Someone Like Me

512p. Hachette/Orbit. Nov. 2018. Tr $26. ISBN 9780316477420.
The author of The Girl with all the Gifts is back with a mind-blowing psychological thriller. Liz, a recently divorced mother of two, snaps when her ex-husband brings her kids back late one weekend. He assaults her, and this time, finally, she fights back. But it isn't Liz who bloodies him—it's Beth, Liz's other self. At Liz's psychiatrist's office, her teenage son Zac befriends a classmate he sees across the waiting room, Fran. Still in therapy from a kidnapping that happened years ago, Fran is the only person who can see Liz and Beth at the same time, and she is terrified. This is a horror tale of two characters who have dual selves in order to survive trauma. Liz and Fran's experiences are similar and eerily connected through the same location—the run-down Perry Friendly hotel in Pittsburgh. The two teens try to find out why Liz isn't acting like herself, and barely make it out alive. Like the author's previous novel, this thriller is teen-friendly. Fran and Zac investigate on their own, travel to courthouses and prisons, and don't put much trust in adults. Adult characters are well developed. Liz's other personality, Beth, acts like the mom no teenager would ever want to have, while Fran's father is ideal. The author incorporates the Abenaki Indian legend of a skadegamutc, a ghost-witch, into the paranormal elements.
VERDICT Highly recommended for all horror and psychological thriller collections.

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