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I wasn't sure if I would like this book, I often do not like books that jump around as I get the plot confused, however although this book did a lot of jumping about they were always clearly titled with place names and dates and I never once got confused at to who's POV it was or where they were.
The story itself was also good, although it was obvious where the story was going and how it was going to end I liked the way it was written. I very much enjoyed this book.
On the down side, I did not like the ending. I felt that the book did not actually end, it was like a cliff hanger. This might be me reading the ending wrong but there was too much of an opening left that I did not feel any closure. I have looked on her website to see if there was a second book but I did not see one .. This could have led to a second book but I do not know if it will, or if I am supposed to use my imagination to create my own ending as once you read the book there are many ways your mind can assume the ending :)
Daniel has lived so many different lives, and the bonus for him is that he can remember pretty much everything that happened in them all. He is gaining so much information but the real thing he is searching for is his lost love from way way back, who herself is reincarnating - the difference is she is not aware of what's gone before.
So, will she piece it together bit by bit? The story is told through several of Daniel's lifelines, including present day, and this mystical spellbinding search for love is fairly gripping. Her (Lucy/Sofia) fighting to make sense of it all, as Daniel gradually tries to make her acquaintance before unburdening his story, is nicely done.
Without giving too much away it looks like a sequel is required, if only to tie up the loose ends.
Read it if: you want an unusal YA fiction, with the usual romance, hot guys and limitless misunderstandings between the two star-crossed lovers.
Don't read it if: you are only looking at it because your an Anne Brashares fan. Its nothing like her other works.
A little late with this review - it was realised in 2011
I love Ann Brashares and so I wanted to love this. I didn't really read the blurb and was quite surprised when the main character was a male - an interesting POV, but it made it a little difficult for me to identify him.
Daniel is blessed (or cursed) with memory - he remembers every life he's ever lived, few have been happy and he's spent them all looking for Sophia. Daniel believes Sophia is his true love, he's met her in many lives but they have never been able to make it work, sometimes she was older than him, others he older than her. Its a fairly tragic tale. Then he meets Lucy - she is sophia (or sophia is lucy..) and they're the same age, everything should line up perfectly. Except she doesn't remember him. This of course leads to misunderstandings, near misses, long lustful looks and an awful lot of stalker like behaviour. There's plenty of drama curtesy of a bad guy (no spoilers as to who that might be!) but its a little rushed at the end, some books allow everything to fall into place, MNIM just pushed it forward a little.
I liked the premise of the book, but the jumping from present day to past to years on in the present got a little confusing. Daniel's obsession with Sofia was a little weird, calling her the same name in every lifetime would have really annoyed me (if I was her!). Daniel was incredibly selfish and shallow, Lucy was a bit wet for me, there was little depth to her.
It was an ok read, I got through it quickly but it was missing Brashares magic, I'm not sure why, but I wouldn't rush out to buy another in the series.
This is possibly the best book I have read so far this year. It literally blew me away in its awesomeness.
The main driving force of this story and the thing I loved the most about it is Daniel's ongoing love for Lucy a soul he keeps finding time and time again in the many different lives he has lived. The love he had for came across throughout the book beautifully. It really made you think about the whole concept of soul mates as they seemed destined for each despite the various circumstances they were in, in the different lives they were born into.
I really enjoyed the idea reincarnation used as the book's premise. I loved the idea that Daniel could remember all of his lives and enjoyed the chapters where he went back to explain his different lives and what he and Lucy/Sophia had been through. I liked the idea that he picked up something (be a language or a skill) with every life and carried them through to the next one. I loved the idea that he kept associating with the same souls time and time again (not just Lucy).
I must admit that I saw the twist coming but it didn't make it any less thrilling to read. There was no way anyone was prising the book out of my hands at this point as I was desperate to know what happened.
The only thing I didn't like is the way the book ended as it seemed to cut short. I am hoping that this means there will be an equally superb sequel as I really want to sees what happens next (in his life or beyond) with Daniel and Lucy.
To sum up a fantastic book, beautifully written, totally engaging with an intellident and gorgeous storyline.
I rarely write a review on good books but this one is an exception I feel must be said. This book really does make you wonder whether the whole theory of regression and reincarnations is possible. The author is very articulate in describing human feelings and emotions, it's almost a pity that the book is titled the way it is.
The book takes us on a journey which mostly told by the perception of Daniel and most of the times felt like it is the diary of Daniel or as if he wrote his life(s) history for the world to discover. It switch back and forth to Lucy's thoughts too but somehow it always manage to stay a step away from being intimate. Lucy's voice in the book is more about her confusion and journey to explore her thoughts about Daniel, however nearing to the end they meet and the book present one cohesive voice.
By the way, this story better have a follow up as it would be too cruel for the fans of the book, ie; my self, to be left hanging like that! Read it with an open mind and you will be taken in to a journey of incredible human spirits evolution that not too many people dare to venture in to. Throughly amazing!!! I wonder who my name was on my recent past life?!
This book is not what I thought it was going to be. I was expecting some cliche, teen romance with all the love/hate, love triangle scenarios that are so often found in this genre lately but it completely took me by surprise. I found it a little slow to start, but I soon became lost in it. I found parts of it profoundly sad and heart breaking, but beautifully so. I also found my new favourite life quote inside this book's pages: "Love who you love while you have them. It's all you can do".
I haven't yet finished this book but I already know it's going to be one of my all time favourites. If you liked the Time Travellers Wife, The Lovely Bones or Ronlyn Domingue's The Mercy of Thin Air, you will love this. Very well written and out of the ordinary. A love story with a difference. My only concern is that I've read reviews that the ending leaves you hanging and that there's no sequel, so I'm writing this while I'm enjoying it, and possibly before I become impossibly frustrated!