Thank you to NetGallery for my free copy, in exchange for an honest review. This is such a hard review for me to do guys, I wanted to love this book the cover, blurb and genre have ‘Kim’s read’ all over it. I removed myself totally as a writer and just read as I always do, but I found plot gaps, a slow pace, things not scientifically possible from first hand experience as a reader… Oh man! Let’s get into the review..
A riveting debut psychological thriller about the power memory has over us.
Portia Willows was a senior in high school in Los Angeles when her world fell apart. While dealing with the aftermath of the accident that took the lives of her mother and sister, she finds herself forced to face her own memory―which may not be quite what it seems. But Portia suffers from severe social anxiety disorder that prevented her from having any sort of life, while her little sister, Piper, was her best, and only, friend.
Now, five years later, Portia is forced to recall the events of the past while being questioned about a horrific crime she doesn’t remember. During those years, Portia had created a toxic, agoraphobic, life with her father, cigarettes and alcohol her only companions, unable to cope with her loss. That is, until Ethan Torke moved in across the street and changed Portia’s perspective in ways she could not possibly comprehand. But the truth always catches up with you, and fantasies never last. An unforgettable tale of memory, love, and strength through the darkest of times, Remember announces a brave new voice in psychological suspense.
Kim’s Review 2 (ish) ‘mm-kay’ Stars
That blurb sucked me in, it sounds like an amazing read I read this book in two sittings, it’s like 300 pages plus. I really wanted to know how it ended as the blurb seems like this is a fantastic story. The idea of the story and blurb IS FANTASTIC, for me as a reader the execution of it was a little weak because…
Character development– from the 300 pages I read I still have no idea what Portia looks like AT ALL. I don’t even know her race, if I had to guess I would say white. There was a lot of reference to how much her and her sister looked alike, but what do they look like? So physically there was no development. As a person for Portia there was also a lack of development from 300 pages. This book is written in first person (up close from the character’s POV) and other than ‘I screamed’ I never felt her emotions. As a reader the author did not give a reasonably deep POV to really move me as a reader, and allow me to connect to her. Given the seriousness of the story line Portia could have been written a lot stronger. I felt like the author could have ‘put herself in Portia’s shoes’ a little stronger to do her justice.
General character development- There was a description made of a character who had ‘medium toned skin’… I pulled the book back from me and said, ‘what’s that?’ The descriptions were a little weakly written. It reminded me of when I read a book (in this same genre) and the author wrote ‘ she opened her African-American eyes’. (I was like what the f**k is that? Aint they brown, like a Chinese, white any other races’ eyes?) Overall I had a hard time with getting connected due to development.
Plot Gaps- there is a scene where a character mentions that Portia had been brought to the hospital a number of times over the years, by her boyfriend… I only saw him do that once when she was pregnant, I don’t recall that.
When she was pregnant he found out the sex of the child via ultrasound at three month’s gone. This is not scientifically possible…as a mother I can confirm, it’s over twenty weeks you find out this info. The baby is too small at three months. *sighs* simple things requiring research spoiled the plot for me as a reader.
Pace – for a 300 page book not much happens in the first 75 percent. Portia’s sister and mother die and she has a three year relationship with a guy. For me personally as a reader for a thriller genre book all this was too slow, no red herrings to throw readers off, or ‘pulse.’
Writing style- it’s written in first person ( I love this) but a little weakly. The story is also told back to front ( I love this style), but as a reader the time frames jumping back and forward I felt I did not spend enough time there ( underdeveloped story), in order for it to have an impact. I felt like I was just jumping around for the sake of it, not to keep me thinking as a reader or to really develop anything or build up.
It’s a fact not every book you read you will love, but as a reader I expected so much more and was so excited to discover the book. Overall to sum it up and without being mean either, from my reading experience generally it’s an underdeveloped and slow novel to be a psychological thriller in the true sense. The ending made less impact or was believable (for me) due to this. Without being mean again, when you find gaps,etc there are only so many stars you can award for your enjoyment , but I wish this author so much luck with her writing career. From me as a reader….two stars, I did not hate it, but as a reader I found a few things that held me back from loving it.