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Friday, May 16, 2014

Remember Me Like This: A Novel

Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston had an incredibly interesting premise--CRIME. A missing child. I was sold. Shocking, huh?

Justin disappeared when he was 11 years old. His family spent the next four years never giving up on the search but consistently disappointed. That is, until the day they are called to the station and in walks their fifteen year old son--cool, calm, and happy to be heading home. What happened to him while he was away? How could he have existed just a few miles away all these years without anyone knowing? Is he still their own? Justin's return exposes the delicate balance that his family has been holding up, and as the summer passes and his assailant's trial draws near, his family will continue to be tested--possibly to the point of no return.

This book was incredibly fascinating and a fantastic read. I bought into the characters almost immediately, and I had to keep my nose in my Kindle to find out what was happening to them. I entirely bought into Eric's, the father's, resistance to yet another hope-raiser when he is first called by the police. That hope against hope that it is actually his son but still cautiously optimistic in that hope. It was gut wrenching to watch this family that was a glass egg barely held together with Elmer's Glue balance on the edge of a concrete wall when Justin returns. His mother has bought him gifts for every holiday he was gone, saved his mail in large plastic bins, and never even made his bed, all in the hopes that he would return as any normal day. He does in fact return, but there is nothing normal about it.

Every family has its secrets for staying afloat, so it's not hard to relate to Eric and his wife Laura, and to their boys. Griff is the younger brother. He worshiped Justin even after he disappeared. He missed him; he begged a higher power for his return. But what happens when your idol returns and you don't even know who he is? Justin's family lived lives while he was gone, coming up with nicknames and family inside jokes and references that don't make sense. The undercurrent of his return leads to an explosion that will rock their lives.

Hard copy only below.

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