For What It's Worth

Monday, January 9, 2017

Review: keep me in mind by jaime reed




A girl who doesn't remember. A boy who can't forget her. A wise, witty, and heartbreaking love story for today's YA generation.

Ellia Dawson doesn't recognize the handsome boy who sits in tears by her hospital bed. But he's telling her that he's Liam McPherson, her boyfriend. Boyfriend? Ellia thinks in shock. She has no clue who Liam is, let alone whether or not she once loved him. She remembers her family, her friends, and the fact that she wants to be a fashion designer. But Liam is a big blank in her life.


Meanwhile, Liam is devastated that Ellia, the love of his life, who suffered an accident while they were running together on the beach, has lost her memory. He is desperate to win her back, rebuild what they once had, but Ellia keeps him at an arm's length. She's much more comfortable with a new boy she meets at the hospital, who understands more what she's going through. So Liam begins writing the story of the two of them, piecing together the past in the hopes of having a future with the girl he loves.


Told from alternating perspectives, this is a lyrical, clever, and surprising novel from Jaime Reed
. ~ Goodreads


Source: Amazon Vine review program in exchange for an honest review on their site

Review:

I’m not usually a fan of stories about amnesia but I decided to give Keep Me in Mind a try anyway, thanks to all the positive reviews. I’m glad I did because it, mostly, works thanks to Reed’s handling of amnesia as a real medical condition that has repercussions for, not only the patient, but for family and friends as well.

Ellia and Liam’s relationship is thrown into a tailspin after Ellia falls, bangs her head and slips into a coma for 3 days and wakes with no memory of him. Liam is left struggling to try to make Ellia remember him and all they've shared.

As I mentioned, Reed shows how confusing it can be for Ellia to have no recollection of the person who was supposedly the love of your life and to hear, second hand, about all the things you used to enjoy, like sewing, all the wild things you did – and have zero desire to be that person again.

Friends and family have to find a way to bond with this new version of Ellia. Some people want her back the way she was and some, like her family, are quite pleased with the way she is now because she was so wild and uncontrollable before. Not to mention - no more Liam.

As much as I enjoyed how the author dealt with the amnesia aspect, I had problems with the way the actual story was told.

It’s written in alternating POV’s between Liam and Ellia. Liam is an aspiring writer and mostly tells of their former relationship in flashbacks that also reveal cracks in the supposedly perfect couple facade. That created a distance for me, as Liam’s writings were often over the top and awkward.

Add in a mystery about the accident, that isn’t really a mystery, and interfering parents and my attention started getting pulled in too many directions.

I really wish the book stayed more focused on the amnesia (I can’t believe I’m saying that!) and the complex family dynamics and less on the anti-climatic mystery of the fall.

Things I liked: That it dealt with an interracial romance, a realistic teen relationship, amnesia as medical condition – not a plot device. While this is a YA romance, I wouldn’t say it’s a conventional romance. It’s a little messy and a lot realistic, including a nice but not tidy/perfect ending.

Not so much: making a bigger deal out of the initial accident than it was to get the plot to where it needed to go. Liam’s POV’s were often distancing to me.

This book might appeal to fans of the Vow and The Notebook, although in this book the romantic elements aren't as strong as in the movies.

24 comments:

  1. I'm not usually a fan of amnesia stories as well, but this one does sound really good. I love that it played out realistically. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. It was one of the better ones I've read regarding the topic.

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  2. You say the handling of amnesia is realistic, but is it possible to be selectively amnesiac to the extent that you don't remember the love of your (teen) life, while you remember everybody else? I'm just wondering.

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    1. I thought the relationship/romance was realistic.It was kind of messy and not as perfect as it's first presented to the reader.

      As for the amnesia - I'm not sure how realistic it was but I thought it was handled better than I've read in the past. It's usually a hook or plot device with no real world complications or an easy *oh I remember everything now!* fix.

      She lost a certain chunk of time that included her relationship with Liam. So she might remember a friend from before but not what transpired during the time lost. Which was the case with her best friend. And I have heard of that type of amnesia so it seems plausible to me.

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    1. Not for you - there I made the decision lol

      But seriously, not your type of read.

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  4. So happy that the author portrayed amnesia well, it does sound like it would be an interesting read. I'm surprised that the accident was the mystery, I would have thought the author would just move on.

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    1. It's one of those things that one character feels guilty so thinks *things* are a bigger deal than they are. Or maybe - as a reader - after all the build up I expect more lol

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  5. I'm not a fan of amnesia books either, but since you're saying that aspect kinda worked for you I'm thinking maybe it will for me. Hmmmmm

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    1. I can't say I loved it but it was one of the better ones I've read.

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  6. I think my biggest worry after reading beginning of your review was that Liam could easily turn stalkerish but it sounds like she at least didn't go toward that trope. This one sounds interesting to me and I'm glad it at least worked for you on some levels.

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    1. Ya know...he kind of was. He was so in love with her and thought if he just did enough he could shake her memory. I guess I understood where he was coming from and Ellia did a good job with keeping her own boundaries with him.

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  7. You do hear about amnesia books a lot, but this one sounds different - since it's a contemporary that uses the diagnosis in medical terms. I think I'd like that aspect better.

    -Lauren

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  8. I do like this trope but I also get how frustrating it could get. At the same time, I'm also an impatient reader so trying to piece the character's past together drains me sometimes.

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    1. It was really the mystery part that bugged me most. You think all the flashbacks are leading to more and they aren't really.

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  9. Hmmm...sounded promising from the synopsis but I don't think this one is for me.

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    1. It was different. Glad I read it but not my usual kind of read either.

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  10. Every time I see or come across amnesia in a book it instantly reminds me of telenovelas. I haven't read this but I hope the loss of memory part isn't as bad as they present it in daytime soap. lol

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    1. Not soapy a tall. I remember watching all those shows when I was young. Man they always loved a good amnesia or back from the dead story lol

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  11. Intrigued by amnesia, this is definitely one I'll be keeping a look out for even if I too end up disappointed that the book doesn't focus more on the condition.

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    1. It focused quite a bit on the condition - I guess I wished the mystery took a back seat. The amnesia itself was enough of a catalyst for the relationships without trying to make it more dramatic.

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  12. I think I'd pick it up if only for the interracial romance and the amnesia. I'm kind of iffy on the mystery part, haha. I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

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  13. Your description of this one really does remind me of a movie like the Vow and The Notebook... and thus maybe not something I would be particularly into reading personally. Good to hear that you liked certain aspects of the read anyways.

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