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Persistence of Memory by Amelia…
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Posted to my Livejournal in October 2008:

I'd never read anything by this author before but I'd heard plenty about her and her books, so I looked forward to reading this despite the dumb cover aimed at what publishers think teenage girls should like and the word "vampire" in the summary. The book was . . . okay. Erin, diagnosed schizophrenic and capable of terrible violence when her alter ego, Shevaun, takes over, is finally ready to start public school again after 18 months of therapy and an arsenal of pills. Just as things are looking up, however, her episodes start up again, but this time, thanks to a couple friends, she finds out that Shevaun is a real person (a vampire) and not a construct of her mind. Somehow, she and Shevaun are mentally linked, and they need to sever the connection for both to live their lives. Erin's friend Sassy is a bright spot in this book, and the idea that supernatural powers could appear to be mental illness is intriguing, but the explanation/solution to Erin's and Shevaun's link was so confusing that I felt cheated, and it ended on an anticlimactic note. ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |

I was very pleased with this. Not being a huge fan of the Kiesha’ra series, going back into the world of the Den of Shadows was interesting, especially since Atwater-Rhodes manages to tie in both of her universes into ours. I like the slow build-up of the book and how you gradually begin to realize what’s happened in Erin’s past. Although, I wasn’t a fan of the reusing of a plot point from Demon in My View (slight spoiler), but I enjoyed the book nonetheless. Also, actual vampiring is always a plus.
( )
  princess-starr | Mar 31, 2013 |
I was a big fan of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes when I was in middle school. She was the kind of writer I wanted to be: young, mostly, first published when she was thirteen. That impressed me a lot.

I’m less impressed now that I’m older. I now find Atwater-Rhodes’ characters flat and often juvenile in their actions and thinking (which is acceptable for her teenage characters, but not so much for her characters that are supposed to be hundreds of years old). Her world building appeals to me though, which is why I keep on returning to her books (well, that and the nostaglia factor). I’ve been to her site and I’ve enjoyed reading all the background genealogy charts and histories that she’s woven for her complex world. Persistence of Memory doesn’t showcase her world building abilities as much as her other novels. But for someone who’s read the other books, there are definitely moments that will ping you. Personally, I’ve always wanted to know more about Tristes and Triste training, and I got that wish.

So I like the world. Atwater-Rhodes does too. These are obviously beloved characters of hers. Sometimes I think she loves them a bit too much. For instance, she is constantly emphasizing how badass and super speshul her characters are, which gets old fast.

And with this book, she walks a fine line in using mental illness as a plot device for magic, but that is not my area of expertise and I will leave it to someone who is better educated on mental health and ableism than I am.

I did like Alexander’s cameo. I grinned when he answered the door. I want a book where he and Risika team up and…I don’t know, just hang out or something. That would be nice. ( )
  veevoxvoom | Jun 25, 2010 |
Just as good as I've come to expect from this author's works. ( )
  shadowseer | May 18, 2010 |
I got this book as an Advanced Readers Edition through the Amazon Vine program. The premise sounded interesting.

Basically Erin has finally enrolled in public schooling. For the first 16 years of her life she has been institutionalized because of schizophrenia. Sometimes her violent alter-ego Shevaun takes over. Finally Erin's life is looking up, Shevaun is under control and Erin can look forward to a normal life. That is until she joins fencing club. Shevaun once again takes control and Erin flees the club only to see one of her new friends turn into a tiger in front of her. Convinced that she is again going crazy Erin heavily doses herself and wakes up to find that maybe Shevaun is more real than she ever expected.

This was an easy book to read. The characters are engaging. The idea of paranormal powers being treated as mental illness was explored in more depth than it has been in any other paranormal book I've read. An intriguing world was hinted at but never really fully developed. The book itself was very short. It almost seemed like more of an intro to a new series than a full book in itself.

I liked the world and the characters. I just thought that they were all under-developed. I also liked the discussion around paranormal abilities as mental illness. In fact I really like most of this book. The ending kind of ruined it all for me. It was such a rushed ending. Not a ton happens in the beginning then suddenly all this stuff is thrown at you in the last couple chapters and it's all over. It read like Atwater-Rhodes suddenly had a deadline sneak up on her.

If this book is the beginning of a series it could turn into an interesting series. As a stand alone book it feels incomplete. The concepts are interesting, but rushed. If you are interested in the topic of paranormal behavior being perceived as mental illness than this would be an interesting read for you. ( )
  krau0098 | Mar 29, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385734379, Hardcover)

Sixteen-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry or making friends. In times of stress, she has always been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she’s grateful to have been spared them for a while.

But when a protective friend comes back into Erin’s life, he insists that Shevaun is a vampire who actually exists apart from Erin. Shevaun has dangerous allies, like the handsome witch Adjila—and they’re determined to sever Shevaun’s connection to Erin once and for all.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child, sixteen-year-old Erin has spent half of her life in therapy and on drugs, but now must face the possibility of weird things in the real world, including shapeshifting friends and her "alter," a centuries-old vampire.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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