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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by MG Buehlen (Review)

Science Fiction, YA
Publication Date:March 4, 2014
Published By:  Strange Chemistry 
WebsiteThe 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare on Goodreads

MG Buehrlen Website
My review copy: From Random House Canada for honest review

Where to get:

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the after effects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.(Goodreads)

  If only Dr. Farrow had listened to me and given me some sort of medication.  I'd be well on my way to becoming the person my family needs me to be.  All their attention could go back to Audrey, where it belongs.  But I guess since I've gone seventeen years without any medication, Dr Farrow thinks a little while longer won't do any harm.
  She couldn't be more wrong.
  A whole life lived.
  A whole life forgotten.
  Were they beautiful lives?  Was I alluring and radiant?  Or was I a freak in each one just like I am now?
  I know Porter will be furious, but I don't care.  That's what he gets for treating me like a child.  For not trusting me.  For lying to me.
  Let him be in the dark for once.

Every Future is her Past...

Where to start with this one... It's honestly hard to say because this book was a surprise. I had read the synopsis and was completely taken. Time travel and not only time travel but exploring every life that has come before is appealing. Not a smart idea but one that sounds good. Then Buehlen went there and made it her own, rocking the time travel in a way I had never seen before. Where this development started, I do not know but what I do know but what I do know is that once it did, it was hard to stop. I know that my little title up there will confuse many, but once you pick this up it will pull together (I hope).

The plot in this one was unique, something that I personally have never encountered before. However, it did take a little to get into for me. I found the pacing was fairly slow in the start. The base was laid out well and we got a little background information but the slower pacing did leave me wanting. Not only did it leave me wanting but at times I felt like I was losing it. What I did not realize, was that all of these little details were adding up, adding up and becoming something more. Then something spectacular happened the book took off. Actually everything took off and despite the slower start I found myself in love with the book. The details and the little things matter a lot in this book and it is easy to find the brilliance once all is said and done.

Alex came off kind of clueless to start but despite this I liked her. I liked her and felt bad for her almost. She is wonderful in her own way but because of everything she has been through (or gone through) in her life, she has withdrawn from people. I mean I got it but that didn't make it any easier for her I'm sure. She handled everything the best she could, given that no one around her believed what she was telling them. Truthfully even once she had someone telling her things she was kept enough in the dark to still mess up. This is one thing I did not blame her for. She is a teenage girl and only did what she believed was right, and lets be honest no training and a blue eyed boy to swoon over... what the heck are you going to do? Alex was extremely real i her reactions and her feelings and for that I am grateful, and it made her easy to like.

The romance in this one is most definitely there but is beyond hard to explain with killing it for you. I would like to say that it is simple but with 56 prior lives and being on her 57, it quite simply can't be. However, I will proudly mention that there is absolutely no love triangle. I know proud is an odd word because I didn't write it but there is not even a hint of one. Sure the lack of social life does assist that, but it still could have been done. What Buehlen wove into this story is actually quite unique and really did intrigue me because you never quite get to know till the end how it all ties in. I really think it is one of the things you know part of but not the extent of. This one little element added a lot to the story and was beneficial to the entire plot.

I look forward to the next book in this series. Time travel seems to be picking up speed in the YA world and honestly I am in. MG Buehlen created a world in where the travel has its limits and the character herself is unique. I believe that this book holds a lot of different things that people will enjoy. It touches on some historical things (time travel.. duh right), I would say a little science fiction and so much more. If you are looking for something different, missing a triangle and well written, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare should be your next choice.

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