The Other Half of Me

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Pub Date 7 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 21 Jul 2022
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

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Description

She ran from her past, abandoned her dreams. But is it too late to start again?

Since the death of her big sister, Beth has felt lost, a shadow of her former self. It’s been years since she abandoned her youthful musical aspirations and settled for playing piano in a hotel bar; when she lost Lucy, she lost the one who was always there to encourage her, the one who stopped her from giving up on life entirely.

In her grief, Beth finds herself sinking deeper into the rut Lucy was forever trying to lift her out of. But then a posthumous gift from Lucy, a puzzle box, arrives weeks after the funeral, containing clues that Beth must follow to reopen long-closed doors to the past—including memories she’s been running from for years.

As she reluctantly follows the trail, rediscovering friendships she discarded on her downward spiral, Beth realises that she lost her way long before she lost Lucy. But is it too late to find her way back to the hopeful, trusting person she was before—and to finally start living the version of the future that Lucy always wanted for her?

She ran from her past, abandoned her dreams. But is it too late to start again?

Since the death of her big sister, Beth has felt lost, a shadow of her former self. It’s been years since she abandoned...


A Note From the Publisher

Katherine has a master’s in Modern History from Oxford University, is a member of Mensa and used to work as an investment banker. She lives in Kent with her husband, two children and a disobedient dog.

Katherine has a master’s in Modern History from Oxford University, is a member of Mensa and used to work as an investment banker. She lives in Kent with her husband, two children and a disobedient...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781542034616
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 29 members


Featured Reviews

It was just like any other book to start with, what I don't get with other books is the heartfelt emotion inside every sentence. I've also never had a book make me cry almost all the way through, this one did! I would read this over and over again

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“The Other Half of Me” is by Katherine Slee. In some ways I really liked this book and in other ways, it just didn’t work for me. This book, at times, was incredibly sad but at other times I found myself frustrated with the attitude Beth (the main character) had toward seemingly everything. I realize - and acknowledge - that grief is a difficult emotion to deal with - both mentally and physically. I also acknowledge that Beth was deeply into grieving - both the loss of her sister but also at “what could’ve been” in her life.

I think Ms. Slee’s over all idea of this book was what interested me. However, I didn’t find myself enjoying reading this book all the time, especially some of the stories in the past. People are complex and this book shows that. While the idea of a “treasure hunt” was interesting, it didn’t always work for me. Overall, I’d rate this a 3.5 read, rounded up to 4 stars.

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This was an engaging book that kept me interested throughout. I found Beth and Lucy compelling and strong. The book was a good length and pacy. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you NG and the publisher for the chance to read.

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Since the death of her big sister, Beth has felt lost, a shadow of her former self. It’s been years since she abandoned her youthful musical aspirations and settled for playing piano in a hotel bar; when she lost Lucy, she lost the one who was always there to encourage her, the one who stopped her from giving up on life entirely.

In her grief, Beth finds herself sinking deeper into the rut Lucy was forever trying to lift her out of. But then a posthumous gift from Lucy, a puzzle box, arrives weeks after the funeral, containing clues that Beth must follow to reopen long-closed doors to the past—including memories she’s been running from for years.

As she reluctantly follows the trail, rediscovering friendships she discarded on her downward spiral, Beth realises that she lost her way long before she lost Lucy. But is it too late to find her way back to the hopeful, trusting person she was before—and to finally start living the version of the future that Lucy always wanted for her?

First off, Thank you so much for letting me review this wonderful book! I absolutely adored this book! I enjoyed the characters and the story! The story flowed great and had me reading and finishing the book in no time! I highly recommend this book! Stunning, a page-turner which stays long in the memory!

