Author: Sarah Zachrich Jeng
Genre: Thriller, Science Fiction
Rating: 4 Stars
On her twenty-ninth birthday, Chicago artist Kelly steps through a door at a gallery opening and 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…
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
Talk about a journey. The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng wasn’t exactly what I envisioned when I picked it up. I remembered looking at the genre and expecting it to fall into a very specific box, but as I read, I discovered the story to be so much more than that. The plot unwound slowly, bit by bit as the main character, Kelly, navigated this new, familiar, but… off world she found herself in, and I was totally engrossed in her journey.
The characters, for the most part, had a real depth to them – they were complicated people and they weren’t perfect by any sense of the word. There was always a sense of unease underlying everything they did – making you wonder if they knew what was going on. The story was masterfully crafted in this way.
The only real drawback to the story for me was that the main character’s voice often made her seem detached. Sometimes I found it even hard to like her because she didn’t quite feel human. She used a lot of thesaurus-words that didn’t fit her art-student background, and it kept reminding me that it was an author writing this story, not necessarily a character telling it.
All that aside, if you enjoy thriller books with time-travel, science fiction, or alternate reality spin to them, I’d recommend you pick this up. Despite how I felt about the main character, the book was well written and I thoroughly enjoyed the complexities of the plot.