Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Best Forgotten by Paula Vince

Book Cover and Synopsis:
A young accident victim wakes up in hospital and can't remember who he is. Why does he have nothing in common with his family? Why does he despise the person he was supposed to be? Why has his best friend disappeared without a trace? Is somebody after him? His family can offer no solutions. His girlfriend is strangely aloof and he cannot shake off a feeling that the answers will prove more unpleasant than his amnesia. Somehow he must find out as it seems time is running out. Paula Vince has woven elements of secrecy and suspense with her trademark warmth and compassion. Best Forgotten is an inspirational masterpiece you won't forget.

My source for book: Review Copy
My Thoughts:
Best Forgotten is a bit outside of the normal genre that I read, but I actually did enjoy it. The characters are well thought out, with a wide range of personalities and motives. Though the mystery element takes precedence in the story, there are also aspects of family dynamics, a blooming romance, and the search for faith coupled with the struggle to truly believe.

Courtney's amnesia leaves him as a grown man with no memories...a blank slate, if you will. I loved the innocent air this gave him in his interactions with others; he's very open and honest, even in tough and unfamiliar situations (which there are plenty of!). I really liked the idea that experiences and memories shape a person, and ultimately form their personality. Strip all the memories away, and you are suddenly a completely different person, able to view the aspects of your own life with an outsider's objective perspective. It's quite an interesting topic, and definitely something to ponder on...

I must admit that the author did an excellent job of keeping the cards close to her chest, so to speak. Little pieces of the mystery of Courtney's past were slowly revealed as the story progressed...enough to make me extremely curious as to what the urgent thing was that Courtney felt compelled to remember, but couldn't. Interestingly enough, even though small clues were often uncovered, I still didn't have the foggiest idea what the mystery would turn into. Ultimately, it stayed a secret (that I couldn't even begin to guess at) until the big reveal came, close to the end.

If you're looking for something unique and out of the ordinary, Best Forgotten is certainly worth looking into. The Australian setting gives it a unique feel, with slightly different phrases and wording than American novels offer. There are a couple instances of minor language (h*ll and d*mn) from the "bad" guys, but otherwise I can't think of anything objectionable. The story really made me stop and consider if I would like what I'd see were I able to look at my life with an objective opinion, not being swayed by emotions or memories. Honestly, it's an opportunity I hope to never personally have, however, in the case of this story, the trauma of amnesia actually turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in Courtney's life.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Thank you to the author for providing me with a review copy.

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