Thursday, December 29, 2016

Reed, Jaime. Keep Me In Mind.

Reed, Jaime.  Keep Me In Mind.  Scholastic Press/Point           2016    329p    $17.99  ISBN 978-0-545-88381-8  ms/hs  Realistic fiction  VG-BN           

Keep Me In Mind is a heartfelt novel about loss and love.  After a traumatic fall, Ellia forgets her boyfriend Liam and all of the excitement and spontaneity of their relationship, yet Liam perseveres in his effort to regain her love.  During her convalescence, he pens a book to tell her about their two years together and what they have meant to him.  Is it the mixed relationship that pits their families against one another or something else about Liam and Ellia’s relationship that has their parents on edge?   That is what Ellia has to figure out when she regains consciousness, only to discover that she has lost two years’ worth of memory.  Those two years were important.  They represented her relationship with Liam, the supposed love of her life.  As Liam tries to reinsert himself into Ellia’s life, he realizes the difficulties of doing so, since so much of their happiness was based on the spontaneity and newness of young love.  Ellia is just trying to survive the day-to-day headaches, memory loss, and trauma of trying to fit in with her old life.  She also is trying to survive her oppressive, overly protective parents.  It is up to the reader to decide whether or not something can be made of the broken pieces of their lives.  Liam’s patience endures as he tutors Ellia, refrains from mentioning their memories together, and thwarts the efforts of Ellia’s parents, and his own, to keep them apart.  In the end, it appears that all will be lost.  Then Liam places his novel about their lives on Ellia’s porch, and it is then that she learns how she fell, how stubbornly Liam fought to get her treatment, and how much he really cared about her, and vice versa.  New beginnings are possible in life.  We get few do-overs; most people get none.  The resolution is the theme, beautifully stated.  The characterizations are powerful, and the words of author Jaime Reed truly enable the reader to visualize and participate in the lives of the protagonists.  Though not unique to contemporary novels, the writing style with its constantly switching points of view is the best way to show what Liam and Ellia are thinking.  All in all, this book will keep teens glued to each page as they seek answers to the questions about the future of these two protagonists.     

This is a very good choice for middle- and high-school libraries.  In particular, the female teenage audience will enjoy the writing style, the conflicts, and the frustrations of a lost love.
Summary: Ellia has amnesia and forgets the last two years of her life, the two years when she was involved in a relationship with Liam.

Amnesia-Fiction, Romance-Fiction                                                                --Martha Squaresky

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