by Ann Morgan
Narrator: Lisa Coleman
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups
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
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 »Rape, abuse, addiction, suicide, depression, emotional cruelty, psychological disorders, and a dysfunctional family. « Hide 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.
A little sas that the characters marred the otherwise thrilling and chilling story. I love these story lines they can really test your attention.
This was a good tale that kept you curious.
Audrey Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry remains my favorite twin thriller XD
I will check it out, thanks for the rec 🙂
This is in my TRB on Goodreads!!!!! It sounds so good!!!!!!!
I look forward to your thoughts Vickie 🙂
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.
I will say I love UF and paranormal on audio..so I understand
Great review Kim and Ohh my I love thought provoking and psychological thriller books and this one really looks and sounds absolutely fantastic and right up my alley! Thank you for your awesome post Kim.
I hope you pick this up Katiria and look forward to your thoughts
I had a really fun time with this one too! It was refreshing to read a psychological thriller that wasn’t afraid to be dark and gloomy while still being fun.
I am delighted you enjoyed it Ethan. I agree and enjoyed the tone she set.
I enjoyed this one as well Kimberly though was slightly frustrated at the lack of justice!!!!
Yes….I concur my friend.
Ooh, this sounds disturbing but fascinating — great for the right reader (but she isn’t me.) Wonderful review, Kimba!
It really was Lark
Not one for me. I would just end up mad at all the characters! But very interesting review Kimberly-thanks!
Yeah that happened but I also found it all fascinating
The Bibliophile Babe
This sounds seriously messed up!
It was, it really was!
Okay, I’m not sure this one is for me. I keep picturing Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen as the twins, and it is even scarier in my head. LOL
Bwahahaha…maybe during their naughty rebellion years
A rather “warped” premise, but I tip my cap to the author who was able to pull it off. Thanks for the post.
That she did, I like these what if type stories.
Not my kind of story, I’m afraid. While I don’t mind unlikeable and unreliable characters, this sounds like too much for me. Glad to hear you enjoyed it though.
Thanks Ksenia it was dark and this family was seriously dysfunctional.
“Creepy, twisted psychological thriller?” Just what I need. LOL Sounds like one I need to get too. And how can I resist that cover art. Thanks for the introduction to a new author.
You are welcome I look forward to your take on it Laura
Melissa (Books and Things)
This sounds so dark and twisty! Yea, sold me. LOL I love the plot to this one and I’m not surprised that there is no one likable or reliable. Makes sense. Oh I will have to see if I can find it on audio at my library. I think they hate me for recommending so many b/c of you. 😉 LOL
Yeah I hope they pick it up Melissa. I agree the characters almost have to be unlikable and unreliable for this to work 🙂
Omg, why haven’t I heard of this book before? I love thrillers and anything with twins (even though I have twin sons, twins are still fascinating to me) so this’s is definitely up my alley! Thanks for putting this one on my radar. 🙂
Enjoy…this was a unique one 🙂
Whoa! That is disturbing. How do you even get yourself out of that situation?!
Right..it was a creepy, unique read Braine
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!
I look forward to seeing what you think about the twins Jen!
I do like a good psychological thriller. Thanks for the review.
Me too, thanks Mary 🙂
Sometimes stories can be slightly unbelievable and still keep you hooked. this sounds like such a fascinating novel. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad the audio worked for you.
Agreed and this kept me hooked 🙂
Quinn's Book Nook
This sounds really interesting, but also not a book for me. It definitely seems a bit crazy. And I do really need to like the main characters in a book. I can’t help it.
In a psychological thriller I don’t need to like them..understand yes, but most are damaged.
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 🙂
I hope you get a chance to try this Zoe 🙂
Ooh, how fabulously creepy and good this one sounds! I’ve been eyeing it, and wondering if I would enjoy it. Based on your thoughts, I’m almost there!
Holy Cow this definitely needs to be read with the lights on! Thanks for the really great creepy review Kim
LOL, there are some really dark moments but mostly a psychological nightmare 🙂
It sounds disturbing and I mean that in a good way for a reader. Looks like it went a bit over the top with the trauma and drama, but if the rest is good I guess that’s alright.
Each aspect was well done, but so much happen to them that it became too much to be believable.
The whole premise on this one perplexes and interests me. I don’t understand how no one notices that they’ve switched or why the former favorite twin can’t control her fate a bit more. I guess I need to read/listen to the book to find out!
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.
wow I would have snatched this book if I had heard of it before Kim. The premise sounds fantastic. I love reading about dysfunctional families, traumas and psychological disorder, I’m not sure the non-plausible and too much happened would survive my current state of eternal DNFness though. Thanks for the review 🙂
I love reading about them too, it is interesting to go behind closed doors.
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:)
I love Criminal Minds or any type story along those lines Jenny
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!
This was very different and oh lord this family is seriously messed up Nick
Felicia GeekyBlogger (
That cover would have never struck me as a thriller however the content sounds right up my alley!
Right, I actually read the synopsis first and that is what drew me
That cover so does not scream thriller to me!
LOL, yeah i imagine one of the six year old twins drew it on a windowpane.
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!
Most mother’s would but their mother..pfft.
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.
I hope you are able to pick it up
This sounds totally up my alley, I love my creepy psychological thrillers and this one has an interesting family twist to it. Thanks for the recommendation Kimba!
It was unique Jeann and this family is twisted.
You know I’m not into audiobooks, but I’m definitely up for a creepy, twisted psychological thriller! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, will have to check it out 🙂
I bet the book is just as good 🙂
This book sounds as twisted as Gone Girl!
It had a similar vibe 🙂
But they were 6? How great could they have been? How could she not have changed. At least make it 10
If people didn’t know I was me I would freak..lol
I did read a book like that not a long time ago, it’s also interesting and different
It was unique 🙂