Thursday, September 5, 2013

REVIEW - "Chasing Memories" (by Tia Silverthorne Bach) [Tribute Books Blog Tour]

"There isn’t another way; not now. The others are coming. I can’t let them have you…

Seventeen-year-old Reagan has a problem: She can’t remember what happened the night her brother was taken.

Now, the dreams haunting her from the incident are becoming more intense by the day. All the while, the lines between what’s real and what’s a product of her paranormal-obsessed mind are becoming blurred.

Is she losing her mind or has she just stepped into a world she thought only existed in books?

Caught in a web of worried parents, competing boys, Wiccan relatives, protective amulets, and psychiatrist babble, Reagan must determine the truth before it’s too late."

Prices/Formats: $3.99 ebook, $12.99 paperback
Pages: 296
Publisher: self-published 
Release: May 22, 2013

Kindle buy link ($3.99)
Amazon paperback buy link ($12.99)
Barnes and Noble paperback buy link ($12.99)

Tia Silverthorne Bach is an avid reader, sometimes runner, involved wife and mother, and rabid grammar hound in addition to being a multi-genre writer. Her three daughters were born in Chicago, San Diego, and Baltimore; and she feels fortunate to have called many places home. She's the award-winning co-author of Depression Cookies, a coming of age story written with her mother. Tia's office is wherever her laptop takes her and any place that's conducive to allowing a wild imagination like hers to flourish.

Web Site  I  Author Blog   I  Book Review Blog   I   Facebook   I   Twitter    I   Goodreads - Tia   I   Goodreads - Book

Beware the things that go bump in the night...we are told this as very young children.  As we grow older, we learn bumps in the night are caused by things falling off shelves, jackets sliding to the floor, branches against the window....or are they??  What if those bumps have claws and fangs, and invade our dreams, making us truly wonder what happened to a loved one whose death and disappearance we can't quite remember?

The Good
Let's see.  A young lady named Reagan is living a typical teenage life filled with hot boyfriends, gossipy girl friends, high school drama, and the like.  Her family goes on a camping trip during the summer before her senior year of high school, a year of school for which she has planned for ages, and her life takes on a new shape.  

Supposedly attacked by a wild animal, Reagan wakes up to a new world of horrible nightmares, physical pain that disappears as she heals abnormally fast, and loss of memory surrounding the disappearance of her brother...oh, and some supernatural family drama and pesky psychiatrists.

I have a brother.  If he disappeared or died, I'd want to die as well.  In this I found a relatable character in Reagan.  Friends who are interested in all the "dirt" they can get their hands on?  Yep, can relate with that as well.  I was home schooled, so the high school drama I can only relate to in theory when compared with my college experience.  That all being said, the characters in this work are extremely relatable and likeable (well, for the most part).

The story line clips along at a fairly good pace.  Certain time frames that would add little to the plot are appropriately skipped over, while other bits receive much more attention.  The story wraps itself around readers' heartstrings and refused to let much so that when the book ended (on a cliffhanger, no less), my thought was the same as my thought when "Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring" was over: "That can't be the end!".  Well, yes, it can.  Bach wants us to read the rest of the books, after all.  :)

As a young adult book, this work reaches into life experiences age-peers to Reagan are experiencing at the same time, while throwing in some unexpected drama.  Reagan has a grandmother who can do things that are just a bit odd.  Eventually it comes out that she is a Wiccan.  How's that for a surprise?

Literary elements? The suspense is built well, characters are built fairly well, vocabulary is in keeping with the intended audience, etc.  It is a pretty good book.  

The Bugly (bad/ugly)
Now, here is where I warn readers: do not get involved in Wiccan activities.  This book makes it look like all fun and games, white magic that helps and the like.  There is no such thing as white magic.  White magic leads very quickly to dark magic, which definitely should be avoided.  Yes, I believe in magic...but in a different form than many would attribute to the event.  Getting involved with Wiccan stuff is messing around with spiritual forces that should be left alone...completely alone.  These forces do not like human beings and will do anything and everything to undermine their thriving in whatever way possible.  If you want to chat with me about this, shoot me an email - I'm more than willing to chat about my views, beliefs, and knowledge about this topic.

Okay, back to the book.  : )  

While this is a good read, there are a few issues.  First, the characters are a tad flat.  This can happen in a young adult book sometimes, and it definitely happens here.  The main characters are fleshed out pretty well, just some other main characters are not...and that bugged me.  Perhaps they are fleshed out a bit more in the remaining books in the series.

Next, this book was a fast read.  This was a bugly in the sense that I was able to read it so fast that I'm afraid things were missed, simply because the language and sentence structure are so simple that it is a breeze to breeze through.

Next, this book was so aimed at its audience that those whom annoy members of that audience were painted in a very bad light.  Audience = young adults.  Who do young adults have conflict with?  Adults, of course.  Mothers, psychiatrists, school officials - all here are depicted in extremely negative lights with little time spent on figuring out their motivations (except for Mom).  I was annoyed by this as I work with at risk youth trying to show them how adults can be allies to their struggles, and I felt like this supported "adults wanna bring you down".

Overall this is a pretty quick, fairly good read. It did not make my Top 10 favorite books of all time, but there is pretty steep competition in my mind for that list (and it, of course, includes lots of canonical items).  There were good things about it, and bad things about it.  There's a petty major thing the main character is figuring out, and I don't want to spoil it...but it's a doozy!!  

Overall, I give this book a 3 out of 5.


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  1. Nora, I love how you set the mood for your review about our childhood fears of things that go bump in the night. What a perfect tone to examine the ins and outs of Tia's book :)

  2. Thanks for reviewing Chasing Memories. The adults will be fleshed out much more in Book 2, and Reagan will definitely be needing their help, love and support.