Beside Myself

Beside Myself 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

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

[Read] ➭ Beside Myself By Ann   Morgan –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 336 pages
  • Beside Myself
  • Ann Morgan
  • English
  • 10 June 2017

10 thoughts on “Beside Myself

  1. says:

    I have a feeling that 2016 is going to be the year of the psychological thriller I can only hope so, Its my favourite genre Thankfully I managed to score an advanced copy of this little beauty Beside Myself, and I loved it Helen and Ellie are identical twins There was a complication at birth and the cord was wrapped around Ellie s neck for an extended period of time and because of this she wasn t quite right Sickly, and mentally slow compared to her sister, Ellie lived in Helens shadow One day they decided to play a trick on everyone and swapped places After managing to fool everybody, even their mother, Helen wanted to swap back However Ellie refused, SHE was Helen now After nobody believes her, and after encountering a lot of bad luck, Helen Now Ellie Or is she has to live her life as someone she isn t And things don t go well for her Now after many years, her sister is in a coma following an accident Will she wake up Will Helen ever get her real life back Or is it even hers The premise of this book was what grabbed me, that and the spooky cover Twins are always interesting to read about Being an only child myself I can only imagine what it would be like to have a sibling who is so physically similar to you It was interesting to read about their connection.I m not sure if I would say this book is particularly thrilling as such, but the thrills come from reading about life from Ellies perspective Her mental illness comes through so strongly in the writing of this book, it is really well done The dark mood is also another thing that grabbed me about Beside Myself You quickly get caught up in the depressing state that Ellie s life is now in, and get totally captivated with reading how she got to this point and what happens next.I thought the ending was fantastic There was a revelation that I was not expecting However the book itself was quite slow moving in places I understand a bit of a slower pace was needed to set the scene, however it almost got to dragging point for a little while about 60% in But then it started to pick up again, and I devoured the rest.I have a thing about medical inaccuracies in novels It drives me nuts And there were a few scenes in the hospital that I picked up on Especially the one where Helen was speaking with a breathing tube in which is impossible and a common medical mistake in a few novels I have read, however I also noticed that because of the tone of that scene it could be argued that Ellie was imagining it Which makes it alright I guess Didn t stop me from enjoying it overall though It was written really well, and I loved all the characters Ellie or Helen Or is it Ellie was such a great leading character Such an interesting story It jumped back and forth in time with each chapter, which confused me at the beginning but I quickly got used to it.Would I recommend Beside Myself Yes, for any psychological thriller fan Thanks to author Ann Morgan via NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my review.For reviews visit my BBB_Mel

  2. says:

    Beside Myself tells the story of twins, a childish game that goes horribly wrong and the echoes of that throughout the life of at least one of the twins.Ann Morgan is a stunning writer the use of language in this novel is really very good and atmospheric, I enjoyed the reading of it for that reason, I just wish I had been enamoured of the story itself You know how sometimes it just doesn t quite work for you as a reader That was the problem I had with this novel One of those No Two people ever read the same book moments.So in Beside Myself two twins swap places one day to tease their mother and others One twin however likes her new personality and doesn t want to swap back The other twin loses her mind Thats basically it in a nutshell although of course there is a lot to it than that I just got a bit lost is allThere were not really any characters I liked Thats not a problem usually I m a fan of unlikeable characters that make you crazy,but in Beside Myself there was not any one of them that gave me the other side of that the need to root for them and get behind them And it all was a little unlikely The speed at which the originally confident and bossy twin fell into a practical coma seemed unrealistic Same with the less confident, bumbling twin who suddenly took on her sister s traits with no real hiccups And the mother, honestly AnywayWhen we move forward in time, we meet one of them after they have moved away She has mental problems and well, is just strange She gets pulled back into the vortex of family when her Sister has an accident from there things picked up a bit for me, I was intrigued to find out what would happen with this swap scenario, whether anyone would actually bother to notice all these years later, and for a while in the middle I was totally in it Sadly the ending didn t really do it for me either I was hoping for a bit of a twist to make me go ooh but the twist was of an oh moment it really just continued in the same vein for the majority of the book and ended up vaguely annoying me This is an exploration of personality and as such will probably work really well for a lot of readers and certainly Ann Morgan s writing ability and talent is right up there to the point that I will definitely be interested to read anything else she writes But Beside Myself didn t really work on a lot of levels, due to my own personality being vaguely grumpy about unlikely plot holes at the moment.I d definitely recommend this though if you are a fan of psycologial thrillers because what is sauce for the goose is NOT necessarily what is sauce for the gander and there is a lot to admire in Beside Myself as you can see from other reviews.Happy Reading Folks

  3. says:

