Saturday, November 19, 2011


By: Elizabeth Scott
hardcover, 269 pages
Published September 15th, 2011 by Dutton Juvenile

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers...but only in exchange for her trust.

My Ratings Breakdown:
Story: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Characters: 1/5
Writing: 2/5
Ending: 1/5
Score: 10/25
My Rating: 

First Thoughts: You know that feeling that you get when you spin around really fast, over and over, and then when you stop you're left discombobulated and everything is still spinning? Well, that's the feeling that this book gave me. It was just a nonstop blinding blizzard of confusion and me going, "what the heck?" over and over. There was a lot of potential within the story line but it never reached it's full height.

Story: The story starts out with Ava waking up and not knowing where she is. This causes her to panic and run out of her room, her house, and out into a yard on a street that she's never seen before. This leads to numerous scenes in the same, "where am I?", "how did I get here?", and, "Why do these people act like they know me when I'm not who they think and say I am?" The beginning really didn't pull me in, but I kept reading, thinking maybe in the end after we reach the climax, that the pieces would begin fitting together to create this amazing literary puzzle. But, alas, it did not. If there is some larger meaning behind the story, I do not know what it is. While Scott makes it to be as though there is the premise of soul mates, and that one soul can exist on many different planes, and different universes, which is a cool idea, she doesn't execute the delivery at all. 

Plot: The main plot was that Ava had woken up with amnesia and had no clue where she was or who the people in her life were, but she retained who she was, just a different version of herself. She knows these people, but not this version of them. Confusing, right? That's how the whole book goes, Ava experiences something that sparks memories of these people in different personalities and lights. Throughout the story, Ava gets these little tidbits that help prove her case that she isn't the Ava that everyone believes that she is, but can't fully grasp the enormity of the situation. 

Characters: You want to feel sorry for Ava at the beginning. Putting yourself in her shoes, waking up not knowing where you are and the people around you are all familiar but different. You know them, but you don't. And on top of it all, everyone is trying to tell you that you're wrong, that you are this person, even though your heart screams that you're not. Ava's character wants to be this strong person who's dealing with this most inopportune situation but I didn't get enough insight into her to even really care about her.

Her mother, Jane, comes across as this annoying, clingy, needy character who I couldn't stand. 

The love interest, Morgan, is probably the one that stands his ground, stays the strong, rebellious one through the whole story.

Ava's friends, Greer, Olivia, Sophy, and Ethan are so pointless and stupid and I don't even know why they are in the story. 

Clementine - who is the one who sent Ava to this existence - is just an odd kooky old lady.

The SAT & PDM; and the Creche - still, no clue what these really are other than watch-dogs for the government akin to hunting down and eliminating anyone exhibiting rebellious thoughts and actions; and an orphanage type place for parents who were taken down by the SAT.

Writing: I. Hated. The. Dialogue. Hated. It. With. A. Passion. Every time a character when to speak, they would start out saying one thing -- and then change and say something else. It was choppy, poorly put-together, and just irritated me. When you have characters so hesitant, that change their minds and never speak the words they are feeling, you cannot connect with them. At all. If this is the style of any books Scott's written, or will write, count me out.

There weren't many parts where I felt a part of the story, I didn't lose myself in the book like I do with so many others. Poor writing can ruin a book, and in this case I feel it truly did.

The story alternates between the present, and Ava's memories of the "past" (her other existence?) while trying to tie the two together. This approach comes off as stagnant, still, not going anywhere. 

Ending: The end didn't clarify anything. It just ended with the most minute, minimal amount of closure possible. It felt like there was so much more to Ava's story - so much more where Scott could've expanded parts and cut others out altogether. The end made me just close the book and go, "Uh, okay?" 

Final Thoughts: I keep going over this story in my mind, trying to pull it apart and pick out pieces that were good, that I truly liked, and I can't. Not one. I finished the book and that in itself is a feat. I definitely wouldn't recommend it or suggest buying it, but as a quick, easy read that you won't get anything out of other than a few hours wasted time, it's your call.

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