13th, 2016 kimbacaffeinate Review 75 Comments

13th Apr
Beside Myself by Ann Morgan
Beside Myself
by Ann Morgan
Published by: Audible
Narrator: Lisa Coleman
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people's expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex

thriller twisted warning WTF?

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan is a creepy, twisted psychological thriller with a fantastic narrator. Imagine you are a twin, the favorite twin. When you’re six years old you play a game and switch identities. When the game is over your sister refuses to switch back and becomes you. What would you do if no one believed you? Come meet Ellie and Helen in Beside Myself a twisted, dark, and quirky tale that shares alternating chapters from then and now.

I chose to listen to Beside Myself and loved the narrator Lisa Coleman. She did a fantastic job with character voices and it was not an easy task. I was able to identify who was speaking from young Ellie (Helen) to adult Ellie (Helen) and the many different personalities. She even captured Ellie and Helen’s cruel mother in all her venomous glory.

I will warn you, none of the characters are likeable or even reliable. Ellie and Helen have an awful mother and I had evil thoughts about her. Morgan puts forth a scenario that is freaking scary and shares the consequences. The stories told through Ellie’s perspective who is the “real Helen.” Morgan uses “you” rather than “I” when Ellie (Helen) relays the story and I found it clever. Her childhood is dark, and there are quite a few triggers for those who are sensitive. View Spoiler » She grows up in the shadow of Helen the “real Ellie” and is cast into the role of underachiever, troublemaker and second best. It is all rather unnerving. Of course, the louder she protests the more she looks and acts like the real Ellie.

As adult Ellie, (the real Helen) refers to herself in third person as Smudge and is quite delusional. She is estranged from her family and refuses any contact with her sister. When her sister falls into a coma, things come to a head. She discovers her sister was on her way to see her when the accident occurred.  Forced back into their circle she wonders if she may finally be able to prove who she really is. Things get complicated and twisted as truths are revealed. It was quite crazy and I found myself completely wrapped up in the unraveling of it.

Beside Myself touched on psychological disorder, dysfunctional family, the effects of trauma and more. While I found the story to be compelling there were occasions when I rolled my eyes at this collection of family members and the situations the author placed them in. Not everything that happened seemed plausible or perhaps too much happened. Either way I enjoyed listening.

Addictive, disturbing and highly original I enjoyed Beside Myself, and the disturbing, thought-provoking story Morgan offered.

About Ann Morgan

Ann Morgan

Ann Morgan is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in south London and continues to blog.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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75 Responses to “Beside Myself by Ann Morgan”

  1. Kathy

    Oh, this one looks right up my alley. I’ve been a bit disappointed in the “thriller” piece of the thrillers I’ve read lately because they turned more into mysteries, which I love but still expected that mind bending thrill. I just put a hold on this at the library after seeing it here.
    Kathy recently posted…Ten Books for Lovers of Art + Tuesday TeaserMy Profile

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    Holy cats! I just can’t even imagine! How could a mother not know, Kimberly? Granted, I don’t have twins but I’d like to think I could tell my children apart. My goodness! This certainly sounds disturbing. However, I do like dark and twisty reads. 😉 You know I’ll be giving this one a go! Excellent review!
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Review ~ Facade ~ Nyrae DawnMy Profile

  3. Nick

    This cover is so creepy, Kim! I’ve been really in the mood for a psychological thriller since none of the books I’ve been reading lately has been mediocre. It sounds like all kinds of twisted and I love that.
    I’ll add this to my TBR!
    Nick recently posted…The Halsey Book TagMy Profile

  4. Jenny

    This definitely sounds like a twisted read Kim, and sometimes I’m in the perfect mood for those. Usually after I’ve binge watched Criminal Minds:) I’m definitely curious about all the characters, I do so love those who are unreliable and keep me on my toes. Also, the stick figures on that cover are horrifying in the context of a mystery/thriller cover:)
    Jenny recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday: A Shadow Bright and BurningMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The family is dysfunctional so much so that the favorite gets pretty dresses, and the other is dismissed. Emily is subsequently known to throw tantrums and tell lies. Since she is 6 when the Helen is treated differently and no one believes her she has a meltdown since she is ill equipped to handle the different treatment. This only.makes everyone believe she is lying. Plus the real Emily rolls her eyes and dismisses Helen’s claims. From there she basically emulates the behavior expected of her.

  5. Zoe

    I’ve seen this cover a few times before, but had no idea it was a book as creepy or disturbing as you’ve made it sound! It sounds like something I’d really enjoy reading, thank you for sharing your thoughts on it 🙂
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  6. Jen

    Oh I’m SO glad to see you reviewing this one! I’ve had this one for awhile now and for some reason I’ve just been on the fence about it. It didn’t help that no bloggers I follow had reviewed it yet so yay I’m so glad you liked it and that it was creepy, twisted and dark. I’ve been in the mood for something like that so I’ll definitely be reading this one soon, great review!
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  7. Lorna

    Not one for me. I would just end up mad at all the characters! But very interesting review Kimberly-thanks!

  8. Deborah

    I enjoyed this one as well Kimberly though was slightly frustrated at the lack of justice!!!!

  9. Melanie Simmons

    I keep saying that I’m going to listen to more thrillers. I really enjoy them, but I have such a hard time walking away from my paranormal/UF stories. I do think I’m going to have to try to squeeze this one in somewhere though. I’ve not listened to this narrator, but I’m always on the lookout for more good ones and I trust your judgement. I’ll have to check to see if my library has this one. Great review.
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  10. Ailyn koay

    A little sas that the characters marred the otherwise thrilling and chilling story. I love these story lines they can really test your attention.
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