Monday, June 18, 2012

Remember Me

I wanted to like this book, and I think I wanted to like it very much. But for such a short length (around 320 pages at a minute a page, even for my slow reading), it took me quite a while to read. It was either the very end of April or the beginning of May that I started it, always setting it down again to focus on something else and hardly ever reading for more than half hour at a time.

Each time I read a chapter, I struggled with my opinion of Liz Byrski's Remember Me. The story is real (though I didn't realize this until well into the book), though I'm not sure if it has fictionalization or to what degree. It is poetic at times, but at times the narration also feels a bit contrived (not that contriving is a bad thing--readers just don't like to notice the contriving). I suppose it had too much sentiment for me, and I don't think I like sentiment much. I do, however, very much like emotion--strong emotion, too. But that comes with originality of emotion, and the sentiment of Remember Me felt sometimes disconnected and passive.

Which leads me to the next topic: present tense. As you'll recall from my post on If I Stay (where I also touch on sentiment vs. emotion, in fact), there are times when a present tense narrative works and enhances the story. But I didn't feel like that this time. It slowed down my reading and furthered my feeling of disconnect. Liz (the main narrator) does feel disconnect at many points, but the tense didn't help me get closer to her, just further.

Overall, it reads like a letter, a love letter to be specific. Most often, it is a tragic, heartbroken letter. It didn't interest me nearly enough, but would perhaps suit summer reading moods for something light and sweet and hopeful.

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