I was so excited when I was approved for this eARC from Strange Chemistry, which was given to me in exchange for an honest review. This is an amazing YA time-travel story from debut novelist M.G Buehrlen. I loved it so much I bought a print copy.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.
But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.
It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.
Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.
And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
5 out of 5 stars.
Wow. This book. Just Wow. I was blown away by this. I am declaring it my new favourite YA time travel book.
It drew me in right from the start and held me captivated until the end. 57 Lives was a brilliant read.
Seventeen year old Alex Wayfare has had visions all her life, they take her unexpectedly at any moment, pulling her back into another time and place. She doesn’t understand why she has them, and at the start of the novel she is seeking help from a psychiatrist to try and figure out how she can stop them.
The next day, she is thrown into another vision. In this vision Alex meets a boy she refers to as Blue. They get themselves into a sticky situation and at the height of the excitement, Alex is thrown back to normal time. She is desperate to get back to Blue, but doesn’t know how.
She soon meets Porter, who has all the answers she has been looking for. It turns out her visions are real, that she has lived 56 lives and she has the power to travel back into any of the lives she wants.
It was the little stints in history that I really loved about this book. Buehrlen captured each era Alex travelled to so vividly that I pictured it easily and felt like I was right there with Alex. (On a side note, at one point Alex travels back to the wild west and after reading it I think I would really like to read a YA novel set in this time. That would be interesting and different.)
Romance is one of my favourite aspects of novels and the romance in this had my heart fluttering. Blue was a stand out character and totally swoon worthy.
Overall, 57 Lives was an exciting, fast paced read. It was full of twist and turns and had an ending that had me screaming for more. I loved everything about it. I was an emotional mess after reading it and need book 2 now. I cannot recommend this book enough. Read this book, I implore you. If you love YA, romance, time travel and great writing, then this book is for you!
You can add it to your Goodreads here.