Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review: Reclaimed by Sarah Guillory

Jenna Oliver doesn't have time to get involved with one boy, let alone two. All Jenna wants is to escape her evaporating small town and her alcoholic mother. She's determined she'll go to college and find a life that is wholly hers--one that isn't tainted by her family's past. But when the McAlister twins move to town and Jenna gets involved with both of them, she learns the life she planned may not be the one she gets. Ian McAlister doesn't want to start over; he wants to remember.

Ian can't recall a single thing from the last three months--and he seems to be losing more memories every day. His family knows the truth, but no one will tell him what really happened before he lost his memory. When he meets Jenna, Ian believes that he can be normal again because she makes not remembering something he can handle. The secret Ian can't remember is the one Luke McAlister can't forget.

Luke has always lived in the shadow of his twin brother until Jenna stumbles into his life. She sees past who he's supposed to be, and her kiss brings back the spark that life stole. Even though Luke feels like his brother deserves her more, Luke can't resist Jenna--which is the trigger that makes Ian's memory return. Jenna, Ian, Luke are about to learn there are only so many secrets you can keep before the truth comes to reclaim you.

I picked a bad time to read this book. Because if I could reread it (which I plan on doing) I would lock myself in a room, perhaps with a comfortable chair, and read until I finished the very last word; it was that good.

I started Sarah Guillory’s debut novel, Reclaimed, on a plane ride to Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday. I was so lured in by the novel’s beautiful and vivid language that I was able to tune out the particularly yappy dog that belonged to the woman sitting next to me (which was extremely hard to do, trust me)

Reclaimed follows the lives of Jenna, Ian, and Luke who live in the claustrophobically small town of Solitude, Arkansas. Although the three of them are distinctively different, they all have one thing in common; they want to escape the past.

The more I read, the more I found myself heavily invested in these three characters. I was intrigued by their life stories, underlying emotions, and their general outlook of the surrounding world. I found myself in a love-hate relationship with each one of them. And I felt as trapped in Solitude as they did.

During my week in Florida, I unfortunately had little time to read. But even when I wasn’t reading, these characters managed to slip into my thoughts and create a life of their own in my wandering mind. And instead of thinking about how much energy Florida uses to maintain their excessively lit, holiday palm trees, I was thinking about Jenna and Ian and Luke.

Reclaimed is unlike anything I’ve ever read. The story delves into family and relationship dynamics and manages to tackle some pretty heavy topics. But even with such serious issues present in the novel, it still maintains both a compelling and light-hearted tone.

This novel is full of twists and turns. It makes you ache and it makes you feel a unique combination of emotions. Reclaimed brilliantly ties together apt language, strong characters, and a mysterious plot line that left me stunned when I finally finished.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Reclaimed too! One of my favorite books of 2013. Great review.