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Beth lost Lucy - her sister. A brain tumor that would come and go until, one day, she was gone. Lucy's existence was gone but the memories and hurtful feelings revealed themselves in Beth's life every day. Beth was not the perfect daughter, not as much as Lucy. Her life was like a shadow following Lucy needs and her popular personality and the only thing that made her truly happy and alive was music. Playing on her piano, writing her songs and suddenly the world disappears. But now, her dreams of becoming a songwriter are shattered, forgotten as a couple of events happened in the past that cannot be changed. Still, as the past cannot be changed there is always a glimpse of hope for the future. Lucy left something for Beth. Slowly she starts to reveal the meaning behind those memories. What happened and what it might happen. Forgiveness and love.

This book is about finding yourself as the world feels unlivable. When your dreams, your passion, is running away from you. When there is no hope or happiness or love. Until there is.

Personally I connected with the main character because I am, as well, in love with music since I remember me as a person. Dreams can change, it's true, but the passion for music will always be there. I recommend this book, although I feel like jumping between the present and the past chapter by chapter was making me distracted. And my health anxiety suffered a little bit while reading this journey of Lucy's brain tumor. Besides that, I think it was a beautiful story.

Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this eARC.

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The People You Meet On Vacation meets My Sister’s Keeper with a bit of Coyote Ugly thrown in.

Losing her big sister, Lucy, to a brain tumor while dealing with the choices that led her life to feel stagnant. Elizabeth doesn’t know what to do or how to do it, but she knows her life has been utterly disappointing to herself and everyone she cares about. From beyond the grave, Lucy forces Elizabeth to face the music- and move on with her life.

It’s heavy, gripping, heart wrenching and beautiful.

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This is my first Katherine Slee book, but it definitely won't be my last!

I admit that I was drawn to the cover more than the book blurb, but I ended up really enjoying this story. So much so, that I read it in one sitting.

It has so many great elements:

*Lovely sibling relationship between Beth and Lucy. It made me tear up and want to call my own sister several times.
*Great friends-to-lovers subplot.
*Poignant song lyrics that I wish I could actually have a playlist of.

Will definitely be adding this to my re-read shelf!

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What a great read! Full of turmoil, betrayal and all kinds of love.

Elizabeth Franks (Beth) had big dreams, but a few misguided decisions, and the death of her sister Lucy, and Beth’s life is a mess - until a puzzle left by Lucy sends Beth on a trail through memories, heartache and truths.

"Our dreams are just pieces scattered all over With nowhere particular to go’ Galaxy girl, Elizabeth Franks"

This is a story of regret, guilt and grief, which sounds like a hard read, and it is full of emotion, but it didn’t feel difficult. I’m not musical in the slightest but I thought the background story added depth and intensity to the main characters and the plot.

I have to admit to start with I found Beth’s self-pity irritating, and the sisters are very polarised characters - maybe to the point of cliché but, being written in the first person, I soon came to understand this really was the vehemence of Beth’s feelings of inadequacy, and idolisation of the ‘perfect’ Lucy.

The Other Half of Me is one of those books that I wanted to read constantly and yet I didn’t want to finish, and I will miss now that I have.


Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to experience the early edition of this book.

The best one of this summer reads so far. A page turner and one that you can not put down.
Highly recommend!

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This book left me with mixed feelings. The plot itself is great and I was immediately hooked. I loved how the chapters go back and forth between past and present, and little by little, we find out why Beth ended up where she is in life: alone, depressed and uninspired.

However, the big reveal of the thing Beth did to make everyone mad at her left me confused. I don't want to spoil it, so I'll just say I kept waiting for something else to come up because I couldn't believe that was it. It doesn't make much sense to me that her loved ones would blame her and be so unsupportive after something that happened when she was a teen and which she was the victim of.

That being said, I have to praise the writing for keeping me invested in Beth's story even when things were frustrating me.

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This short book is a page-turner, sentimental and the central idea is about how we deal with the problems in our lives.
We follow Beth, who recently lost her older sister Lucy. We go back and forward in time, seeing what happened between them. The main plot is a treasure hunt that Lucy sets up for beth to do after her death, mainly to help her move on.
We get to see Beth and where she is with her work, dreams, and ambitions, as well as her relationships with her family and friends.
There were parts that a found cliche but didn't stop me from keep reading the book.

