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Lost in Me (Here and Now Book 1) Kindle Edition
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But: If you hate cliffhangers as much as I do, don’t even think of reading this book before you have all three books in the series in hand. While at least some of the mystery is resolved by the end of the book through recovered memories and conversations, everything of substance is left up in the air in the worst possible way.
The Verdict: Wow. I thought I knew what I was getting into here. A book about someone who has amnesia is supposed to be pretty standard, very predictable. There’s going to be some plot twist revealed just as some couple starts coming together, and the recovered memories are going to bring to light some dark secret that I’ll have already figured out, thanks to heavy-handed foreshadowing and obvious clues. But not so with Lost in Me. Not at all.
The last thing Hanna remembers before the apparent fall down the stairs that zapped her memories is being the overweight girl who wanted the unattainable guy. But according to her doctor and everyone else, that was almost a year ago, and it seems that her whole life has changed since then. She’s lost tons of weight, and the guy wasn’t so unattainable after all. In fact, he’s practically perfect in his adoration of her, and while she may not remember how their relationship came about, she can see in his eyes just how real it all is. But there’s a bit of a mystery as well, something stranger than just not being able to remember.
For one, she and Max have apparently never slept together, and even though he says it’s because she wanted to wait until they were married, she can’t imagine herself having ever made that decision. And then when she wakes up to a man who she thinks is Max, only to find out he’s a complete stranger who clearly knows her body way too well… Well, like anyone else would in her shoes, she completely freaks out. Does this mean she was cheating on Max? Were they broken up? And why is this guy saying he’s in love with her?
As the mystery of pretty much everything continued to unfold, I couldn’t seem to guess correctly. I thought perhaps Max wasn’t such a good guy, but then it looked like he didn’t have a bad bone in his body. I thought perhaps Nate was the one for her, but then it became clear that he never made her any promises of a real relationship. There’s an eating disorder, a doctor concerned that her fall wasn’t a fall at all, friends she doesn’t even remember, and a strange strain in her relationship with her sister.
And then there was a cliffhanger from hell. By that point, I knew not everything would be resolved, and that book 2 would be an actual continuation, not just another added story. And while against all clues, I did manage to guess the cliffhanger before I got to it, I still wasn’t prepared for the story to end on such an unfinished note. I’ll give Lost In Me credit for saying to hell with all the cliches and creating a truly interesting story about someone suffering from amnesia, but the cliffhanger really killed off some of my love for it. Part of me wants to snatch up the next book right this second, and part of me wants to find a different series to get into, at least until I’ve scrounged up the money to buy Book 3 — it’s cheap, but I’m cheaper.
I think anyone who reads my reviews here knows that I do love to get lost in a series, but I hate feeling like I’ve been tricked into it. In any case, I imagine I’ll finish off the series eventually. For now, though, I’m willing to bet that book 2 has a screwy ending as well, so I’m not gonna chance it before I have the last one lined up as well. While we’re at it, Lexi Ryan is a new author for me, so if you’ve read her other stuff, I have to ask… Do all her series go all cliffhangery (<–totally a real word) like this?
This is the first book I've ever read by Lexi Ryan, and I'll say that her writing style is compulsively readable and she does have a command over an eye for detail and character development (though with caveats). "Lost in Me" follows the journey of Hanna, a young woman who has lost her memory and can't remember the last year of her life. That's a pretty tough situation to be in itself, and I'll admit the part of the story that hooked me was Hanna trying to feel her way back into her life, between rekindling her relationship with her twin sister, rediscovering her work with her bakery, and coming to terms with her mother's control over her life and suffering from an eating disorder and body image issues. (Because YAY for overweight heroines, though I didn't like how Hanna still continued to shame herself for her weight in this story and also proceeded to objectify herself in ways associated with her weight - that vexed me to no end. I mean, if the point is to be able to love your body no matter what, she did an awful lot of shaming her old image and glorifying her weight loss associated with her eating disorder and being in the hospital.) If the story focused on her coming to terms alone, I probably would've given this book a little higher in rating because I connected with that part of it.
The romance in this book was a different story. I mean, I knew it was coming - I knew that Hanna would be torn between two different guys - a man she's said to be engaged to but doesn't remember (Max), and a rocker whom she has a thing for but isn't sure of the nature of their relationship (Nate). I'll admit this book threw me out several times because of the awkward imposing of the sex scenes. Some of them were sketch in and of themselves (i.e. Nate coming into her room and imposing himself on her when she still doesn't remember who he is, and she freaks out because she thought it was Max.).
But seriously, you could've taken half of the sex scenes out of this book, and it wouldn't have been as awkward for transition as it presented itself. It felt a bit forced, and I didn't really care for it. Not to mention that I'm not sure if I really cared for the heroes in this book. I was team Hanna the whole way through, don't get me wrong, even if there were times she wanted to make me throw the book at her. Max was caring enough as a potential fiance, but there were things about his character that seemed off to me from the get go, and I understood why after certain events were revealed that made me think "Oh he can go screw himself for all I care." I'm not a fan of cheating relationships, and there's a bit of a two-fold questioning scenario in this that it goes back and forth between in this novel. It's palpable for conflict, but I didn't care that much for the portrayal. Nate is your typical rocker, though I still felt like he wasn't a part of the overarching novel (which I understood why) for a good part. Didn't give me enough time to get to know him or connect his relationship with Hanna.
This book goes between the present day and flashbacks as Hanna slowly recovers certain memories about her relationships with Max and Nate. I found that I followed that fine despite the jumps in time (though the intimacy scene transitions were awkward because of Hanna not knowing her connections with the two). I did feel for her as she came to rekindle her relationships, especially with her twin. I also liked Dr. Nix as a character (she was probably the character I liked the most in this novel, considering), as she helps Hanna in her recovery and just as an aide throughout certain events.
But if there's something that I hate in New Adult that always happens and new writers in this category always tend to do: cliffhangers. Why the heck do authors feel the need to crudely end their works on a cliffhanger, especially one that doesn't really make that much sense, especially when it contradicts information that was previously provided in the book? That's exactly what this book did, and it left me feeling like I'd followed most of the novel without getting very many answers at all, just more questions, and an awkward question to end on especially with the contradiction in info. I won't spoil it, but I'm wondering how this will be addressed in the series to come.
For the record, I'm interested enough in this book to continue the series, but I don't go into it with high expectations. I'm disappointed that this book chose to follow familiar cliches despite having potential to go beyond that, and an interesting premise and set of characters to follow. But compared to some of the NA books I've picked up in comparison? This wasn't among the worst ones I've read, but it still left much to be desired.
Overall score: 2/5 stars