Creative A's Reviews > Thanks for the Memories

Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
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's review
May 05, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: books-that-linger, contemporary-sf, books-read-in-2009
Read in August, 2009

Thanks for the Memories is a quiet, quirky little novel that reminded me somewhat of The Time Traveler's Wife or the film Serendipity. Same fated soul-mate idea, but a little less poignant than Traveler, and a little more meaningful than Serendipity.

Justin is a slightly awkward, very self-conscious man who hasn't quite gotten over his divorce. He takes some proactive steps toward healing by flirting with a doctor at a blood drive, and she convinces him, somewhat against his will, to give blood.

Joyce fell down a flight of stairs and lost her unborn baby. Without it, her marriage is meaningless, and she knows it's going to crumble. But in the hospital she starts having a strange set of experiences - strong memories and influxes of knowledge triggered by random events. And when Joyce is finally released from the hospital, she keeps bumping into a tall stranger who takes her breath away...

Joyce realizes that something special is happening. She realizes that the memories belong to someone else, perhaps someone who's donated blood saved her in the hospital. Drawn to him, Joyce begins a wild search with only her memories as clues. At the same time Justin struggles between sticking with his doctor girlfriend and learning about the mysterious woman he feels an irrepressible connection to. Is it fate drawing them together?

As the mystery deepens, both are going to be faced with a choice that could be their best or worst decision ever.

I liked the idea of this book. The premise was solid and the characters are all very deep, very real, even people like Joyce's friends, and Justin's girlfriend. But a few things kept coming back to bug me about this book. One thing was that Justin comes off as a bit of a jerk. His main motivation for giving blood are impressing this girl and feeling good about himself. He really screws things up with the doctor girlfriend because he's running around after Joyce, which is fine, except when he gets his big chance to explain and make it up to the girlfriend, he goes and does the worst thing possible. He was an okay guy, but just didn't fit into the soulmate profile.

The other thing is how once Joyce finds Justin, instead of just greeting him, she splits her profile into two separate people so Justin has to choose between the blood-doner girl and the mysterious woman he finds himself drawn to. The way that works out was predictable and highly annoying. The way it resolves is shruggable after early frustrations.

However, this book has enough nuance and depth to it that the odd oversights in storytelling are manageable, and the book remains an enjoyable read.


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