My Second Life by Faye Bird

The first time I was born, I was Emma. I was beautiful. I had everything to live for. But I died. I was twenty-two.


Fifteen-year-old Ana has always known that she’s lived before, haunted by memories that aren’t hers – memories of being Emma. But when her two lives collide in one chance meeting, suddenly she’s bombarded with terrifying visions of a little girl who tragically drowned.
Was Emma responsible? And should Ana pay the price? Consumed by guilt, Ana will do anything to uncover the truth.
Intriguing, compelling, heartbreaking. What if your past life could shatter your future?

Author Website
Read an extract
The books that inspired My Second Life
Faye Bird on My Second Life
If you loved this, why not try…
Looking for JJ – Anne Cassidy
All the Truth That’s in Me – Julie Berry
Split Second – Sophie McKenzie
The Killing Woods – Lucy Christopher
Hostage Three – Nick Lake


21 thoughts on “My Second Life by Faye Bird

  1. Victoria says:
    My Second Life has an exciting plot which paints a picture of the story, bit by bit. I though some bits were a little repetitive but I think that built into the impact of the story, as she was repeating her life as Ana. I liked the mystery element of the book and how it kept us guessing at what happened to Ana in her first life and what was the secret that everyone from her past seemed to be hiding.

  2. I enjoyed this book because although Ana faced problems unimaginable from the past, she also faced realistic teenage problems such as school and boys. I also loved the storyline and characters.

  3. I thought this was a really good story and the idea of having more than one life made it even more enjoyable. I wasn’t totally convinced, however, that Ana had sufficient reason to go digging around in the past when her present was so good. I was also surprised that Ana’s relationship with her boyfriend was only touched upon. I think, in reality, he would have been a presence throughout the book and this would have made the whole plot more convincing. I’d like to have known more about Emma as a teenager and what finally made her kill herself. We’re left to work this out for ourselves and it would have been nice to know.

  4. I really enjoyed this book; it’s so deep and the more we talk about it, the more we find to say. I’m still not convinced that Ana has sufficient reason to risk losing all the good things – brilliant mum, good friends, doing well at school – by digging up the past, especially as her memories of Catherine aren’t pleasant but there wouldn’t be a story if she didn’t. This is a really deep book, part detective story and part psychological thriller. The pieces fitted together in a very satisfying way.

  5. Sidra says:
    Salvage was an interesting book, although I found the plot a bit too predictable. It was like any other typical broken-family story. Although, I do guess that it could be relatable to people in this situation in reality. Nonetheless, it was cleverly written and the characters were unique and different.

    Olivia says:
    I am a big fan of mysteries and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was so interesting and intriguing. Ana remembering Emma’s life with all her memories but being unable to discover if she had killed Catherine or not kept me anticipating more. I desperately wanted to know more after the book ended and even though the storyline was not left open I would willingly read a sequel.

  6. I enjoyed reading My Second Life very much and once I started couldn’t put the book down. The story was gripping, well-paced and had great character development. I would recommend it to anyone 🙂

  7. I found My Second Life amazing, I liked the way it unfolded very fast. However I would like to know how Ana handled having two mums, I also like the bitter but yet so sweet ending 🙂

  8. This is a really gripping book that you know that something is always going to happen. It’s something that you wonder whether you can have a second life or not, whether it’s for a reason or something that happened in the past.

  9. I found the concept of this book very interesting, and it portrayed the conflict between Ana and her previous life as Emma very well, and revealed the truth slowly, so that it left you guessing, and made it a difficult book to put down. The storyline was intriguing, and kept you hooked into the plot, and, despite being a strange concept to realize, the idea of living a second life was written in a very believable way, with interesting characters and great detail into the characters emotions. I did find, however, that the topic of how life was before meeting Frances was only briefly touched upon, and going into more depth may have improved character development a bit more. Overall, however, My Second Life was very well written, and an enjoyable book to read.

  10. I found “My Second Life” a truly gripping and intriguing novel. It was truly gripping and I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I found the character of Emma/Ana a great one, the structure of the book allowed for great detail into Emma/Ana’s emotions and thought, meaning it was very easy to connect with how she was feeling.
    Although, I found that the plot was quite a fast one, not leaving much detail when it came to the bigger plot points in the novel. It is, however, a great, thrilling yet bizarre novel that glued me to the edge of my seat until the very last sentence

  11. I struggled with this book but after it was explained and we talked about it quite a lot in Book Club, I’ve begun to really like it. I can see that it is clever.

  12. I really like this book. It was a clever idea and I was gripped from the start. I really believed that Ana was driven to find out the truth about Catherine’s death to stop the dreams and help Emma move on, even when obstacles were put in her way. The only disappointment was never finding out how Catherine died but discovering the web of intrigue surrounding it kind of makes up for this.

  13. I really enjoyed this book and found that I couldn’t stop reading it, as the story was too interesting and I wanted to discover the mystery of Ana’s past. I also found the ending sad but understood why the book had to end like that.

  14. I found this book slightly daunting at first but by the end I surprised myself by thinking that the whole thing could be possible. I didn’t love this book but as I got into it, I began to find it gripping, sinister and quite believable.

  15. I like this book for its suspense and intrigue and the way it read like a detective novel, without being obvious. I thought the characters were well-rounded, interesting and credible except Jamie, who perhaps wasn’t really necessary. I also liked the bitter-sweet ending. Very clever!

  16. I began to enjoy this book the more I got into it and I found the characters increasingly interesting and easy to believe in. At first, I couldn’t understand why Ana kept visiting Frances, but as we piece together what must have happened to Emma, it becomes obvious that Frances holds the answers. Frances was a really dark character and I found myself getting anxious each time Ana went back to visit her. I thought the ending was good but I’d like to have known how Ana handled her two ‘mums’.

  17. One sitting is all it took to read this. It was bizarre, intriguing, strangely addictive and very good for a début novel. I thought Ana/Emma was a very good character and Jamie was lovely. The story unfolds very fast and it is a very easy read as explanations come a bit at a time which is why you don’t want to put it down until you finish it. I thought Frances was a very selfish, vindictive and awful person and I was glad for what happens to her at the finish when they all meet. There were a few twists I did guess but quite a few surprises as well. I was pleased that Ana had the chance to live her life over and I will definitely be reading anything else by this author in the future.

  18. I found this book very mysterious and page-turning. each sentence lead you to wanted to find about the next. I thought while reading it that it was a bit repetitive at times but then again that helped me to be reminded about the situation Ana was in. I really felt that I got to connect with the character and understand how she felt. Very well written 🙂

  19. I found My Second Life thrilling and page turning. I was so intrigued and couldn’t put the book down. Such a great storyline, and brilliant characters. Loved it.

  20. Seeing things from different viewpoints really changed my opinion about lots of things, especially about people like Aidan. I really connected with the characters and believed in the problems they were facing. The cover of the paperback version doesn’t sell the book at all while the hardback cover sums up the story brilliantly. That’s just how I imagined Cass and Aidan.

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