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This was heartbreaking but also heartwarming (a good mix really). Beth's journey through her grief was relatable, but also quite distinct due to several factors of her past revealed later on in the book. The writing was pretty good, and I really enjoyed the incorporation of music throughout the entire story and the extra layer of feeling that it added overall.

I thought the flashback chapters were a great addition to the book, and it created almost a mystery-like atmosphere to why Beth turned out like she did, and what was needed on her quest to figure out Lucy's puzzle. I thought it started off a bit slow, but I really got into the book towards last half of it when more of Beth, Lucy, and Isaac's pasts came to light. Overall a 4-star read for me.

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This book had me up into the wee hours! I couldn't put it down. It's full of hope, loss, betrayal, and love lost and found. As a representation of a sibling relationship, it's very true to life and while the actual plot is fairly predictable, the way it's written kept me hooked. Initially, I couldn't decide if I liked Beth, or just pitied her, but by the end, I was firmly in her corner. All the characters were interesting and well defined, and the story with its dual timelines unfolded easily.

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Lucy was always the perfect sister but now she's gone and Beth is deep into grief. The only thing that helps is her music (watch for the song lyrics!) but then an unexpected gift arrives from Lucy- a puzzle. Beth has repressed something that happened (no spoilers) when they were younger, something that their family blamed her for when she was the victim, and now she's going to face it. This is an emotional story that swings on the sibling relationship. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A well written and thoughtful look at grief, acceptance, and forgiveness.

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I recieved this book as an ARC and I’m thankful I got to read it. It’s a beautiful story about self discovery, grief and so much more. It’s about Beth who lost her older sister to cancer, but she didn’t just lose her sister, she lost herself years ago and her sister decided to help her before she died so she arranged for things after her death to reach Beth and help her to find to herself again.
The story is beautiful but I still felt like something has been missing which is why I can only give it 4/5 stars, but it’s such a quick read and definitely worth it.

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“I think you were born with music in your soul,’ he said, looking at me in a way that made my insides smile. ‘What you choose to do with it is up to you.”

The Other Half Of Me is a novel by British author, Katherine Slee. At the age of eight, Beth Franks is “the girl who would wake in the night and feel compelled to sit down and play the music in her soul.” Her dad James shows her how to make sense of all the music she carries around in her head, how to connect with the magic of music in the world around her.

By her mid-teens, it’s clear she has a talent for song writing, especially in collaboration with her best friend, Isaac Hardy. She carries music in her soul and dares to dream that one day she might be good enough to have her songs played on the radio. And played, they are, but it’s a source of heartbreak.

Eighteen years on, she feels she’s sitting in the background of other people’s lives. It feels like I’m existing instead of living. Playing piano in an old-fashioned London hotel and giving piano lessons is hardly reaching full potential, but she finds it hard to care since her older sister Lucy, the one person who she believes truly understood her, has died.

“My mind flooded with a lifetime of memories, pictures of the past that all included her. The idea of carrying on, of living in a world, making new memories, having the audacity to create music when she wasn’t there to hear it was just too much.”

Lucy, having watched Beth abandon what makes her truly happy, and keenly aware of her own, imminent mortality, goes to a lot of trouble to draw her younger sister out of the slump she’s in, even from the other side of the grave. Her husband, Harry, her father James, and Isaac are all enlisted and armed with riddles and clues to send her down a path of rediscovery.

It’s a long road before she gets there, though, and the reader’s patience with Beth’s negativity is required. Her family and friends have sound advice that eventually filters into her brain: “Regret is nothing more than a waste of time, pickle” and “Maybe if you actually did something with your life, instead of blaming everyone around you when it goes wrong, then you wouldn’t feel the need to constantly compare yourself to Lucy.”

She eventually accepts that “You always put Lucy on a pedestal, believed her to be perfect. But she was just as broken as the rest of us.”

