Friday, 28 May 2010

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

2008, Delacorte Press
212 pages, Paperback
Received as part of IBBMP

Young Adult

Cushions: 4
Daggers: 3
Paperclips: 1-2
Smiles: 2
Nayuleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥

Book cover jacket blurb: 

Sixteen-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry or making friends. In times of stress, she has always have been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she's grateful to have been spared them for a while. 

But when a protective friend comes back into Erin's life, he insists that Shevaun is a vampire who actually exists apart from Erin. Shevaun has dangerous allies, like the handsome witch Adjila - and they're determined to sever Shevaun's connection to Erin once and for all. 

In Amelia Atwater-Rhodes's thrilling tale of love, loyalty, and illusion, the waking hours are only as safe as the dreams that come before them. 

I don't think I need explain why I wanted this book. Imagine having a second life that you don't know about, and a vampire one at that. I loved how this was portrayed in the book. It was clever, and a little scary. I felt sorry for Erin initially, because she hasn't a clue what's going on and is left alone with scarily powerful people.

From what goes on in her school, it's clear that Erin isn't a 'normal' girl (not that there is such a thing as normal). Her violent tendencies are dealt with in the book, in a voice that is fresh and amusing. Not that stabbing people is funny. It is the opposite of funny. But how Erin looks at life - she doesn't seem like a nutcase to me. She is vulnerable, with more going on in her body than she's aware of. It is this that makes the book so awesome with the way the story twisted. It isn't just about Erin being a vampire/having a vampire in her body. It's about why that happens, why Erin is so different.

Adjila is one scary character. His initial view of who Erin should be leads to Erin being in uncomfortable situations. My heart was pounding every time she met Adjila, wondering what he'd do to her. Wondering how she would escape back to what I thought was her own, proper world. Living two lives must be exhaustiing.

I like how the theme of difference was explored in the book. Erin enjoys the few moments when she can forget about her past and live in the moment like a 'normal' person. I loved the end because Erin finally finds people who can understand her and all her strange tendencies. She starts to feel settled down in life. It's also a stage of uncertainty for her relationship with her father.

Persistence of Memory has a new (at least for me) twist on the vampire theme. Which somehow remains new and exciting for me as a reader. If you like vampires, definitely add this to your TBR pile.

Another intriguing book is Scarred by Ann Hoban

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