AUTHOR: Eileen Cook
PUBLICATION DATE: February 24, 2015
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
PAGES: 320 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 4 bows
Harper is used to protesters hounding her about her dad and calling him the devil. She just doesn’t understand why. Her dad created Memtex, a procedure to remove bad or unwanted memories. Many people think it shouldn’t be legal and Harper doesn’t understand why. She ignores the protesters, until Neil crosses her path. He is as hot and persistent as the devil himself. Harper puts a good amount of thought into not noticing the hot part, she already has the perfect boyfriend. But when Harper’s father refuses to let her have the treatment, she begins to wonder if maybe the protesters aren’t so crazy and Neil is the only way she will learn the truth. The deeper she looks, the more she learns that this new information may change her entire life. Is she ready for that?
Harper is that girl with a near perfect life that we all envy. She has loving parents with enough money to make sure she has everything she could want or need. She has great friends and a perfect boyfriend. She also has a passion for horses and the perfect mount. Her horse is perfectly in sync with her, allowing for amazing results in competitions. Then the horse dies and everything goes to hell. Everyone expects her to be upset for a little bit, but she can’t let it go. She’s falls into a depression and, even though she knows she shouldn’t be reacting this strongly, she can’t help herself. After much thought, she realizes that her dad can help her. She can get the Memtex treatment to remove memories of the horse and his death and she can go back to normal. To a normal where her boyfriend doesn’t irritate her with every word and where she has no desire to do anything beyond sulk. She is so startled when her dad refused to sign the consent forms that she doesn’t know what to do. If the procedure is perfectly safe as he and everyone at the company insists, why won’t he let her do it? Her tenacity is what won me over. Once she made her mind up to have the procedure, she is determined to make it happen, regardless of what her dad wants. But soon after, she has weird symptoms and it’s not her perfect boyfriend she runs to, it’s Neil.
I was on the fence about Neil, as I seem to be with most male characters lately. It was clear that he was hiding something, but I wasn’t sure what. Plus, there is that whole cheating element that I have serious issues with. Harper has a boyfriend, even if he is currently getting on her nerves, he’s still her boyfriend. I wanted to hate Neil actually, because I really wanted Harper to not go down the cheating road, but that’s never how it happens, is it? It’s always the new mysterious stranger who wins out, right? In the end, I did like Neil, and he goes through a great amount of trouble to help Harper in the end.
This novel has a great mystery in the middle. What exactly is her father hiding? What is Harper’s mind trying to remember? Why are the paper’s with her horse all wonky? Why do all these new places feel familiar even though she knows she’s never been here before? The answer is quite clear for a while before she really lets it sink in, but watching her confusion was immensely entertaining. My biggest issue, if you hadn’t already guessed, was the cheating element. I understand that you and boyfriend have been together forever and you don’t want to hurt him, but cheating hurts him. Period. I did like that she was aware and remorseful of that fact, but not enough to act on it. She let’s her emotions get away with her and I wanted to slap her.
I loved the idea and controversy of Memtex. This procedure could have an amazing impact on the world. War veterans who are haunted by their tours overseas could remove those memories and be able to move on. Rape and abuse victims can take away their fears. When you really start to think about it, the possibilities are endless. And then the controversy around it. Is it ethical to remove memories? The procedure is optional, no one is forced to have it, but should we be doing this? And what about side effects? They claim there are none, but what procedure has no side effects? What medicine is gives you something for nothing?
I requested this almost immediately after it appeared on Edelweiss. I was a big fan of Cook’s Getting Revenge On Lauren Wood and I knew I wanted to read her other work. This sounded very interesting and it doesn’t disappoint. We get romance, mystery, friendship, and enough drama to keep you needing more. Cook has mastered that need-to-read element in her writing to keep you wanting more and more until suddenly it’s over and you are happy to have finished but sad that there is no more story to read. I think this novel is for anyone who wants a good mystery with a side of romance!
****Thank you to Simon Pulse for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****