Slee paints an effective picture of grief and regret: “When you lose someone, you lose the version of yourself that you were to them. Not only that, but all the memories and jokes, all the years that we were a part of together.” Ultimately this is a heart-warming and uplifting read, enhanced by the inclusion of the lyrics of four of Beth’s songs.
This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.

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This was so beautiful, I really enjoyed this read.. I found myself crying and thinking about the characters long after I finished reading. Thank you NetGalley & the publisher for the chance to read this.

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Have you ever had a puzzle box? Mine was given to me by a boyfriend’s family. If you managed to open it you would find all sort of things that tell of my past. But would you piece it together & understand it’s meaning?

@katherinesleewrites tells us the story of Beth whose big sister has died. Beth is devastated, angry, sad, lost. Lucy has fought a long disease. Beth & Lucy are typical siblings. Beth feels Lucy is the golden girl. But what does Lucy think?

Beth is a talented musician but seems to have settled for a life as a piano bar player & teacher. Sinking before her sister’s death, now her state of despondency is near critical.

From beyond the grave Lucy sends her a puzzle box. As kids they loved treasure hunts. Lucy wants Beth to follow the clues & find herself & maybe Lucy too.

Think PS I Love You with more obtuse clues! The book traces backwards to a series of events. Growing pains, sisterly rivalry, the music God boyfriend, exams, bad decisions, avoiding & evading your parents - there’ll be lots of situations you recognise.

In following Beth’s journey we get a dose of a good old fashioned love story. Isaac is so sweet & it put me in mind of Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls.

This is a good portrayal of loss & how we wish those who are gone are here to guide us. It’s a lesson in being true to ourselves & our passions. And loving without barriers those who are important to us.

It’s lightly written. The book ends with a songbook & like with Daisy Jones I wanted to go over to Spotify & listen!

An enjoyable read.

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This book is about, loss, grief, self discovery and hope. Beth’s older sister Lucy recently died of a brain tumor, a tumor she had as a child and has grown back. The moment young Lucy gets ill, their whole life turns upside down. From hospital visits to a surgery, recovery to living with the knowledge that the tumor can grow back, Beth and her older sister Lucy try to find their place in life. While Lucy is determent to make the best out of her life and does everything to achieve her dreams, Beth has trouble finding her place and knowing where to go.

Now that Lucy passed away, Beth feels lost. She still doesn’t know what her place is in life and now she won’t have her sister by her side anymore. What she doesn’t know is that Lucy saw the potential in her all this time and has set up a puzzle box with clues to for Beth to find. While following the clues her sister has left her, Beth finds herself looking back at her past, meet with old friends and make peace with her past mistakes.

I’ve finished this book in two days and not without tears. I love how human the characters feel, they are not perfect but try their best. Beth’s fear of loosing her sister whilst feeling like living in her shadow has brought her to a place I know all to well. Reading how Beth deals with these emotions was sometimes hard but definitely worth it. The flashbacks did pull me out of the story sometimes but I understand why it is written in this way.
I highly recommend this book!

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I started this book being intrigued by the aspect of the main character being a musician, as I am one myself. However, I felt like it started to turn into a cliche and I just didn't really care for it. I gave up about 20% of the way through. I feel like other readers would enjoy it, but it wasn't for me.

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The Other Half of Me is a wonderfully engaging novel that is a delight and joy to read, beautifully written, that showcases the remarkable talents of the author.
I really loved the writing style, sharp, enjoyable and engaging.
Beth, I couldn't help but feel for her. Her pain I felt, the sadness I felt, the happy tears I felt.
Truly a remarkable story and one that I won't soon forget about!

