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Jan 02, Christine rated it it was ok. To be published in Feb Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my review copy of the book. Watson and this is the follow up. This is a story of a woman, who is trying to deal with the murder of her sister and find some sort of peace. Julia is a very middle class woman with a past, living in London with her adopted son and married to a surgeon called Hugh. She flirts with men online and meets one of them, in her search for the truth.

Julia meets Lukas and her nice safe life starts to unravel. This has illicit sex, murder, hidden secrets and a hunt for a killer. It should have been an exciting, pacey, sexy psychological thriller. I found myself struggling to like Julia. Julia was just painfully self absorbed, incredibly naive and just plain inconsistent. No adult just trusts people the way she does, especially people they met online. In this case, it mattered terribly. I suppose we are meant to see Julia self destruct and empathize with her. The second half of the book was slightly more engaging than the first.

Although not much. However my main feeling at the end of the book is major disappointment and sadness. It could have been so much better. It should have been so much better. View all 12 comments. Dnf at pages. Can't really make a full review on this given the fact that I didn't finish it but I'll put some of the things that bugged me about this book in the following topics: 1- Julia makes terrible decisions although her thoughts show us that she knows they are bad, she just chooses to ignore it.

I don't hate it but I will never pick it up again.


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Feb 02, Rebecca rated it it was ok Shelves: read-via-netgalley , unfinished , mysteries. The Accident , I was disappointed. I hesitate outside it. I want to turn round, go home. Try again later. But this is my last chance. View 1 comment. Jan 14, Margaret Madden rated it it was amazing Shelves: netgalley. When Julia hears of her sisters death in Paris, she feels a mixture of relief and loss. Julia had adopted Kates son when it became obvious her sister could not provide the stable environment he needed.

But lately Kate had been demanding to return of her teenage son. The bittersweet relief of her sisters death is only momentary, and Julia begins to doubt that the death was an accident. Gaining access to Kates 4. Gaining access to Kates online activity, she stumbles across the world of online dating and the ability to lead a second life.


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  • Soon she is hooked. The excitement of secret online liaisons becomes addictive and common sense is thrown out the window. But how long can one maintain a double life before someone gets hurt? This book seems to have a bit of the 'Gone Girl effect' about it. You either love it or hate it. I think the main reason for the way people feel about a character. Some readers cannot enjoy a book where they feel uncomfortable with the protagonist, others need a more defined line between a 'nice' person in a novel and a 'distasteful' one.

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    I tend to go with my gut instincts and if I find myself turning the pages with great speed, it means I'm going along for the ride. The whole concept of a second life has become more common with the accessibility of the internet in all of our lives. While, years ago, people had to place adverts in specialised magazines or be part of secret networks of similar minded folk, now anyone can just click a button and become whomever one wants.

    The current Graham Dwyer trial, in Ireland, has shown how easy it is to lead two lives independent of each other. In SJ Watson's novel he shows how a middle aged, respectable mother and wife can slip so easily into a new role. The role of a sexy, single, adventurous woman who is up for anything. One day a week Kate can escape the mundane and ordinary life she has led for years and return to her pre-marriage days of drink and drug fueled excitement and sexual abandonment. Her sleuthing into her sister's life has opened a Pandora's Box and she is soon sucked in Kate is not a character that many women are going to like.

    Once she begins her online journey, she appears to become two very different people.

    One is traditional and stable, the other is fiesty, brave and open to fantasy. However, if the novel is read with attention, the cracks in her personality are there before her online dalliance. She has had addiction issues in the past, lived another life in Berlin before returning the UK to marry Hugh, a successful consultant surgeon. The second life that she embarks on may not have been very far under the facade of her existing one. The first half of the novel is a little slow, as we learn of the connections between Julia, Kate, Hugh and Connor. There are extra characters too, like Julia's best friend who is surplus to requirement about two thirds into book and Kate's roommate, Anna, who helps knit together the last few months of the dead girl's life.

    Text messages, secret phone calls and virtual sex are all part of the bigger picture and the reader is sucked into the heart pounding encounters of Kates new world. Fantasies become reality and the book takes on a new pace and atmosphere. It moved from an average psychological thriller to a deeper, more intense read that had me hooked. You don't have to agree with characters, or even like them much, to make a book a winner. Like a roller coaster that makes you feel queasy, this book will have your blood pumping with part shock and fear and the need to discover more, climb up that steep slope that inevitably drops down, with massive speed, on the other side.