    I thought this was a really interesting book exploring identity and the ways in which that can be affected by society s expectations Helen and Ellie are identical twins with Helen the dominant, smart one who always behaves Ellie had a few problems at birth and is mentally slower and often clumsy When they are six Helen suggests swapping identities to play a trick on everyone and Ellie goes along with it However when Ellie decides she likes being Helen and refuses to swap back Helen finds herself locked into being Ellie, the child who is always in trouble at home, shunned by schoolmates and held back at school Gradually she starts to act out from frustration at no one believing that she is Helen and starts to develop psychological problems Helen meanwhile takes on Ellie s persona enjoying popularity and success.As Ellie grows up, I began to wonder if Ellie really was originally Helen did they swap back after the game and Ellie is just imagining that they didn t until that becomes her reality Ellie is the narrator with alternating chapters following the life of the twins as they grow up and Ellie s current dysfunctional life that she blames on the swap and her subsequent treatment She thinks of herself as a monster but the real monster is the twins mother who favoured one child over the other and treated the other abysmally She really was a piece of work and I really felt for Ellie, constantly put down while her twin was held up as the perfect child until one day something really bad happens and Ellie finds herself exiled.This is a quite a dark psychological thriller that is well written and depicts what it is like to experience bouts of mental illness As the main character, Ellie is the most interesting and complex but the depiction of her mother as a flawed human being is also central to the story and I enjoyed the surprising twist towards the end of the book that revealed a lot about the mother s motives and character This was an excellent debut novel and I look forward to reading from this author view spoiler Initially, I did have some doubt that the original Ellie, a mentally slow, clumsy child could suddenly take on the persona of her quicker, brighter sister without their friends and teachers noticing and vice versa that the original Helen would be treated as a child needing remedial help with reading, writing and maths when she was quite capable However, I think the question of whether the swap really wasn t reversed becomes ambiguous as the story progresses and in the end I don t think it matters even though there is to confirm the swap at the end of the book The treatment of Ellie as the less than perfect child by her mother seems to be the main issue and maybe only accelerated mental illness possibly inherited that was always going to emerge at some stage hide spoiler

  4. says:

    www.melissa413readsalot.blogspot.comI have to say this book is really sad, yes sad in that way, but sad on so many other levels The way this mother treats her twin daughters is unbelievable At the age of 6 Helen wants her and Ellie to try and trick people by switching clothes and acting like the other You see, Helen was the normal one and Ellie had some issues. they say it was a problem when she was being born This was the biggest mistake Helen ever made in her life Ellie decides she wants to be Helen forever and it really makes you wonder and realize Ellie was a great actress because she really had some issues, but she played Helen to a T Helen ends up having a horrific life I can t believe how her family treated her and I wonder if Ellie would have been treated the same way if she stayed her true self I was hoping that something would vindicate Helen at some point The last few pages of the book was the only happy moment that Helen really seemed to have A tragedy happens in the family and Helen is brought back into their lives for a short time She gets to meet Ellie s husband Nick and daughter Heloise Nick broke down and told her in confidence one night that he always thought Ellie aka Helen wasn t herself She seemed like a different personwell she was But things head South with this visitation and Helen had to leave again Although, I loved the time she got to spend with Heloise, she was a precious little girl and she seemed to love Helen The mother was horrible all the way up until the end and when she revealed a secret to Helen I was just devastated I mean this woman had something really bad happen to her when the kids were young and she had a hard time dealing with it, but to do these things to your kids Wow I hesitate to say I enjoyed the book because of all the horrible things, but I did like the book, although it made me really sad and mad Advice to any twins out there DO NOT TRADE PLACES WITH YOUR TWIN I would like to thank NETGALLEY and BLOOMSBURY USA for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  5. says:

    I had heard about this book when it first was published.It got good hype.Then some very confusing reviews.I thought I d wait until it all died down then forgot about it.Until I realised I should have read this book already.So I dived in.By now most will know the concept of what this book is about.I think it covers some sort of mental awareness to but I struggled with it.The book goes back and forth in time.That s OK I ve read many books like that but this one isn t with ease for a reader.Ann Morgan is a good writer however this one was a brain ache for me.It needs full undivided attention.

  6. says:

    This is an interesting debut novel, which explores themes of identity, deception and some seriously flawed, dysfunctional family relationships It begins with two little girls Helen and Eleanor They are twins and Helen is the oldest and the leader Her mother sees her as the good girl while Eleanor Ellie is often troublesome with mild behaviour problems and is apt to get things wrong and need looking after Although Helen is perceived as the smarter and well behaved as the two, it is also cleverly insinuated that she can something of a bully, rather than a leader One day, Helen has the brilliant idea of swapping places and making her, rather severe, mother amused with the joke that her good girl could be Ellie tripping along behind her sister When they go back to the house though, they find that there have been changes they did not expect and then Ellie does not want to change back Going forward to today, we find that Helen now known completely as Ellie, or Smudge has grown from the competent child into the perceived failure that her mother expected Her identity taken, she spirals into mental illness and a life of poverty and isolation Ellie or Helen however, has had success, marriage to Nick and a daughter, Heloise who, by coincidence, is six years old the same age as the twins when they changed places.When Helen is injured in an accident and ends up in a coma, it results in their mother calling Smudge to inform her rather unwillingly about what has happened The twins mother is controlling, opinionated and unsympathetic and, her getting back in touch, leaves Smudge feeling out of control Then Helen s husband, Nick, appears, hoping that she can shed light on why he feels that his wife was travelling to see her twin when she had the accident The storyline splits between the past and the present as we learn what happened when the twins were young and whether the truth about their identity will be uncovered.I found this a difficult and disturbing read The family dynamics were often deeply unsettling and upsetting, the characters mostly unlikeable and the plot twists a little less surprising than, perhaps, I had hoped On the plus side, this was written extremely well and, of course, it is not essential to like the characters in a novel I found this a very interesting read, but not as immersive as I first expected I would certainly read by this author, as it was an assured and impressive debut, but somehow this just fell a little short for me Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review Rated 3.5 stars.

