My fantastic and thoughtful husband bought me a Kindle for Christmas, and one of the first things I did was use my library card to sign up for the Oregon Digital Library Consortium, which is a fancy way of saying, “check out e-books for free with your library card!”. I immediately placed holds on as many books as I could, and FINALLY it was my turn yesterday to check out my very first e-book:
Ann Brashares is the author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, along with a few other young adult novels. It came to my attention while browsing the e-book selection that this was the only book of hers that I had never read, so of course I had to check it out.
My Name Is Memory (read an excerpt of the book here) revolves around the concept of reincarnation, and centers around two people (souls) – Daniel & Sophia. Daniel is a rare soul in that he has a memory, which in this sense means he remembers all of his past lives and recognizes the past souls he has encountered. Sophia does not. Daniel fell in love with Sophia in an early life and has been searching for her again and again in each of his later lives, because he will never stop loving her. Basically, they are soul mates. But whenever he does happen to find her, the timing is bad or circumstances prevent them from being together (and the fact that Sophia does not remember or recognize him is also a tad bit of a problem). Now he has finally found her in present day (as Lucy), at the right time and right place, but the dilemma is whether will Lucy ever remember who he is, who she is, and who they are together. And of course, it would not be a story without an evil villain who threatens the potential love-fest.
The story is told from both Daniel’s & Lucy's points of view, and alternates back and forth from present day to flashbacks of Daniel’s previous lives. The flashbacks tell us the story of Daniel & Sophia and how they came to be where they are today. It was an excellent read. I loved the mystery of learning about Daniel’s past lives, and how he and Sophia fell in love over and over throughout time. The reincarnation element was very creative on the author’s part, because she used it to create an entirely different type of world that exists within the world we know. I could not put the Kindle down, and I managed to finish the book in one day. It is a love story, but the complications of the storyline make it so much more interesting than your average love story.
HOWEVER – my enjoyment of the book came to a screeching halt with the last page. I will not tell you how it ends, primarily because it DOESN’T really end. I began to suspect this when I noticed that the progress bar on my Kindle was at 99% and I thought, “How on earth is it possible that this story almost over?”. A few pages later my suspicions were confirmed. The ending is a total cliffhanger, leaving a gazillion unanswered questions, and not telling you how the conflict of the story was resolved or what happened to Daniel & Lucy. For those of you who like to be left in suspense or draw your own conclusions to answer questions, perhaps you won’t mind it so much. I, however, prefer clear cut happy endings and this so called “ending” was neither obvious nor did it give me any happiness.
This left me with two possibilities – either the author couldn’t figure out how to end her own story OR she intends to write a sequel. Based on reader reviews from Amazon, many people seem under the impression that My Name Is Memory will have a sequel or possibly even be the beginning of a trilogy. However, I Googled for a solid 15 minutes on this possibility and came up with neither concrete nor current evidence of this as fact. And given that this book was released nearly two years ago, you would think that if there truly was going to be a sequel, there would be some sort of proof or release date by now. Which makes me sad, because I really love this book and I want to know what happens gosh dang it!
That being said, I absolutely would still recommend this read to anyone who is a fan of love stories or of the Sisterhood series. But if you think a cliffhanger will leave you as unsatisfied as me, I would wait and see if another book really is coming, and if so get both and read them one after another.
And in the meantime, Ms. Brashares? I will be impatiently waiting for a sequel. So get cracking on that.