Genre: Sci Fi, Fantasy
Published: March 5th, 2013
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
"The only thing worse than forgetting her past... is remembering it.
When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.
Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.
Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.
Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?" ~Goodreads
This book surprised me in a lot of ways. First of all, before I read the description I thought it was going to be just straight contemporary. Girl loses memory in plane crash, boy finds girl, boy tries to convince girl they were in love, girl eventually remembers (probably after another blow to the head), everyone goes home happy. Cut and dry, simple. That's what I was expecting. That is not what happened. I started reading this book at around 2 A.M. As I read the last words of the prologue I shot up in bed (like literally sat straight up) and said to no one in particular "What?!". Then I was hooked.
- WTF just happened: as mentioned previously this book was full of surprises and I love it when a story can keep me guessing. Most of the surprises were well-timed and exciting and I loved that. Some of them could have been left out as well but overall I was happy with the level of excitement in the story.
- Great Pacing: at no point while reading this book was I bored. The microscopic chapters probably helped with this. There are 46 chapters in this book but they fly by at lighting speed, in a good way. Brody obviously knows how to tell a story without unnecessary padding.
- Sera and her crazy brain: I really don't want to give anything away so you'll have to excuse me if this review is a bit vague, but let me just say that I really liked Sera's voice. She isn't a normal amnesiac. She's actually always been a little different. Therefore she has a unique world-view and when you throw in a crippling case of amnesia, trust issues and all kinds of strangers the outcome is pretty intense. This isn't a "sit down and cry" kind of story, but it is one that makes you question what makes us who we are and Sera is a great example of that.
- My brain hurts: this is a problem i often have with sci fi books. Some of it was a bit convoluted and a lot of it was hard to grasp. Perhaps if I had more of a background in science (or even science fiction) for that matter, I would have "gotten it" more easily. As it was, I struggle through understanding a lot of the technological stuff that was going on in the story. I think it could have been done more simply.
- Not exactly insta-love: Okay, so Zen and Sera have known each other for awhile and they are in love, at least until she loses her memory, but the intensity of Zen's feeling and Sera's willingness to reciprocate just didn't impress me. I guess I just didn't see the plausibility of the extent that Zen went to to get Sera back. That sounds heartless (and I will have you know that a certain college professor of mine used to say I was "cold" when it came to logic - I think we were talking about nuclear war at the time) but I just wasn't feeling it.
- Don't rush the ending: I really felt like the author piled way too much information into the last several chapters, tied up loose ends and then boom, it was over. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like there was much of a pay-off in the end and it didn't sit well with me.
There are supposed to be at least two more books in this series. Honestly I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think that if the ending were different this could have been a stand alone novel and that would have been fine. However, I will most likely pick up the next one as I did really enjoy the writing style and the story, for the most part, was entertaining.