"Lucy is an ordinary girl growing up in the Virginia suburbs, soon to head off to college. On the night of her last high school dance, she hopes her elusive crush, Daniel Grey, will finally notice her. But as the night unfolds, Lucy discovers that Daniel is more complicated than she imagined. Why does he call her Sophia? And why does he make her feel so strange?
The secret is that Daniel has 'the memory,' the ability to recall past lives and recognize the souls of those he's previously known. And he has spent centuries falling in love with the same girl. Life after reincarnated life, spanning continents and dynasties, he and Sophia have been drawn together, and then torn painfully apart-- a love always too short. And he remembers it all. Ultimately the two of them must come to understand what stands in the way of their love if they are to reach their true happy ending."
I love Ann Brashares to death. I was laughing and crying through The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Sisterhood Everlasting, so I was hoping for this book to be just as nice of a read as those ones. Brashares is truly meant to be writing romantic stories, so that really shone through in this book, but I still found My Name is Memory to be rather disappointing, compared to her other works.
I was really hoping that Daniel would change more as a character. I mean, he's been reincarnated a number of times and in a variety of places to grow up from Ancient Turkey to Athens, to England, to Virginia, etc. He's had families who loved him so dearly and ones who just couldn't care less. It seems throughout the book that the only thing that changes about Daniel is his memory as he acquires new memories. It was really disappointing to find that in almost all of his lives (whenever he reached an old enough age), he was always a doctor. Sure, it's nice to do something familiar, but wouldn't that get boring if you became a doctor five to ten lives in a row? I realize that Daniel is a complicated character to write, but I was still disappointed. I didn't care for him as a character. I didn't really feel the connection between Daniel and Lucy until the end of the book. I felt it more in Daniel and Constance.
I didn't like that Brashares went through all of Daniel's lives. It came to a point where I was constantly trying to scramble to connect where Daniel left off, how that will eventually connect to his future and "Sophia's" future as well. Then after a while, it just got plain boring as Daniel kept finding Sophia, not getting together with her, and dying. Again and again and again. These things would have been more interesting if they were shortened or even edited out.
Let me transition to more positive things.
I really liked the cover! This was a big reason that I picked up the book in the first place.
I also thought Lucy was a decent character. I preferred it when she didn't know about the transference of souls, but at the same time, I thought it was cool that she was able to figure out who she was in the past. For me, that would be really interesting to find out. The story was a lot more interesting when told through the point of view of Lucy (or Sophia).
I also really enjoyed the ending. That's where everything picked up. The story transitioned from what felt like a couple hundred pages of explanation to being chased by someone who was incredibly jealous. Just getting away from this guy (whom Daniel was brothers with in a past life) was kind of exciting.
Overall, this is an okay book. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Ann Brashares and also anyone who is in the mood to read something even remotely romantic.
I give 'My Name Is Memory':
P.S. I'll make sure to finish my reviews before posting them next time... my changes must not have saved or something like that.