Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult

Escape from Memory

Photo from Goodreads

Title:  Escape from Memory

Author:  Margaret Peterson Haddix

Genre:  Contemporary

Kira and her friends are just playing around with hypnotism – until Kira’s subconscious brings up a memory of running from danger and her mother speaking to her in a foreign language.  Now, Kira’s questioning everything her mother told her about where she came from – if the woman who raised her is really her mother…

I’ve read a lot of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s books.  And I noticed that no matter what the plot is or who the main character is, there’s one common theme – the main character is a kid, and the adults won’t tell him or her anything.

Not that it’s a bad thing, mind you.  The “what the heck is going on?” element is half of what makes her books so interesting.  But the thing is, when I picked up this book, I expected that Kira’s mother wouldn’t tell her anything.  And so I didn’t find that nearly as frustrating as I would have if I didn’t expect it.

This book is a pretty average length, but it seemed really short.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because I just flew through it.

Kira, as best as I can figure, was your normal girl with a strange mother who had no idea her past wasn’t quite normal.  And strangely enough, she was pretty much a normal girl throughout the book.  A few hidden reserves of resourcefulness, sure, but a pretty average girl.  And she was still pretty much the same girl at the end.  Which I’m not sure I liked so much.

Lynne was a fun character.  She’s the smart, always does her homework, A-plus student kind.  But I enjoyed her willingness to hide in a suitcase and her attempts to help Kira.  Because in the beginning, I didn’t think she was going to play a bigger part than any of the other girls.  It was a pleasant surprise to find her along for the ride.

Sophia, Kira’s mother, was a little strange.  But it makes sense, considering… never mind, that’s a spoiler.

Hmm…I feel like I can’t comment on the plot without giving too much away.

The premise – or, more accurately, where Kira really came from – was highly interesting.  Even though I wouldn’t really want to live there.  Okay, scratch that.  Living there would be kind of cool.  But I’m not really sure I’d want to be one of them.

The plot was well-done and held my attention (especially once I found out who kidnapped Kira’s mother).  But I’m not a big fan of the ending.  I won’t give any spoilers, but let’s just say it’s not exactly happily-ever-after.

This is one of those books that are hard to review.  I didn’t love it.  I didn’t hate it.  It was more of a “meh” book – I could take it or leave it and not really care either way.  I think it’s the fact that the characters weren’t really remarkable.  But either way, it’s hard to put my feelings about this book into words – because I don’t really have any, except “meh.”


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