Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Pandemic of Book Amnesia

Most of the people reading this post are book bloggers or at least very dedicated readers. The type of people that read daily. We devour books like they're food and we're never satisfied. Occasionally we grow impatient with one type of flavour, but upon seeing a really epic trailer for an upcoming book, we get right back into it. We read so much, so fast, and sometimes it takes a toll on our lives. We're those strange people that sometimes would rather just curl up with a nice book instead of going shopping. It's weird to friends who don't read, and we've been told so many times that we read too much.

Another toll it's taken on me is my memory. Now, I'm not blaming books on what I would call "absentmindedness" (or what my mom calls "idiocy"). Rather, where do you think all those thousands, maybe even millions, of words go? They can't all stay in my brain. So some go away. Most people remember general storylines for books they read. They remember character names, backgrounds, covers, anything. Everyone has this issue to some degree, but I feel like I suffer more than others. 

I have book amnesia. Also known as liber amnesia.

It's rather shameful and embarrassing. I have been ridiculed for it. Mostly by this one really mean Vampire Academy/ Sidney Crosby fan, but it still hurts. All jokes aside, I find it really weird and so do others. You might be wondering why, so I'll tell you some of the symptoms of my condition. 


  • forgetting character's names. 
  • forgetting the story.
  • forgetting the title. 
  • forgetting what happens
  • forgetting I ever read the book.
  • forgetting if I liked it or not. 
Now, it's pretty obvious why I write a review for a book almost immediately after reading it. The thing about these "symptoms" is that they aren't exactly bad. Everyone forgets stories and books sometimes. The thing that's a little extreme is how fast I can forget. I've read a book, and a day later can't remember the main character's love interest's name. I've read a book I adored so much that I made my friend buy it and then she reads it within a week of me. We try to talk about the ending but I can't remember it all. It's tragic because you can imagine how much I can remember once I read a sequel of a book I year later. That's right, not much. 


I'm a fighter. I refuse to let this conundrum bring me down. I will read books, and damnit I will remember some of them! Mostly, it's my very favourite series that I remember the most, but even that doesn't work sometimes. So rather than lament about the problem, I seek solutions. 

One solution I found was reading Down The Rabbit Hole's Happily Ever Endings posts. I love these. No seriously, they have saved me so many times. Basically, they are the summaries of endings for books and they, along with some spoilery Goodreads reviews, rescue me from reading a sequel of a book I have no recollection of. Especially since in general I don't like to reread. So they have helped me a lot.

What I'm wondering is if this is common among book readers or am I an anomaly. Do you guys suffer from any type of liber amnesia too? Let us commiserate in the comments!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Quicksilver

Quicksilver (Ultraviolet, #2)

Author: R.J. Anderson
Pages: 314
Publisher: Monarch Books
Source: Review Copy (thanks so very much!)
Synopsis: Back in her hometown, Tori Beaugrand had everything a teenaged girl could want—popularity, money, beauty. But she also had a secret. A secret that could change her life in an instant, or destroy it.

Now she’s left everything from her old life behind, including her real name and Alison, the one friend who truly understood her. She can’t escape who and what she is. But if she wants to have anything like a normal life, she has to blend in and hide her unusual... talents.

Plans change when the enigmatic Sebastian Faraday reappears and gives Tori some bad news: she hasn’t escaped her past. In fact, she’s attracted new interest in the form of an obsessed ex-cop turned investigator for a genetics lab.

She has one last shot at getting her enemies off her trail and winning the security and independence she’s always longed for. But saving herself will take every ounce of Tori’s incredible electronics and engineering skills—and even then, she may need to sacrifice more than she could possibly imagine if she wants to be free.

Buy the Book (Amazon /Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide)

Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson is a very interesting read as it is written similarly to Ultraviolet but with a different tone that is executed very well because the overall personality of the book is much more Tori than Allison. I think that's fantastic because these two characters are so different and that should be reflected in their stories.

It didn't take long for Tori to win me over. After returning from space with Allison, Tori has to leave her hometown and friends in an attempt to evade scientists of all kinds and live a semi-normal life. At this point, we don't know very much about Tori beyond Allison's experiences and I was fascinated and excited to get to know her. For good reason too. I really like Tori.

Tori is just a really resourceful, practical person. She's someone who's decisions I can understand and I connected with her as a reader. I think I'd like her in real life too. She's very reserved, and for good reason, but she ends up being well liked by many because she's so good at reading people. Also, the fact that she is an alien is really interesting. It factors into her personality in some ways and some of my favourite details about Tori was when she talked about how her parents raised her. Tori has her issues with her parents but loves them anyway. There were a lot of scenes in which you see a family just trying it make a hard situation work.

