Tabula Rasa, Kristen Lippert-Martin
Published September 23rd 2014 by EgmontUSA
Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.
But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end.
Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who’s trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.
Goodreads described Tabula Rasa as the “Bourne Identity meets Divergent” and, much as I love Jason Bourne, I can happily say that I did not find that to be true. This is not a dystopian novel. Sarah is a patient at a special hospital where she’s undergoing experimental procedures to remove her memories. When we meet Sarah she can’t remember why she’s even there. There are no mirrors in the facility so she can’t even remember what she looks like. There’s definitely a creepy vibe about the whole place so it does not really come off as a huge surprise when Sarah realizes the hospital is being invaded by soldiers. I flew through this book because I just couldn’t wait to read what happened next.
The procedures to remove all of Sarah’s memories are never completed, so with some help she starts to slowly remember how she ended up in this hospital. Sarah meets up with a young computer hacker who is trying to bring the facility down for reasons of his own and they team up to try to recapture all of her memories. I really liked seeing Sarah rediscover herself and gain confidence I thought the romance-of course there was a romance-was sweet and not too over the top.
I thought the foreshadowing of who the villain would be seemed too obvious, but in the end I have to give Lippert-Martin credit because it was not at all what I expected! I really liked Sarah -and it was great to be reading about a girl that wasn’t a white All-American Barbie. Score one for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement! Also awesome-this is a standalone book! No cliffhanger ending! Yes, this did require some suspension of disbelief but I didn’t find the premise to be too wild and it was such a fun book I didn’t care.
Check it out if you want a fun and fast read! This was a great debut and I will definitely be watching for more from Kristen Lippert-Martin.
Thank you Egmont USA and NetGalley for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion!