Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Title:  Nemesis
Author:  Brendan Reichs
Publication Information:  G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. 2017. 464 pages.
ISBN:  0399544933 / 978-0399544934

Book Source:  I received this book through the Penguin First to Read program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "I swore to myself I wouldn't die that day."

Favorite Quote:  "I was going to fight for what I believed in, no matter the consequences. I was going to do something."

I get to the point in the book with twenty pages still left on my page count. I end a chapter and think I can't wait to see what happens next. I turn the page, and I see the words "acknowledgements." No!!! That's not how this ends. I want to know what happens next. I flip back and realize that the title of the chapter I just read is "epilogue." No!!! This is how this ends. I don't know if Nemesis is the beginning to a series, but I hope so. I want to find out what happens next.

Picture this scenario. Every two years on your birthday, a man in a black suit and shiny sunglasses kills you. Every two years, you come back to life unharmed. It starts when you are eight and hasn't stopped, not even nearly a decade later. People think you have mental health issues; some days, so do you. You have been under psychiatrist's care ever since the first incident. Eventually, you get smart and stop telling people what happens. Occasionally though, you wonder. Are you crazy? This is Melinda Julliard Wilder's real life in the tiny secluded town of Fire Lake set high in the Bitterroot Mountains in Idaho.

Now picture this scenario. You discover that everything you know, or think you know about your life,  is a lie. You discover that you are indeed not crazy, and that there are others like you. Your entire life is a part of a master plan that goes beyond anything you can imagine. This becomes Melinda Julliard Wilder's life.

What a fun adventure of friendship, high school rivalries, the government, secret projects, and, the possible end of the world. The book is full of twists and turns with the biggest one coming right at the end. I did not see that ending coming, and I loved it. It does seem a cliffhanger; so, I hope there are more books coming in Project Nemesis.

The other thing I appreciate about this book is that I enjoy it as an adult, and I can share it with my teenagers. The main characters are high school age, so teenagers can relate. For the most part, the characters are stereotypes - the bully, the rebel, the rich kid, the cheerleader, the jocks.
There are relationships in the book, but the book stays focused on the adventure and friendship, not any romantic inclinations. In other words, the book keeps it "clean." Also, this story is about the plot more than the characters so it works.

The book is fast-paced and adventurous to keep them reading. The story also has some familiar tones - a small town, a government administration from far away, a young woman and two young men, a struggle for survival. All these elements sound familiar from other young adult novels, but this book gives them its own spin.

Bottom line, I enjoy the story. Even more so, when I find a book that works for me and my teenagers, it gets high marks from me.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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