I haven't talked much about Milo but I adore the guy. Milo is great in so many ways. He's a loyal, genuinely good guy that's all kinds of adorable. He thinks for himself too. For example, even though his parents want him to be a doctor, Milo knows that's not the right career path for him so he's planning something different. He doesn't know how to tell his parents this. This is such a tiny piece of information about Milo but I love it because it's something so many people around me are dealing with. Also, Milo is Korean Canadian so he brings some diversity into the book and some of the issues people have with that (which I loved even more).

Like Ultraviolet, Quicksilver's plot is like an avalanche. It starts slow but picks up speed as it goes along. Although this book doesn't feel slow. It's the strangest thing- I'm so into the story and trying to figure out what will happen next. The ending, I thought, was satisfying. One personal note is that I think the plot in Ultraviolet is stronger but the characters in Quicksilver are stronger. It's a wash because the plot is interesting; it's just that I read this book to know what will happen next to Tori and Milo, not to figure out the mystery. Who knows what others think though.

Once again a solid read. These books are different from what's out there and I like them a lot. I'm curious to see what's next for R.J. Anderson. Very deserving of 4 stars,


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review: Ultraviolet

Ultraviolet (Ultraviolet, #1)

Author: R.J. Anderson
Pages: 416
Publisher: Orchard
Source: For Review
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison’s condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can’t explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori—the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that’s impossible. Right?

Buy the Book (AmazonBuy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide)

Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson is all kinds of impressive. The story is incredibly original but I think my favourite part about this book is the fact that it's a fascinating book to read. Not just the overall story but the individual chapters were filled with enriching details.

 It's incredibly rare for me to mention the presentation of a book in a review but I have to say something this time because I was so impressed. It begins with the beautiful cover. It's gorgeously metallic in person and my copy of the book was small, compact, and crisp. Each chapter had a designated colour or basic sensation and all three of the parts of the book were separated by a page of black. It ends up looking and feeling really nice and I, like many others, tend to enjoy nice things.

 Now, on to the actual content. One thing that excited me right off the bat was that Ultraviolet is set in northern Ontario. I live in south eastern Ontario and I've never gone to the north but there is something so cool about a book being set in the same country, nonetheless province as you. It doesn't happen too often since not many authors I read write about Canada but there were some cultural things I loved and it's something rare that probably won't mean as much to you as it does to me.

 Ultraviolet begins with Alison waking up in a hospital. Isn't that creepy? She doesn't remember anything, but something terrible has happened and a girl has gone missing, and Alison is the last person to see her. It should also be mentioned that Alison is different. She perceives the world differently; she tastes things in the air, she sees colors from sounds, and the stars sing to her. There is a fair bit of mystery in Ultraviolet and it's great in the sense that for the longest time, you have no idea what type of book this is. Something is not right, and is this wrongness supernatural or just contemporary? You'll never know as even the end leaves the door open. I love the openness and that the author very obviously knew what she was doing when she wrote this book because it comes off as very polished.

Ultraviolet isn't too suspense filled, nor is it an insanely fast paced action read so it doesn't fit my prototype of plots I know I'd love. However, it does something I love even more than a fast plot: character development. As more information is revealed about Alison, I couldn't help but like her even more. Also, most of the book is set in a psych ward so of course that in itself is fascinating enough. There's enough really interesting subplots and interaction with other characters to keep me interested. The ending does whirl by a bit and it throws me out of the loop a bit. There are clues but this book is so open that anything could be interpreted from the details. (Let me know if you guessed the twist in the comments and what you thought of it.)

 I liked the ending. It was surreal in a way but enjoyable and I'm not a usual fan of companion novels but as soon as this book ended I was insanely happy to have gotten a copy of Quicksilver from Monarch Books. 
Some other aspects I enjoyed that won't spoil this book for anyone else includes the fact that Alison likes piano, the flashbacks, and Alison's relationship with her mom. It wasn't the best or most healthy relationship but it was sufficiently complex and the feelings underneath everything rang true.

 All in all, reading Ultraviolet was a cool experience because this book is strong in so many ways. I thought it was solid and never disappointed me. The book is a little bit odd because it's definitely different from most of what's out there but if you give it a chance you could be surprised in a good way. 4 stars,

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