Posts Tagged 'identity'

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

Genre:  Fantasy/Mystery

# of Pages:  306

RAC:  Yes

Alison wakes up in a psychiatric facility with no memory of how she got there.  She has always had the special ability to see colors and taste words, but her mother always told her to hide this for fear of mental illness.  A new doctor tells Alison he believes she has synesthesia, which means she has a heightened sense of all five senses and is considered a real medical condition.  She learns she confessed to killing a friend, but the body has not been recovered and she has no recollection of actually killing her.  As her new doctor tries to help her, Alison comes to find out there is a lot she does not know about him.  Can she ever find out what happened to her friend?  Can she ever prove she is not a danger to society so that she can be free again?

The beginning of this story grabs the reader right from page one.  The story takes many unexpected twists and turns and the eventual explanation of what happened to Alison’s friend will take many readers by surprise.  The synesthesia is an unusual condition that will intrigue readers since it is a real condition that does not signify mental illness.  Fans of mystery, fantasy, and realistic fiction will all find themselves engrossed in this captivating story.

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Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Reading Level:  12 and up

# of Pages:  271

RAC Book:  Yes

Naomi was late at school one day working in the year book office when she tripped down some stairs and suffered a blow to the head.  The result was that she forgot the previous four years of her life, including everyone she met during that time.  Naomi has a difficult time trying to discover why she liked yearbook, tennis, and even her boyfriend.  At the same time she must come to terms with her parents divorce and her father’s new fiancee.

Naomi chooses to make many changes in her life because she believes that she is changed and cannot be the person she was before.  Everyone around her is unbelievably patient and understanding to her situation and never pushes her to do anything.  That does not mean that those around her, specifically her father and best friend, do not get disappointed by her subsequent actions.

The idea of this book was creative and interesting much like Zevin’s previous novel, Elsewhere, but it lacked the follow through that  one did.  The middle lagged as Naomi struggled with discovering herself, and the end was anticlimactic and boring.  No one will dispute that going through something like that would be traumatic, but Naomi seems overly selfish and mean at times to those who have been so understanding to her through everything.  All in all, a bit of a disappointment.

 


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