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The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare (Strange Chemistry) Paperback – March 4, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: Strange Chemistry
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Strange Chemistry (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908844930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908844934
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Beautiful prose, an intelligent plot, and a heroine as fabulous as she is unique--I couldn't put it down!" ~ C. J. Redwine, author of the Defiance Trilogy
“I never expected The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare to be as good as it was. It took me completely by surprise and turned out to be quite possibly one of the best novels from Strange Chemistry books to date. Forget popular books like The Hunger Games & Twilight, M.G. Buehrlen’s debut novel is something that every young adult fan should read.”
- Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields

“It is addictive and completely unputdownable. M.G. Buehrlen has astounded me; she’s a genius. I couldn’t put this book down, couldn’t stop. There’s mystery and intrigue and about a thousand hints and red herrings to throw you off. This is the kind of book that needs to be read, book-club style, and talked about: “what’s going on?”, “who did this?” “whyyyyy?!” All this—and more. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is a stunning novel that is expertly written and paced and presented and—and everything. This book is beautifully heart-breaking and inspiring and terrifying and meaningful. It will surprise and delight and astonish.”
- Jet Black Ink

“a non-stop thrill-a-minute ride with some quick detours in our thinking necessary.  I did not want this book to end, and will anxiously await the next book in the sequel! Looking for a good book?  This YA sci-fi adventure is a good book!”
- Looking For A Good Book

“a fun, fast paced read…a wonderful debut novel, and I hope to see a sequel from this author soon.”
- Avid Reviews

“The writing is superb as is the character development. The story-line will rivet until the wee hours of the morning, and thankfully, the novel is longer than most so you can make the enjoyment last a little longer. I want more of this story and more of this author.”
- Koeur’s Book Reviews

About the Author

When she’s not writing about teens who save the world, M. G. moonlights as a web designer and social media marketing buff, and she’s the current mastermind lurking behind the hugely popular website, a social network for YA (and kids!) book lovers.

Places you might find M. G. hiding: in her creaky old house nestled in Michigan pines, sipping coffee on her porch, playing in leaf piles, cooking over campfires, and dipping her toes in creek beds.

Customer Reviews

The story is very well written and captivating.
Jimmy Pak
At points it is a little confusing, but I take confusing in stride when I'm reading books about time travel.
I look forward to the next book in this series.
Tiffany Holme

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By The Housework Can Wait on March 8, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE FIFTY-SEVEN LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE does all sorts of things I don't see often in YA, and especially in this kind of intricately-plotted, genre-bending, world-building-heavy YA.

It gives our main character, Alex, an entire intact family unit, complete with parents, grandparents, and siblings, that is not dysfunctional in the slightest.

It puts at the center of the book a relationship that is in no way romantic, and a male lead who isn't even kind of swoony (unless you are about 40+ years older than the book's target audience, in which case 1) GOOD FOR YOU, and 2) go right ahead and swoon).

It presents three possible love interests for the main character, but at no time ever resembles a love triangle, square, hexagon, dodecahedron, or any other geometric shape. And of those three, not a single one is an obviously terrible choice.

Yet at the same time, Alex is not a She's-All-That-esque swan-in-ugly-duckling-clothing. When she takes off her nerd glasses, she is -- shockingly -- still a nerd. She never becomes magically popular. She isn't stunningly beautiful underneath her rumpled appearance. And she actually turns out to be less of a Chosen One than she originally thought.

This all brings me to the main reason I loved this book: It put characters first. A lot of time, even in good books, when there's this many EVENTS that have to happen on the pages, writers almost seem to run out of room to develop the characters. But with ALEX WAYFARE, the thing that kept me turning pages well past my bedtime wasn't the thrilling missions through time or the looming menace of the ever-nearing villain -- though those were fun too -- it was the heart in the characters. It was the fact that the characters rang true.

They reacted illogically.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. B. Pritchard on May 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I read the synopsis for this book, I thought that I'd love it but that turned out to be far from the truth. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is about a 17-year-old girl named Alex who has some serious behavioral issues and who can also do some weird combination time travel-reincarnation thing. Basically, she's lived a bunch of past lives which she can access by going into "Limbo." Most people go to Limbo when they die, but people like Alex who are called "Descenders" can go to Limbo any time they want. Alex, however, is special because she can only access her past lives from Limbo rather than inhabiting any random body that she wants like most of the Descenders.

It's kind of stupid. And confusing. All this won't be revealed until over halfway through the book and the time travel element is pretty confusing until that point.

But whatever. To move on, my biggest problem with this book is that Alex, the main character, is completely unlikable. She's one of those female MCs who keeps telling the reader how she's not like all those other stupid, shallow girls who only care about "boys and kissing" (eyeroll)-- except it's completely untrue. The only things she cares about are boys and kissing. Alex's sister is dying, Alex is flunking out of eleventh grade, she has the ability to travel magically back into her past lives and potentially change the future, and all she can think about is some boy named Blue she met for like two seconds in one of her past lives. A good 40% of book is devoted to Alex obsessing over Blue and trying to find him again.

I honestly have a lot of problems understanding Alex and her motivations (which seem to change at the drop of a hat).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Onmykindle on March 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Review Courtesy All Things Urban Fantasy

I knew going in that THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE was probably going to mess with my mind, and in that respect, it didn’t disappoint. Time travel is always going to make for a complex tale that’s going to have you bending your brain around to make sense of who’s where…and when.

For all her self-deprecation, I liked the main character. Alex has a biting sense of humor and just enough snark in her thoughts and dialogue to occasionally have me laughing out loud. The secondary characters fleshed out the story well, but none of them were as strong as Alex herself. Possibly Porter for all his secrecy. That secrecy, thought, is one of the serious issues I had with THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE.

I understand the way the world-building works in the story, the Descenders, the Transcenders, and Alex’s past lives…or at least, I understood it well enough. But when a story centers so much on such a complex level as time travel, there were times it felt like too much. Alex’s lives, the conspiracy with the bad guy, the connection with other Transcenders as well as Alex’s current life and everything going on there.

One other smaller problem is more of a pet-peeve I’ve held for a while – the all-knowing character who deliberately keeps the main character in the dark about information they need to know…and then get angry with them when their own ignorance gets them into trouble. I understand its part of the mystery of the story and going for the ah-ha moment; it still irks.

Those two things aside, I’m still very intrigued by the story itself and plan to read the next book in Alex Wayfare series. That might have something to do with a rather large cliffhanger, but I also want to know more about Alex’s life, past and current, what happens with the fight against the bad guy…and whether or not she’ll find what she expects.
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More About the Author

When she's not writing, M.G. moonlights as a web designer and social media/creative director. She's the current web ninja lurking behind the hugely popular website, a social network for YA (and kids!) book lovers. The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare is her debut novel. M.G. lives nestled away in Michigan pines, surrounded by good coffee and good books, with her husband and son and their three furbabies.

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The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare (Strange Chemistry)
This item: The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare (Strange Chemistry)
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