My Name is Memory
I am a huge fan of Ann Brashares, and have read every book she's written. So when I found out she had a new book coming out this year, I was thrilled! Until I saw the premise ... I'm definitely not a fan of paranormal, and while time travel in the sense of - well, I guess it's basically reincarnation - isn't that "paranormal" it was a little odd and not really on my reading radar. But the cover kept beckoning, and I kept seeing it popping up in places, so I gave in. Oh. Wow. I am so glad I did. The story isn't about reincarnation so much as it is about memory - and what makes a person the person they are. It's about trust and faith and love. It's about humanity. And it's a bittersweet romance.
Daniel, the one who remembers the most, gives us all the backstory, which involves a lot of flashbacks/memories. They're nicely done however, and clearly marked - both by chapter headings and a change in font. The memories are scattered in among the 'current' story, and help explain why everything is happening as it is in the now. In the process of learning about Daniel and Lucy/Sophia's past, the reader also gets to experience fun historical vignettes - Daniel has lived many times, and has many memories. This is most definitely a book that requires the willing suspension of disbelief -- it is rather fantastic at points -- but if you read the words on the page instead of trying to reconcile them with a sense of reality, the story will take you amazing places.
All things considered, I'm glad I took a chance on My Name is Memory -- it is very different from what I tend to read, but the story was everything I expect from Brashares. Sometimes risks are lesser than their rewards.
Book provided by my local library.