  7. says:

    This book was quite a crazy ride from start to finish I was expecting a thriller but it wasn t so much a thriller as it was a dark, twisted psychological story so it wasn t quite what I was expecting It was also much slower than I anticipated it would be and I thought it was too long I felt like things were added in to make it longer when it really could have been better if it was shorter and solid as a story I feel like this book didn t really know what it wanted to be It had an idea but it needed to be concise There were lots of uneccessary things in the story and it sometimes went about things the wrong way It was basically a bit all over the place partly because of the writing and partly because of the story The story is told in alternating chapters of past and present from the real Helen s POV There was a lot going on in the past chapters and even going on in the present chapters I thought there was too much going on to be honest and I think it s because there were too many unimportant details on top of the already complicated story I found this book quite hard to get into because i found it quite confusing and slow and there were times were I considered not finishing it but I m glad I finished it because overall, it was pretty decent and I enjoyed it What really kept me reading was my desire to know what would happen at the end I m someone who finds it really hard to not finish books or movies because I feel like I need to know If you re not that kind of person, then this book may not be for you I only say that because this book doesn t have a lot of redeeming qualities It s complicated not in a good way , it s long, it s got a really slow pace, it has no likeable characters or relatable characters and the writing isn t good enough to carry the book In fact, I didn t particularly like the writing at all, it wasn t bad per say but it just wasn t for me The end turned out to be sort of anticlimactic and I was disappointed with it but it did clear up some things I feel like I bashed this book a bit but at the end of the day, my feelings towards the book are positive than negative and that s what got this book 3 stars from me I can recognise that it s not a bad book but it s just not a good one either It sits in the average section Would I recommend it Hmmm, not really unless you read tonnes of dark twisted psychological fiction and you re thinking this may interest you Would I read another book by Ann Morgan Probably not but I m open to it I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review My memories of him are like a sweet that you have sucked too long until all the flavour is gone Because you are not here that s the truth of it None of this is real You don t exist and so nothing can touch you not the past, not the future You are out of it all floating in a blind, white mist rolling in off a boundless sea You are immune.

  8. says:

    There have been many novels penned about twins So interesting to have two separate personalities who look identical We can t resist wondering what it would be like After reading this novel, I NEVER want to find out I was filled with angst and misgiving much like the feeling I used to get watching old movies where the heroine was committed to a mental hospital when there was nothing wrong with her The injustice of it all Smudge is a beguiling and well wrought character that the reader just cannot help but empathize with Her sadness and loneliness make you ache for her Beside Myself underscores just how fine a line there is between love and hate This novel also paints an alarmingly vivid portrait of mental illness But was the mental illness caused by the events Or were the events caused by the mental illness Or, is heredity the only cause If you live a lie long enough, does that lie become truth A well rendered, chillingly dark, and very unsettling novel of family dysfunction, Beside Myself will be enjoyed by all fans of the psychological thriller genre.Thanks to Ann Morgan via TLC Book Tours and NetGalley for providing me with a digital advance reader s copy of this novel.For my complete review of Beside Myself visit my blog am hosting a GIVEAWAY for this wonderful novel so don t forget to leave a comment on my blog to enter

  9. says:

    I was very excited to read Beside Myself The description sounded incredibly thrilling and interesting, so I put in my NetGalley request, crossing my fingers that I d get a chance to read this book.Now that I ve read it, I have to say I m kind of disappointed I really thought I was going to love it, but in all honesty I had a hard time reading this book It took me a while to get into the flip flop chapters that take place in third person in the present day and first person kind of It s of a you instead of I perspective in the past The author gives so much description that I found myself skimming pages until I got to of the actual plot I do think the idea for this book was really cool and the author did a good job showing how Smudge and even Hellie was totally messed up by the switch I was expecting from the twist at the end, like for them to explain what view spoiler caused their father to commit suicide hide spoiler

  10. says:

    This book was a struggle to read The world building and subplots within the book didn t mesh well with the character development The story was told through alternate chapters The characters themselves were really unlikable and really had no redeemable qualities, thus I had to no connection with the story and wasn t engaged.

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