"I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Lake Union Publishing
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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Beth is lost in a grief spiral after the death of her older sister, Lucy after a protracted battle against cancer. However, Beth was lost and alone well before Lucy’s death. Lucy tried to uplift Beth in life, and knowing about her impending death, makes arrangements to continue this after her death. Thus, several weeks after her death Beth receives a puzzle box from Lucy containing clues to help life Beth out of her doldrums and stagnant life to rediscover her joy and dreams. Beth was once a talented, aspiring songwriter but she now plays piano in a bar and lives a lonely existence. The story alternates between the present and Beth’s journey, and past events revealing how Beth developed into the woman she is today. The structure really worked for me because it creates a little bit of suspense/mystery as to why Beth is the way she is, and breaks up the monotony and gloom of her present. This is ultimately an uplifting novel, but it requires a little bit of patience and teeth-gnashing at Beth’s attitude.

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The Other Half of Me did something so beautiful for me, it was able to take grief and the aftermath of loss within a family and turn it around through the love of music. Beth and Lucy's family is so centered on Lucy's brain tumor and praying the tumor won't come back. Beth feels like the ugly duckling and everyone in their social circles compares her to Lucy. Lucy becomes an over achiever and in turn forces Beth to shut down from wanting the typical education, the job, the family.

When Lucy creates a scavenger hunt using the people closest to Beth from her past, Beth is pushed towards facing her fears and acknowledging the people who have wronged her and finally going after what she wants, even if she does not know what that is yet. Isaac and Tristan are complete opposites and yet enable Beth to pursue her passion for songwriting. I really enjoyed seeing everyone in Beth's corner even when she doubts herself. Katherine Slee does a great job of not sugarcoating depression and how it can be ugly and affect even the most mundane activities, she is a genius for paying close attention to all of this while moving the story along effortlessly.

Reading this, I laughed and cried and truly was mesmerized by flow of Beth's thoughts right after her dialogue, Slee did a great job of balancing her internal monologue while keeping the conversation realistic. I also enjoyed the personal touch of adding Beth's original lyrics of the four songs that mean the most to the plot. The only thing I would have wanted to feel were the music sessions between Isaac and Beth and how they slowly connected by writing songs together, but other than that, this book made me feel as Beth learns to do.

Highly recommend getting this book and sharing with your loved ones, life is too short to be thinking of what ifs. Thank you to the wonderfully talented Katherine Slee, NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the ARC.

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It's a good book. It's sad, its hearfelt. It's emotional. It makes you think about life and those who are close to you. Definitely worth a read and to be checked out.

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Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of The Other Half of Me. Beth, a musician by trade, is off on a treasure hunt left behind by her recently-passed sister. Beth must confront her grief and her past in order to move forward. This book is good for anyone who is passionate about music, though the somber tone might not be for everyone.

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I admit that I was drawn to the cover more than the book blurb, but I ended up really enjoying this story. So much so, that I read it in one sitting.

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Other Half of Me, Katherine Slee
July 7, 2022, Amazon Publishing UK/Lake Union Publishing

Thank you @netgalley and @lakeunionauthors for the #ARC in exchange for an honest review.

It is exceedingly rare that I give a book five stars and this both absolutely deserves five stars. The Other Half of Me pulled at my heartstrings as it took me on a voyage of self discovery and forgiveness for Beth.

The story begins with Beth, a pianist in a bar, recieving a package from her recently deceased sister, Lucy. The package contains clues that lead Beth on a scavenger hunt of sorts that requires her to face mistakes in her past and forgive others, as well as herself.

This story is so beautifully written, I could not put it down and am not sure what took me so long to finally read it! A bonus is that it is now available on Kindle Unlimited!

#bookstagram #bookstagrammer @katherinesleewrites #kindleunlimited #fivestarread
#TheOtherHalfofMe #NetGalley

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My Other Half is a riveting novel that is delightful and enjoyable to read, beautifully written, and showcases the extraordinary talent of the author.
I really like this style of writing, sharp, funny and charming. It is full of hope, loss, betrayal, and love that is lost and found. As a portrayal of sibling relationship, it's very real, and while the actual plot is fairly predictable, the way it's written fascinates me.
I think the flashback chapters are a great addition to the book, they almost create an air of mystery about why Beth came to be this way and how she solved Lucy's mysteries.

It is highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley for the copy!

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