    Be brave, enjoy the ride, and look at each person you meet at the school gates or supermarket with the knowledge that everyone has inner thoughts View all 15 comments. Jan 16, Shelleyrae at Book'd Out rated it it was ok Shelves: netgalley-reviews , arc-are. London wife and mother, Julia, is devastated when she is informed her younger sister, Kate, has been murdered by an unknown assailant in a Parisian alleyway. Half crazed with grief and guilt, Julia becomes obsessed with finding Kate's killer, infiltrating an online 'hook-up' service her sister used in search of suspects.

    Lukas is one of the first men to res SJ Watson's debut, Before I Go To Sleep was a smash hit and I imagine the pressure to produce a similarly successful novel has been immense. Lukas is one of the first men to respond to her tentative approach, and though she quickly dismisses him as a suspect in her sister's murder, Julia can't seem to extract herself from the connection they have made. Her stolen moments with Lukas are a reprieve from her despair but as their relationship transitions from the virtual to the real world, Julia's 'second life' unwittingly puts everything she has, and those she loves most, at risk.

    What Watson does particularly well in Second Life is create a close, tense and increasingly disorientating atmosphere as Julia's life spirals out of control. My dissatisfaction with this novel can be laid at the feet of Watson's protagonist, Julia. I just didn't buy into her behaviour, despite the author's rationalisations of grief and guilt. I found Julia to be painfully frustrating - naive, self obsessed, and later, wontingly self destructive. Unable to invest in the character, I then struggled with the plot, which relies on Julia's poor judgment to progress.

    There is tension and some surprising twists but it wasn't enough to convince me to put aside my dislike of Julia. Perhaps the strongest element of the story is the pacy and shocking denouement, though I'm still not quite sure how I feel about its ambiguity. Just barely an okay read, largely due to my frustration with the main character, unfortunately, I think Second Life suffers badly in comparison with Before I Go To Sleep. View all 4 comments. Apr 26, Celina Grace rated it it was ok. And once that disappointment had happened, it was nothing but downhill from there, I'm afraid.

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    What had been a page-turner became more and more implausibly silly until the final slap in the face that was that ridiculous ending. Almost as bad as the one in Harriet Lane's 'Her', if I'm honest. As other reviewers have pointed out, it doesn't help that the central character, Julia, doesn't so much wallow in guilt and self-pity as leap into it, holding her nose for the plunge. I can't be the only one who thought 'Best get back on the gear, love.

    At least you'll feel a bit more cheerful. View all 3 comments. I have read some others reviews after I had read this book for myself. I have nothing to compare it to as this is the first book I have read by S J Watson although I already have a couple of her others. I just haven't got around to reading them yet and saw this on Net Galley which I requested and thanks to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers who gave me auto approval I was able to get it for reading and reviewing.

    Its very difficult to write a review without giving too much away, so I will try I have read some others reviews after I had read this book for myself. Its very difficult to write a review without giving too much away, so I will try. Here we met Julia. She has an adopted child named Connor who is her sisters child. Her sister wanted him back years later. Now she finds that her sister is dead. She's be murdered. Julia is a middle class Mom, married to her husband who she loves.

    But Julia just cannot put to rest what happened to her sister. So she starts to uncover her sisters life. She's in for some surprises and not only that, she ends up getting involved with a complete stranger starting an affair that goes terribly wrong. I have to say, I was thrown off course several times by the author during the time I was trying to 'solve' it all, so that means she has done a superb job.

    The ending is unpredictable, or at least, it was for me. The quality of the writing is superb, which means I really cannot wait to read more books by this author and I will certainly be bumping up the ones I already have. My rating is a positive 4 stars. Jun 12, Lisa rated it it was ok. This is a very difficult book for me to review - Watson has created an excellent character in Julia the protagonist, and the twisty story is suitably complicated and intelligent BUT it takes ages to get going AND I thoroughly disliked it as it made me feel so uncomfortable AND Julia is just awful. I can't explain without spoilers so if you are thinking of reading it I would recommend it if you can cope with quite a bit of tedium and horrible characters that will eventually deliver a decent solved This is a very difficult book for me to review - Watson has created an excellent character in Julia the protagonist, and the twisty story is suitably complicated and intelligent BUT it takes ages to get going AND I thoroughly disliked it as it made me feel so uncomfortable AND Julia is just awful.

