Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Greatest Fear is Disappearing

Ally's life seemed perfect: star actress, popular, she's on the dance team with all the upperclassmen girls constantly watching her, and the senior football player says he loves her. But once a naked picture is streamlined throughout the school, her picture perfect life is suddenly shattered. Her friends ignore her, and the words "whore" and "slut" are tossed around frequently. Ally remembers the roof, wanting so badly to jump, but she doesn't remember what happened before or after. Now she finds herself in the hallway, the in-between.
Elijah has always been in love with Ally, but steered clear after his own brush with death. After his brother's suicide, Elijah's life has fallen apart, but he managed to surmount his pain and power through, only now he can see ghosts, and he knows he needs to try to help Ally find her way back.
Her pain is so strong, and as her memory comes back Ally sees that maybe she won't be able to come through on the other side. Can Elijah make Ally see that getting through the pain is worth it? Or will Ally succumb to the pain and stay at death's door forever?

Forget Me Not by Carolee Dean centers around the raw emotion of pain and uselessness. Feeling a sense of belonging is typical for high school, and once that comfort is taken away, there is no telling the emotional toll it can take. Ally was once on top, but only because she built herself that far. Her baggage started way before high school, but once you claw your way to the top, you tend to forget the people you step on. I really started to get aggravated with Ally on more than one occasion. She starts to give up and decide this pain she's going through is far too much to take, so she'd rather be dead.
Upon further thought, because I am a high school teacher, I realized that I can understand her emotions. High school girls think it's the end of the world when the cute guy doesn't like them, or the are embarrassed in front of everyone, or they are ditched by their superficial friends. Ally is no different.
The best character, by far, was Elijah. His older brother's death affected him deeply, especially because his parents said they wish it had been him and not Frank. His baggage is so deep, but he managed to struggle through. His fight and his desire to keep fighting are admirable. I found myself wanting to read his side of the story more, and I found him more interesting. He is comfortable with himself and he doesn't care what anyone thinks. Ally was more shallow, and even through this experience, I feel like a part of her will always be that way.
I liked this one. Not loved, not hated, but it was okay. Some times during reading I kept thinking it was getting a little ridiculous. The whole ghost angle, and her being invisible was just eh. I get it, she's in-between, but I feel like the author could have done it a better way.
The book was really quick because it was in journal format, so both Ally and Elijah's stories were short chapters and poetic. Quick and easy, and it does a nice job of portraying realistic emotion in a high school environment. It's not a must read, but if you happen to want a quick one this is it.