YA Review of Both of Me by Jonathan Friesen

Book Review, Young Adult Books

It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a
foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments.
Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias
Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit
to herself for years.

When her carry-on bag is
accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the
luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers
there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and
often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world
of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon
irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no
recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s
dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in
both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of
them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about
her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly
quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she’s
beginning to love from ever disappearing again.

Book Details:

Age range: 14 and up
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Blink (December 23, 2014)

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My Thoughts:

I didn’t really like this book, but it kept me reading through the end, so I’m giving it two stars.  I found much of the story
to be unbelievable and too vague to really appreciate it. I didn’t like
the protagonist very much and I found her motivations flimsy, confusing,
or non-existent.

The writing was lovely, if confusing. I spent much of the book wondering
what the point of the story was. Of course, things are explained at the
end, but it felt unresolved. The one big surprise for me was Elias’s
reason for the trip. But then again, it
opened up a whole new set of questions that I didn’t get answered.

In the end, I was left unsatisfied, confused, and generally
disappointed. But on the bright side, it was engaging enough that I
didn’t walk away from it. If I had disliked the book entirely, I would
have quit reading and would not be writing a review for it.

Content: kissing and suggestions of more happening

Source: I received a copy of this book from the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for an honest review.


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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Adriana Garcia
    March 14, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Huh. This sounds like a really weird book. I can see the mystery of it all being appealing to some readers and it's kind of interesting to me. But, I rather not read if it felt unresolved for you. Still, interesting concept.

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