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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn

Reincarnation

by Suzanne Weyn


This book starts out in prehistoric times, with two people fighting over a precious stone that could change both of their lives, and it ends in present time with two teenagers, who just met. The whole book is the many stories of these two people; in love, but unable to be with each other before the end.


I had high expectations for Reincarnation. The cover is beautiful, the story is unique and interesting, and so many people have read it and liked it. Now I'll admit, my expectations were probably a bit too high. Because I was disappointed.


Let's start with the main idea. I love a good love story just as much as the next person. But in the beginning of the book, they die fighting... and suddenly it just seems like they're expected to love each other, just because they met in a past life. The main attraction between them is the fact that they feel an instant connection between them. More of the book is focused on them having met before, and not the actual relationship itself. I don't know as much about these characters as I would have liked.


Each section was written from a different time period, which was a good idea. But was it just me, or did the writing seem a bit choppy? I don't think the stories flowed together very nicely at all... and the dialogue didn't fit right, either. I'm not really sure, it just appeared to be too offhand and obviously set up. I couldn't imagine the characters having them as real conversations.


I know this review makes it sound awful... but it really wasn't terrible. It had it's good aspects. From this book, I get the idea that the author wants to convey the universal idea that love never ends, and that sometimes it may take longer for two people to be together than they can even imagine (in this case, thousands of years).


So, all in all, not bad. Just not as good as I was expecting. The idea was great, but the execution of that idea was poor.

6 comments:

Liv said...

Aw, I liked this book a lot, but I can totally see where you're coming from. I just don't think that the parts that you didn't like mattered to me as much. ;)

The Book Muncher said...

i really want to read this book :D even if it didnt totally wow you

Caroline said...

Aw. I haven't gotten this book yet, but I did really want to read it- I had basically the same expectations as you did, though, so I don't know if I'll like it now. At least I won't be disappointed now, if I do end up reading it.
Good review!

BooksandLove said...

I want to read this!

bookworm13 said...

I totally hope to read this book soon, cause it sounds like an amazing book even though some parts were not as good as the rest

Reader said...

I agree with everything in the review.

The actual romance was lame. I didn't believe the connection between the characters:
- Their speech was too formal.
- They never actually described what they liked about each other.
- And most importantly... they never made out! Okay, they kissed a few times, but come on. They're teenagers during many of the lives in which they meet. If a teenage boy falls in love with a girl, he's going to want some pussy. There is so little sexual attraction or sexual tension that it's like they are either extremely sophisticated ten-year-olds or gender neutral, self-replicating Martians. I thought this was a young adult book, for god's sake.

The writing was bad too:
- She didn't describe smells, tastes, or textures. I couldn't imagine anything in vivid detail.
- She wrote much better about the female main character than about the male one.
- She repeated over and over how "it seemed like they had known each other all their lives" and how "he didn't know how, but he knew he loved her."
- It only tugged at my heartstrings once: when she described the entangled caveman skeletons in the last chapter


Despite these flaws, the book was worth reading:
- The basic idea is good. I hope she thought of it herself, or she has little redeeming quality as an author.
- The history is interesting. I just learned in school last year about all the cultures she described: ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome, etc. It was great, because I knew what she was talking about.

Some things I found interesting:

- The author really pushes the theology of reaincarnation on the reader, like it mades perfect sense and people are silly not to believe it.
- When a character dies, he sees what he expects in the afterlife - the Giant Bird in prehistory, the River Styx in ancient Egypt, the Pearly Gates during the Civil War - before being taken away by the bright light.
- After many lives together, the main characters begin to remember their past lives. If this is true, why don't other people in the world begin to remember theirs? Is it just that the power of their love jogs the memory of the main characters?
- The last chapter tells you that the emeralds assosiated with the main characters were all fake.
- The main girl character (May) becomes a boy (John) during the Civil War, and the main boy character (Kye) becomes a girl (Lou). The name John is strictly male, but Lou could go either way, and Lou cross-dressed and felt comfortable as a boy. What is the author trying to say about gender identity? Did the Heavens just make a mistake when they put these souls into their bodies?
- The male main character (Kye) seems so weak and pathetic the whole time, but then he becomes the Buddha!
- I expected the author to put a date on the last chapter - like "March 2008" - but she put "Present Day" instead.

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