She is found alone and left for dead, outside of a church. She has no memory, no ID and no one comes to claim her. She has no hope…
Until the day a nurse from the hospital she has been living in stuns her with an offer of a home, a family and a new life. She is even given a new name: Addison Martin. But, try as she might, Addison does not fit into her new teenage, suburban world. Shadows and voices follow her each day, while disturbing dreams haunt her in her sleep. It isn’t until she is attacked by an ethereally beautiful man outside her new school that the memories begin to resurface: a child, a tragic death, a forbidden love, a destiny…
Addison finds herself in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there – beaten, bruised and left for dead, she needs to figure out the story of her life – and why someone would try to kill her.
While I’m not usually a huge fan of amnesia stories, I think H.D. Carpenter utilizes the framework in such a way that it’s not boring or contrived. A lot of this story happens solely inside of Addison’s mind (as she’s sorting out who she is and where she came from for a pretty big portion of the book). That being said, there’s a lot of exposition and sometimes the book feels like a big setup for the sequel (which, in a way, most books are; I just wish there were more interactions between the characters who come a little later in the book). It would have been nice to see a better balance between exposition and dialogue, but hopefully that will come with the second book.
For me, the story really gets going when Addison is confronted with individuals from her past – and this is really what got me into the story and kept me reading. Watching her deal with the emotions that come as a result of these encounters and learning more about who she is and where she came from really open the book up and bring it alive.
Especially later in the book, Addison really proves herself to be an interesting strong character who is willing to put it all on the line for the people she loves (specifically the man she loves). Without giving too much away, the love story really starts to get interesting once the reader is let in on what’s at stake – and how what Addison has come to believe is her life, might not be exactly what she’s wanting to experience anymore.
I think this would really resonate well with teens and young adults who are looking for a book that deals with the issue of Good versus Evil, but on a more personal, relatable level. By the end of the novel, the story really forces the reader to question what is “good” and what is “evil” and how our perceptions really colour and change what might actually be the truth.
I think this is a very good start to a series, and I think with further development of the characters it could be great. I can’t wait to see what Carpenter does with her second book.
3.25 Stars, which means that in Pure Textuality ratings this was a well-written and entertaining book.