    I can't explain without spoilers so if you are thinking of reading it I would recommend it if you can cope with quite a bit of tedium and horrible characters that will eventually deliver a decent solved mystery and an interesting dilemma but be warned - the journey feels long and arduous! I'm so glad I've read this with others from my book group as it really needs some discussion - it's a bit of a mind fuck to be honest! Perhaps I'll be back with an update when we've talked about it a bit more Mar 31, Gary rated it really liked it. The 2nd and much anticipated novel by author S.

    I was slightly put off by the other reviews I read on Goodreads regarding this book but I found this book got better as I made my way through it. Well before the end I was impelled to continue reading whenever possible to find out what was going to happen. Maybe in reflection it is not to the same very high standard as his first novel but I found it a very good read.

    May 28, Megan Johnson rated it it was ok. This was a good book, but it was slow. I don't usually finish a book when it is so slow going, but I had some time on my hands to get this one done. This review was originally posted on Between My Lines I was highly anticipating this book before I started it. It was twisty and ambiguous which is something I a This review was originally posted on Between My Lines I was highly anticipating this book before I started it. It was twisty and ambiguous which is something I always love in a book as it makes you think about it after you close the book.

    If I had to name my favourite thing about this book, that would be it. I failed to connect with the main character and a lot of my issues were to do with that. The police seem to be getting nowhere and Julia decides to take matters into her own hands. Julia seems to have little or no awareness of how easy it is for someone online to lie to her.

    My other issue was with the pacing of the book. It was slow. And sad face as I really did want to enjoy one. However the Goodreads average rating at the moment is 3. Maybe check a few of their reviews if the synopsis has peaked your interest. Mar 09, RitaSkeeter rated it it was ok Shelves: , thriller. Ratings for this book have been low; no doubt a shock to many - like me - who enjoyed Before I Go To Sleep and expected something of the same calibre.

    Early reviews and ratings were enough to make me cancel my pre-order and place a hold at the library instead. I'm glad I did. But before I go into the things I didn't like, it is important to say that there were some good things about this book. It was still a page turner. I flew through it, even with my lack of reading time at the moment.

    When I Ratings for this book have been low; no doubt a shock to many - like me - who enjoyed Before I Go To Sleep and expected something of the same calibre. When I set it down I wanted to get back to it to see how the author pulled it all together. So from that perspective, it was an okay enough read. But, there were far more things I didn't care for. First - the subject matter. It was all a bit dark and sordid. The second issue was the lack of characterisation. It bothered me here. I don't expect big deep character studies in thrillers, but I do expect the characters to have some personality.

    Issue three - the writing style. It was incredibly choppy, which was jarring to read. I thought it felt more like a draft than finished copy. She's only 37, that's not that old, and I refuse to believe someone of that age could be so darn idiotic about the Internet. Seriously stupid. It really took me out of the story because I just could not get over what a dumb-arse she was. So, all in all, it was okay - just. There are better thrillers out there.

    Dec 22, Katy Noyes rated it liked it Shelves: netgalley-reviewcopy. At times 4 stars, at others 3 including an ending that had me 'turning page' for the final chapter that just wasn't there. Like Before I Go To Sleep, this book really must be read without spoilers and I'll help with that by staying general and not giving anything away. Julia is devastated to hear of her sister's murder in Paris. Though at the same time guiltily relieved - her son Connor is actually her nephew, and her sister Kate was trying to regain custody before her death.

    Wanting t 3. Wanting to find out what happened, she uses Kate's online details and logs in to websites her best friend tells her that Kate used to meet men. But can Julia keep separate her own life from her new online one? And can it help discover her sister's murderer? It starts slowly but does eventually become tense and twisty. Julia though I found pretty annoying - her decisions aren't sensible, she really does at times 'make her own bed'.

    One plot twist had me turning back half the book as it didn't actually make sense based on something from earlier. I didn't find this as good an idea as the author's debut. Much more standard thriller than original concept that you just can't see a way out of. I did enjoy the thriller elements of this, and guessing the solution to the murder mystery.

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    But like 'Into the Darkest Corner' a book I loved the dark elements of certain characters seemed obvious, it seemed crazy that Julia put herself in so many dangerous situations. And that ending Too abrupt, very unlike the complete rounding off in his debut, I was very unsatisfied and annoyed. Still, I can imagine it will be picked up for a film adaptation.

