Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Latest Reads

I read several reviews of My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares and was very interested in reading it based on its premise.  So when I was at the bookstore and holding it in my hands, reading the cover blurb, I just had to have it.  $28 and I still had to have it.

Yes, I am a believer in reincarnation.  And, as the blurb begins: "A magical story that changes the way we understand the world and proves the power and endurance of a love that is meant to be."  And so the story begins.

Here's how the book begins:
" I have lived more than a thousand years.  I have died countless times.  I forget precisely how many times.  My memory is an extraordinary thing, but it is not perfect.  I am human.
The early lives blur a bit.  The arc of your soul follows the pattern of each of your lives.  It is macrocosmic.  There was my childhood.  There have been many childhoods.  And even in the early part of my soul I reached adulthood many times.  "These days, in every one of my infancies, the memory comes faster.  We go through the motions.  We look oddly at the world around us.  We remember."
It grabbed me immediately.  Unfortunately, it didn't last for long.

Lucy Broward is graduating from high school and desperately wants her high school crush, Daniel Gray, to really notice her.  At the last dance of the year,  Daniel does notice her, but the interaction between them leaves her confused.  Why did he call her Sophia?  Well, you can guess that...

Daniel has the "memory".  He remembers his past lives and his one true love, Sophia.  He can recognize old souls that he knew in his past.  But he and Sophia have never been able to get together and experience their true love.  Now he has found Sophia in Lucy and he was unable to play it cool with her at the dance, but came on too strong and scared her off.

The book explores some of Daniel's past lives and does give some good information about the beliefs/theories of reincarnation.  However, I just didn't care for the way that the story was written.  Because of my interest in reincarnation, I finished the book, but my heart was never really in it.

And I could have bought us dinner with the $28.

Upon finishing the above book, I began reading Joyce Carol Oates' newest book, Little Bird of Heaven.  I had some trouble initially getting into the story, but I ended up liking the book quite a bit.  I do like her style of writing!

The story is primarily told through Krista Diehl, the daughter of Eddie and Lucille of Sparta, New York. A local singer/waitress, Zoe Kruller, is found killed and Krista's father is the last person to have been with her, shattering his families world as they learn of Eddie's infidelities.  Eddie is a "person of interest" in the case, along with Zoe's estranged husband.  Neither are listed as "suspects", just "persons of interest" and for years, that is how the case remained.

Zoe had a son, Aaron, who Krista had a crush on.  Krista's brother Ben was in the same class in school as Aaron.  Through high school, Aaron terrorized Ben in retaliation for what Ben's father had done with Aaron's mother.

The story covers about 20 years following the murder and does a really nice job telling the aftereffects of tragedy on the surviving family members.

Good book!

So, two books read, one book recommended.  I hate that.  I want to love every book I read!  Is that too much to ask? (yes, I know that it really is).

On a last note: I headed to Goodwill the other day to build up my To Be Read list (I always come close to a panic without several books waiting for me in the wings) and came out of there with 8 books for under $8.  Hooray!  My catchs? I got the following:
     Love Medicine, My Last Days as Roy Rogers, Surrender Dorothy, Blood     Memory, Fault Lines, Light on Snow, I Been in Sorrow's Kitchen and Licked All the Pots, and Safe Houses.

 Has anyone read any of these?  Would love to hear what your thoughts are...what should I read next?



Brenna said...

"My Name is Memory" does have a really fantastic premise! I loved the first few sentences. It's a shame it didn't perpetuate like that throughout the whole book.

Susan said...

There aren't a lot of good books out on reincarnation, are there? Life after Life is one that I found very good, but it's non-fiction.All I can think of is the Reincarnation of Audrey Rose!! Thanks for the review, this is one book I can avoid.