All is Not Forgotten

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Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the arc of All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker! Jenny Kramer attends a high school party where she is raped and left on the grass afterwards. A treatment to erase horrible memories from your mind has been created and is used on Jenny to erase the trauma. The treatment erases the memories from your mind, but they live on in the soul and body. Jenny can’t remember the rape because of the treatment, so she can’t point out the rapist, but she remembers useless information that she can’t place, such as a strong odor, a song, and why she was outside in the first place. I like how the story is told by the psychiatrist and, through his point of view, shows the emotional upheaval of everyone involved and the precarious nature of being a therapist. The whole controversy surrounding the memory treatment brings up a barrage of questions and what-ifs.

Another person, Sean Logan, has been given the memory treatment also, after he lost his SEAL comrades and his right arm while he was activated. The treatment has made healing difficult for Sean also.

The parental advice hits the nail on the head: “We need our parents to love us without condition, without logic, and beyond reason.” This is true for a person to be able to grow up with a strong self-esteem and would be ideal for all of us. The hypocritical statement made by the therapist about his own children soon after telling Jenny’s father to let his anger go, feels very selfish and one-sided. “If we can’t protect our own children, we are wretched.” Sad to say, the world is a big place and we can’t be with our children 24/7 and that is very hard on parents who want to be there for their children.

A lot of food for thought and the tables keep turning in this psychological thriller!

Vassa in the Night

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Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the arc of Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter! A short mythology of night is given before the story starts. Vassa lives with her step siblings and has a painted, wooden doll living in her pocket. Erg, the doll Vassa’s mom had made for her, eats human food and tends to steal items from others. The nighttime seems to lengthen a little each night, so time passes slowly. Vassa is determined to figure out the problem with night. A weird story full of creative writing that reminds me of the Studio Ghibli movies, Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away. This story is like a mixture of the two with its own fairytale added in. Great writing + odd story = 3.5 stars.

The Replacement Crush

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the arc of The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts! Viv is beginning her junior year of high school with her best friend Jaz. She lives with her single mom who owns a bookstore and writes mystery novels under an unknown pseudonym. Viv likes Jake and then she discovers that he is a hormonal jerk. This makes her decide to create a replacement crush list filled with guys that she has no romantic interest in. During her replacement crush quest, she meets Dallas, a senior from Wisconsin who just moved to town with his family. Dallas begins working at the bookstore with Viv and he has some secrets of his own. Torturous, emotional and romantic turmoil, cute nicknames, references to readers and bloggers everywhere and even some scary, suspenseful drama make me give The Replacement Crush 5 stars!