Thursday, March 31, 2011

Book Review: In Medias Res by Yolanda Wallace

Sydney Stanton realizes as she’s running through the airport that she doesn’t know where she’s running to. When she stops running, she doesn’t know who she is, where she’s going, or where she’s been. What she does know is that she has a ticket to Miami on flight due to depart now. On the plane, she begins the search for herself by going through the backpack she has with her. She quickly learns her name, her address in Chicago, her destination in Miami, and a few other bits of information. Over the next several days, she manages to recover more bits and pieces of her memory, including that she has a best friend, Jennifer, but not where she is.

Slowly, Wallace begins unfolding Sydney’s life. As Sydney’s memories begin seeping back into her head, Wallace picks up the pacing of the book as well. That’s not a good thing. The last chapters seemed rushed as if an approaching deadline was near. The first half or so of the book is all about Sydney. When Wallace begins introducing the other main character, the reader doesn’t get a sense of who she is, other than a doctor and a best friend. The book needed another 100 pages to sustain the “will-she-or-won’t-she get her memory back, to introduce Jennifer in depth, and to have Sydney’s actions explained. There were editorial gaffes, as well, that take the reader out of the story, a misspelled word, a misused word, etc.

This book will capture anyone’s attention from the opening page and the race through the airport. Having grabbed the reader on page one, it is unfortunate that by the last few chapters that grip slips and fails. That being said, this book is worth the price just to be able to read the first half of a fascinating premise that, while done elsewhere and to better effect, will still capture the reader as Sydney struggles to regain her memory.


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