    But it's not as strong as Watson's debut. Review of a NetGalley advance copy. May 11, Roger Brunyate rated it did not like it Shelves: mysteries-kinda. It's Over You know how it is. You're a good way into a thriller. It's getting painful. You see holes and implausibilities all over. Even if the protagonist doesn't seem able to break out of the vicious circle she's got herself into, you can.

    Just quit. Close the book now, and throw it away. But you can't stop. You need to know how it ends. Reading faster and faster, you just have to hang in there until it's over…. Julia is a photographer married to a successful London surgeon. They have a teenage son, Connor. Actually, he is their nephew, not their son, but Julia's younger sister Katie begged them to take him when she herself couldn't cope. Then news comes through that Katie, who lives in Paris, has been murdered.

    The search for answers takes Julia to Paris, where she bonds with her sister's room-mate, Anna. But it also takes her to internet hookup sites, as Anna admits that Katie might have followed up online encounters with real ones. Soon Julia, hiding behind her sister's password and a false identity, finds herself on a new frontier.

    And inevitably she crosses it. Just to make matters worse, Julia is an addictive personality. She is a recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon once, leaving us constantly in fear that she will do so again. But it becomes clear that she is, has been, or will be subject to other kinds of addiction too, not least in the cyber world. I must say that I am grateful that SJ Watson spares us from pages and pages of chatroom dialogues.

    Both he and Julia move quickly to face-to-face encounters. After the claustrophobia of his essentially three-character novel, Before I Go to Sleep , I was glad to see that he opens this one out a lot more, with many more characters and locales. Knowing the kinds of tricks he could play, I anticipated quite a few of the twists here, but by no means all of them.

    So I read on. Surely he can get us out of this somehow, and return us to solid ground? Give us something to make us feel that this whole nightmare excursion into second-rate literature has been worthwhile? Alas, I am not convinced that he did. The book ended, certainly.

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    But to wind up such a story you need more than to put in, as the last two words of the book: "…it's over. It's about the dangers of online sex- dating. Very realistic. Extremely well told. After their mother's death, Julia took on the responsibility for her younger sister, Kate, a role she continues to play many years later, having adopted Kate's son Connor when she was unable to cope with him.

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    Julia, a recovering alcoholic, has a few shadows in her past but now lives a happy life, working as a photographer, with the now-teenage Connor and her husband, a surgeon, Hugh. But then Kate is murdered. And, struggling to cope, Julia decides to set up an account on the same sex-site which After their mother's death, Julia took on the responsibility for her younger sister, Kate, a role she continues to play many years later, having adopted Kate's son Connor when she was unable to cope with him.

    And, struggling to cope, Julia decides to set up an account on the same sex-site which Kate used before she was killed. At first Julia convinces herself that she is doing it to try and get to the truth behind Kate's death, but after a while she isn't so sure. The problem with this type of thriller is that the protagonist is usually at least mildly annoying, and their actions implausible. And so it was with Second Life. However, for the majority of the book, Julia makes some stupid decisions but she isn't blind to her actions: "I realize how stupid I've been.

    All along, from the very beginning, this is what it's been about. On the other hand, for me the ending got a bit too out of hand, and the resolution of the book, even outside of Julia's actions, was, for me, a little too implausible. Is she really such a bad judge of character? Second Life is a highly readable book, which manages to avoid most of the pitfalls of its genre, for me, just stopping short in its ending. I liked the way that Watson brought a slightly different angle to the book, by having Julia enter into, and struggle to adjust to, the worlds of cyber-sex and online dating.

    I also completely agree with the New York Times Book Review quotation on the front cover of my edition, which describes it as "A discreetly sexy novel Although I didn't enjoy Second Life as much as Before I Go To Sleep , I do think that by adding in the romantic suspense angle Watson has written a book with perhaps as different a style as possible in the same genre, which was probably a very wise move. I look forward to seeing what he will write next. View 2 comments. When her sister, Kate is murdered in a Paris alleyway, happily married London photographer, Julia Plummer is devastated.

    She feels acutely that she has let her sister down, and is determined to uncover the facts. His cast of characters is believable, although many have secrets and some are definitely not what they first seem. This is a psychological thriller that graphically illustrates the dangers to be found online, where no one is necessarily what they appear or claim to be.

