Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Monday, May 23, 2011

"My Name is Memory" by Ann Brashares

I'm going to have to be more careful about what I put on my wish list. This book screams
(I can already picture the movie version. Alex Pettyfer will star.) Not only do I dislike books that scream at me--a whisper is much nicer--but Twilight? What a thing to aspire to. Although I suppose it's relatively easy to understand how an author might want to emulate Stephenie Meyer in hopes of a career that follows the same trajectory as hers.

This is the story of Lucy and Daniel and their eternal looooohgve. (Sorry, I gagged on that.) These two have spent centuries of lifetimes in near misses, with Daniel (and his exceptional memory, hence the title) pursuing Lucy (a.k.a. Sophia, and sometimes Constance) through a series of reincarnations. Which, of course, never quite match up well enough for a romance, until they meet in high school in 2004 and finally Lucy isn't married to Daniel's brother, or 80 years older than he is. I guess this is the sort of book people are talking about when they refer to a "paranormal romance." Romance! Why didn't someone warn me?

I should have known this book might not be for me--the author also wrote the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books. But this one was supposed to be for grown-ups!  However, a book doesn't become a book for adults just by having one of your characters drink bourbon and say a few rude words. With some not-so-careful editing, this would have been yet another example of the drivel that is being published for teenagers these days.

Especially towards the end, I was ever-more-frequently telling myself THIS IS SO STUPID. And yet . . . I kept reading. I mean, I kind of feel obligated to finish my Book Club books. But I also must admit I had to find out what was going to happen. The story wasn't necessarily compelling, but it was interesting enough. And I literally gasped aloud (I probably even raised my eyebrows) when I figured out why Lucy was so uncomfortable with Daniel after he came back, so I suppose I was invested in the narrative to some extent.

If you plan to read this book, you must be warned that it ends without a resolution, leaving the story wide open for a sequel. Which, as far as I can tell, hasn't been written yet. So if that sort of thing bothers you, step away from the novel.


Ti said...

I already knew this book wasn't for me but after reading your post, I am happy that my "book picker" wasn't off the mark. Anyhing even remotely like Twilight is worth skipping (imo).

mummazappa said...

heh! I'm a lover of paranormal romance so trashy with poor editing doesn't bother me so much - we all have our literary crack, don't judge me. I mostly haven't read this on outraged principle because of the character names, Luce and Daniel being the exact names of the the characters from another series with the same exact plot. At least be originally unoriginal!

Kathy said...

Ti--I'm with you on this one. I understand that some people eat this stuff up, but it's just not for me.

Zap--funny, that exact thing came up during our discussion at book club. One of our new members had read Lauren Kate's Fallen and was surprised at the similarities.

Andi said...

Bummer! I associate this one more with The Gargoyle than Twilight. Haven't read it yet, have it on my library wishlist, and gratefully so since I don't think I'd want to drop any $$$ on it!

Great review!

Kathy said...

Andi--I'd say you're right--this has more shades of The Gargoyle than of Twilight, though it's definitely geared towards teenagers. But if you liked The Gargoyle and you enjoy YA, this might be right up your alley!