Thursday, May 10, 2012

Julie's Review: The Song Remains the Same

Summary: One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the horrific experience-or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind, with the help of family and friends, who have their own agendas. She filters through photos, art, music, and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon, in tiny bits and pieces, Nell starts remembering. . . .

It isn't long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband. In the end, she will discover that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself-and to finding happiness.

Review: You know how when you love a book, you struggle for the words to describe why you loved it so much? Yes, that's me with The Song Remains the Same. This book makes you think about what it is you would want to remember about your previous life and what you would want to leave out. Who would you trust to give you the truth? Would you want to change who you were in the past?

I loved Nell. I felt for her. I wanted her to learn about herself. Not the rose colored glass version but the real version of who she was before the plane crash. She wants to be someone else before she even knows who she was. As her mother, her sister and her husband recount to her who she was, what she did; something doesn't sit right with her. She enlists a journalist to help her "Free Nell Slattery" and find out the truth of who she is by digging into her past.

Of course, it isn't exactly what Nell expects and sends her into a search to find her father.  She latches onto the fact that he is the key to finding out who she is. She gets so caught up in that fact that she forgets to live in the moment and to look elsewhere for her answers. Nell uses music to try to reach the memories that are in the recesses of her brain. As she starts to remember, she begins to realize that everyone has their own agenda in her recovery. Perhaps the only one who doesn't have an agenda is Anderson, the Hollywood hunk who survived the crash with her. Although, Anderson is fighting his own demons that he can't quite shake.

The book could have definitely gone in a couple different directions that would have ended up in cliches but it didn't. The focus was on Nell finding out who she was and who she wants to become. The revelations are not what I expected and some of them are heart-wrenching. There is also a lot of humor dispersed throughout the novel, so that it's not so serious and heavy all of the time.

It is on this journey to her past where Nell figures out what she wants out of her future. It is true that in order to know yourself, you need to know where you come from but you can't let that affect who want to become. Maybe that is a lesson for all of us: we can't let our past define us.

I'm going a little fan girl here but I adore Allison. I've read all four of her books and this one is her best.  Nell was the easiest heroine from her books to like. I can't wait to read whatever she has in store in the future for her readers.

If you want a book that moves you, ties in some great music and pop culture then go get yourself a copy of The Song Remains the Same. I think anyone can get something out of this book.

Final Take: 5/5



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