June 06, 2013

Review: My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

My Name Is Memory

Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. Daniel has "the memory", the ability to recall past lives and recognize souls of those he's previously known. It is a gift and a curse. For all the times that he and Sophia have been drawn together throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart. A love always too short.
Interwoven through Sophia and Daniel's unfolding present day relationship are glimpses of their expansive history together. From 552 Asia Minor to 1918 England and 1972 Virginia, the two souls share a long and sometimes torturous path of seeking each other time and time again. But just when young Sophia (now "Lucy" in the present) finally begins to awaken to the secret of their shared past, to understand the true reason for the strength of their attraction, the mysterious force that has always torn them apart reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.
A magical, suspenseful, heartbreaking story of true love, My Name is Memory proves the power and endurance of a union that was meant to be.

Long Story Short: 

You get a handful with this book. It lets you visit very interesting times in history and places in the world, it introduces unique characters with great personalities, it shows the development of a man throughout the centuries. It has - as the synopsis says - a very magical, mystical touch. However, you have to be up for an open ending (and, I promise) frustration to go with it.

RATING: 2/3 Smarties


This book was a bit weird. Interesting. Different from what I ususally read.
Let's start with what I liked.
My Name is Memory definitely reminds me of Alyson Noel's The Immortals Series - the premise is basically the exact same thing. You could even see the book as some kind of prequel to Damen's story,because the concept is so similar.
Special about the book is that Brashares does not put a too heavy focus on the Paranormal aspect. She weaves Daniel's ability and Lucy's reaction into the real world and makes her concept almost sound like reality - or, at least, like a very philosophical discussion. On top of that, I did not expect the author to put so much emphasis on Daniel's other lives and his story and development. However, by doing that she brought historical elements into the story which gave it an even more unique touch.
The basic idea and the way Brashares brought it to paper is something I really, really admire. Not only is this novel different from every YA book I've ever read, it also appeared way more mature and grown - up than most YA books.
The characters fit into that scheme perfectly. Both, Daniel and Lucy, were very calm and centered. In school, they were the kind of people who didn't reallly belong with anyone but got along with everyone and then later, they just seem to lead their own, a bit lonely lives. 
This could have been something to ruin the book completely, because especially Lucy's life in college was not enough to entertain me throughout the whole entire book. As I said before, though, Lucy doesn't even play that a big role in the first half of the book - the focus is on Daniel's story - which helped the reader connect to Daniel as the MC and get to know him while still seeing how he developed throughout the years.
One thing that bothered me a bit was how the real villain was only introduced towards the ending. With all the flashbacks to Daniel's past Brashares did give enough story to keep me glued to the book, but letting the antagonist into the game at such a late point left me with the feeling of a rushed ending.
The ending in general gets a big no from me,too. It didn't work (for me) at all! First, we get to shiver and hope that our characters will finally find to each other, then we get something that kind of looks like a cheesy happy ending and then we're left in the dark without a sequel? A cliffhanger at the ending of a standalone is a complete no-go for me, so that's why ultimately I can't recommend this book very enthusiastically. If you like Brashares's writing style and/or are looking for somehting unique in the YA - universe then yes, give it a try. If not, leave it be. 


  1. I read this a few years ago, as an ARC, and really enjoyed it...until I got to the ending. I was so mad, until I found out she was (at the time) going to make it into a trilogy. I don't think she has any plans to continue it now though, which really stinks. I would have loved to read more of their story. And I agree, it is much like The Immortals!

  2. Hmmm... sound very interesting.
    but i hate bummer endings! :(

    great review!
    Theresa Jones

    Also, feel free to stop by my blog to enter my $100 Giveaway!


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