Monday, March 3, 2014

The 57 lives of Alex Wayfare

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she's really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World's Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can't explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal's office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.
It isn't until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren't really visions. Alex is a Descender - capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.
Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn't want Alex to travel again. Ever.
And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

I had the absolute honor of reading this book a few years ago as M.G. was writing it, and I was completely blown away by it. I remember emailing her asking for the next chapter and she would say "I'm still writing it!" and I was all "hurry up!". 

Fast forward a few years and here we are. My best friend's first book is published! I'm so extremely proud of her and I'm happy to say I've been reading her work for 25+ years and it's all amazing! That all being said, I didn't just love this book because my bestie wrote it. So, my sincere apologies if my review does not make sense. I swear it does in my head. I'm just so excited! Here's my review:

What I loved:

M.G. has an incredible way of painting a picture with her words. I (and this is embarrassing) have a hard time visualizing scenes, but with her writing, I'm able to do it no problem. Her words are lovely, and poignant and I did not want to skip a single one. 

The characters. Oh my goodness. Alex is such a strong, wonderful female lead. She is loyal, family oriented, and super smart! She's also a bit awkward and has a hard time fitting in, which is completely realistic in my opinion. Plus, she has no idea how amazing she is! I love that Alex is a tech nerd. I also appreciate her little "pranks" on certain people who deserve it, even though that gets her into trouble. I love that she's willing to do whatever it takes for her sister, and her family. She's not your typical teenager, that's for sure, and my goodness is that ever refreshing! She's so strong and I loved how much she grows throughout the book! She is so selfless!

Blue. *sigh* A boy with manners, 1920's attire and he can dance?! Be still my heart. I swear M.G. wrote Blue just for me. Well, she probably didn't, but my goodness, he is one of the most perfect male characters EVER. I shall rank him right next to Mr. Darcy in my book, and that is saying A LOT. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but let's just say he gets better as the book goes on. I can't even. I want one. 

Time travel. Not just any old time travel. But reincarnation time travel. Alex is actually seeing her past lives. I want to read every single one (yes, all 57). Can you please write about them all M.G? Pretty please?

Jensen. While I'm a total Blue fan, I love Jensen, too. He does not fit the typical "popular boy" profile. He is kind, thoughtful, and has enough pudding cups for everyone! It's so nice to see a teenage boy take notice of a girl that everyone else makes fun of. Gah. I adore him.

Alex's family. Movie nights, super couch, heart to heart talks, and a mutli-generational living arrangement? I LOVE THIS FAMILY. So many times in YA books we see absentee parents, or horrible parents, or non existent parents. It is refreshing to see not just a mother/father involved in their child's life, but a grandma/grandpa and siblings. Thank you M.G. THANK.YOU.

The ending. Oh my word, the ending. I need book 2 right away. This book will leave you wanting more and might even cause you to throw something at a wall, or a window. You've been warned.

What left me wanting more:

Um...I need book 2. STAT. I have not had the pleasure to read anymore of this series yet, and I've been dying to know what happens for YEARS. Years people. 

Also, can I have more Blue? 

Final word:

This is not just my bestie's book. It's a heart pounding, swoonworthy, fast paced book that you all should read. What a wonderful series. I'm so happy that the whole world can read it now!

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