Keep Me In Mind – Jamie Reed – Point – Published 26 April 2016
Ellia Dawson doesn’t recognize the handsome boy who sits in tears by her hospital bed. But he’s telling her that he’s Liam McPherson, her boyfriend. Boyfriend? Ellia thinks in shock. She has no clue who Liam is, let alone whether or not she once loved him. She remembers her family, her friends, and the fact that she wants to be a fashion designer. But Liam is a big blank in her life.
Meanwhile, Liam is devastated that Ellia, the love of his life, who suffered an accident while they were running together on the beach, has lost her memory. He is desperate to win her back, rebuild what they once had, but Ellia keeps him at an arm’s length. She’s much more comfortable with a new boy she meets at the hospital, who understands more what she’s going through. So Liam begins writing the story of the two of them, piecing together the past in the hopes of having a future with the girl he loves.
What an intriguing story. The focus of Keep Me In Mind seems to be romance but as the story unfurls it becomes clear that it is much more about self discovery, family relationships and the expectations we place on ourselves and others to cope with these relationships.
At the start of this book, and for a large percentage of it, it’s not clear what happened to Ellia, how the accident that stole her memories eventuated, what happened after and why she can’t remember anything about her boyfriend of two years, Liam. She can’t remember him, her parents refuse to talk about him or her accident and Liam himself isn’t all that forthcoming with the details of that fateful morning.
Keep Me In Mind is told in alternating chapters from Liam and Ellia, giving readers an inside look to both sides of the story, while still maintaining the mystery of Ellia’s accident.
The book opens with a chapter from Liam and an excerpt from the story he is writing about his and Ellia’s relationship. It’s here that we get to see them as a couple, fun, loving, teasing and laughing their way through romance. They make a very sweet couple, so it makes it all the more impactful to watch the fallout from Ellia’s memory loss. But as Ellia slowly uncovers, their romance hides some painful truths.
Ellia is a mix of bright and outgoing, brash and unafraid to voice her opinions. And while she retains some of this after the accident she is now a little more reserved. She doesn’t like the picture she’s getting of who she used to be. Liam is poetical and passionate. While Liam can be a little high-handed at times, there is no denying his feelings for Ellia. Then there is Cody, someone who understands what Ellia is currently going through (he has anterograde amnesia to Ellia’s retrograde) and is easy-going and comfortable. But the potency between Ellia and Liam can’t be ignored, they have history even if Ellia can’t remember it.
With a colourful writing style, with plenty of embellishments and metaphors, readers get both the excitement of a developing love story, along with one that is as familiar and cozy as your favourite blanket, all wrapped up with a bit of heartbreak and family complications.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Amnesia, dating and relationships, romance, friendship, family.
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Published: 26 April 2016 by Point
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 304 pages.
Handsome is misunderstood for Liam