    It demonstrates how, once you dispatch it by email or social media, you lose control over any image or piece of information. Another thought-provoking page-turner. Oh boy! The first half of the book is painfully SLOW and tedious; I understand the author was setting the plot and introducing the characters Oh boy! He tried to enjoy Diego's pain the way she did, and this pleased Victoria.

    This experience changed him, but he remained loyal to Victoria. After Diego was dead, she told him the plans of the upcoming battle. She also told him that the two of them would run fast and far after the battle until the Volturi got tired of chasing them. When he returned to the others and found a new pile of ashes of dead newborns, he went completely mad, attacking several members at the same time, but restrained himself enough to tell them about the Cullens and what they were meant to do.

    He also convinced Bree to remain in the team and try to persuade Fred to help, as he never seemed to obey or listen to anyone. In the next few days, he manipulated the newborns into exactly the mindset that Victoria wanted. When they were ready to make their move, Fred escaped before the battle, and Riley left to find Victoria while the others confronted the Cullens and the Quileute shape-shifters.

    Riley and Victoria are trying to kill Edward. Riley made his first appearance in Eclipse during the battle between the Cullens, the shape-shifters and the army. He and Victoria located Bella and Edward and tried to kill them. When Riley faced Edward in the clearing, Edward tried to convince him to give up the fight by telling him how Victoria really felt about him that she didn't really love him; but was using him to avenge her mate James who was killed in Twilight.

    Though he had suspected as much about her intentions, he remained faithful to her. Riley tried to attack Edward, but Seth jumped into the middle and attacked him. At the end of the fight, he called out to Victoria's help, but she ignored him completely and he was dragged behind the bushes where Seth ripped him apart and then burned his body parts. Victoria died seconds later at Edward's hands. In the movie , Riley was said to be originated from Forks and thus knew the area pretty well, which prompted Victoria to choose him as her partner in her plot to kill Bella and the Cullens. Riley was described as being around Bella's age when he was changed, being 6'3" tall, with vivid red eyes, which were originally brown, and shining blond hair, though it is dark blond in the film.

    He was muscular, tall and handsome and used his newfound strength with little tact, like most newborns. Riley's strongest trait was his devotion and loyalty to Victoria, but also inability to see through her lies. After she changed him, Riley became nothing more than a menace just like the sadistically dangerous and psychotic Victoria.

    Riley's fatal flaw was also his love for Victoria, which ultimately got him killed. Even when Edward confirmed his suspicion about Victoria's feelings, he remained completely loyal. With the newborns he was responsible for he was violent and unpredictable most of the time, interspersed with oddly affectionate and caring periods which were in actual fact manipulation to mold them into the perfect army.

    He did in fact feel real affection for Diego, but not enough to prevent himself from torturing him to death with Victoria in The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Riley was a good liar and very manipulative, though Fred was smart enough to see through his lies. His character in the movie was described as a lost boy who had lost most of his humanity, and therefore chose to be devoted and trustful of Victoria, because the emotion of love was the one thing he had left as a human.

    As a human, Riley had one older sister and one younger brother; as a vampire, Victoria and the Seattle newborn army became his only known family. Victoria turned him into a vampire as a means for him to protect her from the Cullens , whom she suspected were coming for her. To earn his devotion, she lied to him, telling him that she turned him because she had fallen in love with him.

    In truth, she simply said that so that he would follow her more devotedly, and was still in love with her former deceased mate, James. However, he did not know the intention behind her innocent voice and reciprocated to her false feelings. When she decided to create an army of newborns to fight against the Cullens and kill Bella Swan as a way to exact revenge on Edward Cullen , who killed her mate, she had Riley choose the members and care for them.

    Edward tried to make Riley believe him by telling him the truth and that Victoria was still in love with James. Riley didn't believe his words, and then he was killed by Seth Clearwater. Diego was Riley's oldest and most trusted newborn.

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    Diego and Bree see through a lie Riley told the army, so Diego tells Riley about it. Diego doesn't return, and later it is discovered that Riley was forced to help Victoria in Diego's killing. Victoria had forced him to pick her or Diego. However, he lies to Bree and says he is still alive. Xavier Samuel was cast as Riley in the film Eclipse. Riley is described as a "good-looking college student who joins the plot of villain Victoria to murder protagonist Bella. In the film, he was said to have come from Forks, which is the reason that Victoria chose him to lead the army.

    Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. She wants you to die so that she doesn't have to keep up the pretense anymore. Yes—you've seen that, haven't you?