Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
*Received copy from Anne at Living in a Fairy World as part of the Genre Swap Project - Thank You!*
In recent months, I've been supremely bad about reading adult fiction. I know there's a lot of good stuff out there, but I think a lot of it stems from nervousness. What if I'm not clever enough anymore? What if I can't keep up? What if I'm bored?? For these reasons and more, I took part in the Genre Swap Project in which YA and adult booktubers on YouTube were paired up and we sent a surprise book to our partners. Thanks for the Memories was what I got, and over the next few days of reading, I was so happy to dive back into a "grown up" book.
A few months ago, Justin, a divorced art history and architecture professor who uprooted his life in Chicago so he could be closer to his nearly grown daughter in London, did something that was truly from the heart for the first time in a long time: he donated blood. Sure it was to impress a woman, but still, he gave and it felt good. Not long afterward, Joyce had an accident, falling down the stairs in her Dublin home causing her to have a miscarriage and loose a lot of blood. Luckily she got a transfusion and health-wise, she's as good as she can be. But now Joyce's mind is full of memories that aren't her own. She can speak languages she's never studied. She's doing things that have never appealed to her before and she can't explain why. It seems like serendipity when Joyce and Justin's lives dance around each other and their stories unfold, but did Joyce get more than just blood from Justin that day?
Ahern's novel has a little bit of everything I like. There's the European setting (London and Dublin, mostly), the flawed characters, a dash of magical realism that keeps everyone on their toes, and even some art history. Most people might categorize this as chick lit, but I wouldn't slap that label on. After all, Justin's story is half the book. This is a cute and clever idea that builds off of one twist in the universe and unfolds at a steady pace. Was it a bit predictable at times? A little bit, but I never minded because it was never exactly what I was expecting.
If you're in the mood for ordinary life with a dash of the slightly fantastical, give Thanks for the Memories a read. I'm so glad Anne sent this my way and it's made me excited to get back into the adult sections of the bookstore and library.
Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!
Cecilia Ahern's website