The latest from Ann Brashares, the New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, a magical story of reincarnation and a love that lasts more than a lifetime
Daniel has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after life, crossing continents and dynasties, he and Sophia (despite her changing name and form) have been drawn together-and he remembers it all. For all the times that he and Sophia have been connected throughout history, they have also been torn painfully, fatally, apart.
But just when Sophia (now “Lucy” in the present) finally awakens to the secret of their shared past, the mysterious force that has always separated them reappears. Ultimately, they must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are ever to spend a lifetime together.
Review: 4 stars
My Name is Memory is an achingly beautiful story that I would absolutely recommend you read. I picked this book up on a complete whim, I saw it on sale in the store, had a look at the synopsis and was like “hell yes, I definitely want to read this” and I am so freaking glad I did! Ever since I was young, I have been completely fascinated by reincarnation and the very idea that our soul lives on after we die. I’m being totally serious right now; I very clearly remember thinking about the idea that I’ve had other lives in different times when I was in the third grade, weird thing for a third grader to think about but, like I said, I’ve always loved the idea of it! So this epic love story that travels through time is definitely my kind of book.
Honestly, I don’t really know what to say about this book except that it is an epic love story that I completely adored. I found it to be a beautifully written story that broke my heart over and over again, it seriously crushed my soul but at the same time was so wonderful that I would read it again and again. I followed Daniel on his incredible story through time and watched him desperately search for his love, Sophia, but never actually be able to find happiness with her and it broke my heart. But at the same time, Lucy’s journey of self-discovery gave me hope for their future. I would describe this as a modern tragedy, in parts it reminded me of Romeo and Juliet because there were so many obstacles between them! It broke my heart and made my soul ache, although mostly that’s because of the lack of any resolution at the end. This was my one problem; the last 50 pages. Things just got weird and then she just left us hanging at the end. YOU CAN’T END A BOOK THAT WAY, I WON’T ALLOW IT! Worst part is, I believe that this is a stand-alone so I’m never going to find out what happens next! … I’m devastated. Dear Ann Brashares, please write a sequel… PLEASE!
Also I found this and I liked it soo you’re welcome…
** DISCUSSION & SPOILER SECTION **
I don’t usually do a discussion section but Meg’s been doing them a heap lately and I have A LOT I want to say about this book, so here we go… (Also for the purposes of this discussion I’m going to refer to Sophia/Lucy as Sophia when discussing the past her and Lucy when discussing the present her).
When I finished this I had a look on Goodreads to see what others thought, I was surprised to see such a mix of different star ratings! I had a read of some of the 1 star reviews and while I think they made good points, I guess I just interpreted the situation differently, which is why I want to address the most common criticism and discuss how I saw it and the reasons why I loved it!
One of the main criticisms I noticed was that a lot of people thought Daniel and Sophia’s first meeting was just instant attraction over the fact that Daniel thought she was beautiful. I however interpreted this scene completely differently, and thought it was pure brilliance by Ann Brashares. I basically saw it as an excellent foundation to a completely heartbreaking romance and love that can last the ages. So here’s my interpretation; when Daniel first meets Sophia it is in his first life and he murders her, this is his first ever sin and he feels incredible guilt and shame over this action. He carries this guilt over with him through each life, we know this because it’s the first thing he remembers when he awakens to his memories, and Sophia becomes a representation of his sins. So when he sees her in his later lives, it’s not romantic affection that he initially feels but a desperate need to make up for his past wrongs to her. When he finally truly falls in love with her (during the life where she was named Sophia) he actually has time to get to know her and speak with her so their love feels genuine and authentic. However in that life they can’t be together because she’s married to his brother so he promises to come back to her, but when he does come back it’s in a new body which is when he realises he has failed her once more. I think it was then that he decided to really hold onto his love for Sophie and vows to somehow make it back to her one day.
Throughout the rest of the book we see that Daniel has an extremely lonely existence, he doesn’t embrace each of his lives for what they are (like Ben) but chooses to hold onto who he is and keeps his distance from others. I understand why and it breaks my heart; he can’t bear to lose those he loves over and over again because while they will forget him when they pass away, he will always remember. Yet for some reason he holds onto his love for Sophia, and I believe this is because he so desperately doesn’t want to fail her again and, despite being afraid to love, he still obviously craves it.
I have so much more to say about this book and this couple, like how he gives up an amazing and loving family to find her – this basically shattered my heart into a bazillion pieces – yet they still can’t seem to get together! I was so annoyed when they were both in the library thinking about each other and all Lucy had to do was look up, I’m screaming “LOOK UP!” at this book, but NO. UGH and that just continued to happen for so long which built up this incredible suspense and hopelessness in me that had me reading until the early hours of the morning. Like I said earlier, I think this was brilliantly written, it was a love story so there wasn’t never ending action but there was this subtle build up of suspense that held me totally captivated. Even though, I have more to talk about- I’ll stop because this is already incredibly long (sorry).
Now let’s discuss the last 50 pages – I did not like them and they are the reason this book is not 5 stars. The moment that Joacquim shows up, I was a little skeptical. At first it was like “ooh some action before I finally get my happily ever after” but then the whole Mexico thing… No. I just don’t understand why in order to escape from Joacquim, they swim out into the middle of the ocean during a storm. It was just weird. If it was me, I would have swam at a distance along the shore line until we got to civilisation where Joacquim couldn’t attack, not attempted to swim to China!! It didn’t make sense! Then they some how survive that crazy and stupid adventure and he sends her off to the middle of no where and the book ends on a letter that he’s not going to send for unknown reasons which attempts to give hope but just leaves everyone hanging! WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME!? Is there going to be another book!? I really hope there will be or I will forever be wondering what happens to these characters. I need a resolution, I need a happy ending or my heart will forever remain in tatters wondering what happened with Daniel and Lucy!!
If you’ve read this book and all of my previous ramblings please let me know how you interpreted it or what you think! Thanks!