Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Review for "Remembrant" {by Robin King}

Delicious Reads Book Review 
of Remembrandt



TITLE: Remembrant 
AUTHOR: Robin King

NUMBER OF PAGES: 203
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2014
PUBLISHER: Walnut Springs Press
READING LEVEL:
GENRE: YA, Suspense, Romance 


SUMMARY: Alexandra Stewart doesn't just walk down memory lane, she lives on it. Her eidetic memory records her experiences and plays them back, DVD style. It's great when she wants to ace a test, but not so great when she topples over a cute boy in the hallway and the humiliation plays back over and over and over . . . Brown University seems like the perfect place for the seventeen-year-old to forget her past. Hope for a normal life comes in the form of a handsome new running partner who makes her heart race and body perspire even before she laces up her shoes. 


When her Russian professor gives her a puzzle that seems impossible to solve, Alex discovers that he has a secret - one that will catapult her into a world of cryptic codes and covert missions. As she tries to find a balance between the two different worlds vying for her attention, Alex wonders if she can have relationships with the ones she cares about while hiding a clandestine life, uncovering the truths of an underground enemy.

One thing is for certain, whatever happens will be forever etched into her memory. And some things are better left forgotten.

THE AUTHOR:

Before diving into top secret information detailing our book review, here is some not so top secret information about the author herself. Robin M. King received her Bachelor's degree in education from Brigham Young University and has been instructing children and young adults for over ten years. When she's not writing or helping her students remember the quadratic formula, she leads a clandestine life as a mother of five. Don't tell anyone, but she's also an undercover marathoner, photographer, singer, seamstress, baker, and household appliance repairman.


OUR MISSION: OPERATION REVIEW REMEMBRANT

It has been well established that this book club doesn't do anything small and this night was no exception! Our beautiful and talented friend Robin King wrote an amazing book that we all loved and we had to celebrate that. Upon entering, each member of the secret organization known as "Delicious Reads" was asked by agent Hall to scan their finger in order to gain access to all things spy....and yummy food. Each member was then given a top secret mission straight from Director Hargett that they could not divulge to anyone and that had to be completed within the hour. Game on!
Many strange and memorable acts commenced during the half hour and many missions were accomplished. For example, someone had to try on another person's shoes without them suspecting. Someone was to sneak downstairs, put on a wig and come back up as if nothing were different. My favorite was when someone had to stand on one foot for a ridiculous amount of time without anyone catching on. You can see more ideas here. (Coming Soon)

After being debriefed we were able to really dive into our discussion of this great book. Here are some of our questions for Robin and topics we touched on.

1. Having an eidetic memory - replaying scenes in your head, recalling text, recognizing faces - seems like a gift everyone would want to have. If you could have a memory like hers, would you? What would be the advantages? Disadvantages?
- It would be hard to relive embarrassing moments and hurt to not ever have your brain be able to shut off those painful times.
- Pros outweigh the cons, college would have been so much easier being able to see all the textbooks in your mind!
- We all loved William's response when Alex finally tells him about her gift.

2. Vernon Sanders Law once said, "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward." What tests are given to Alex? What lessons does she learn?
-She is faced with the hard realization that her mother was actually in the company and had to lie to her. She learns that had she known this fact before, she may not have accepted it.
- We discussed that experiences of others can teach us as well without having to go through the test ourselves.
-A smart man learns from his mistakes. A wise one learns from the mistakes of others.
- We may have had every opportunity to "get in trouble" when young, but didn't because of older siblings. We can still learn the valuable lessons needed.

3. After Alex solves the cupboard puzzle, she asks what the Latin phrases mean. Golkov obviously knows but doesn't tell her. Alex says that "the good [teachers] never gave all the answers." Why would that be true?
- Growth comes in the struggle
- Handing everything to someone isn't a gift, it's often debilitating
- John Wayne knows his stuff (see McLintock)  

4. When Alex finds the plane ticket, she only questions using it for a second before deciding to travel to a foreign country. Have you ever jumped into something without knowing all the details? Could some of the consequences of Alex’s trip to St. Petersburg have been prevented if she had just called Golkov and asked a few questions?
- It was funny to us that she was so ready, willing and able to go!
-There are lots of experiences at 19 when I asked myself, "What was I thinking?"
-If she would have called Golkov, he wouldn't have told her. He may have acted like he had no idea what she was talking about.

5. During one of Alex’s flashbacks, she wants to skip or fast-forward through a scene from her memory, but she’s not the “director of [her] memories.” If you could rewrite a scene from your life, would you? 
- No. My choices, good and bad, have made me into the person I am today.
- I would go back and not get into any tanning beds!
- There are lots of things that we could go back and redo that wouldn't affect our futures too badly.
-We thought of how interesting it would be to see several different spin off lives based on our choices then make decisions based on which outcome we'd like to have. Kind of like a choose your own adventure.

6. Near the end of the book, Alex debates whether or not to share her secret with William. She reasons with herself that her life would have been very different if she had known her mother’s secret. Is she being fair to William by not sharing her secret? Are there some secrets that should be kept from those you love? If you were a member of a spy organization, would you keep it a secret?
- If she would have known her mother's secret in the past, she wouldn't have been so understanding of it. Since going through her experiences, she understands and is proud of her mother.
- If you love someone, they should know what you do and you should want to share that with them.
- Someone had a father that had such a job and she said it was better not knowing so that they didn't worry when he was "out of town".
- When you are in the CIA and you get married, you are then allowed to disclose certain information to that person. 
- I couldn't keep a secret to save my life, so I would tell!


Discussing this book with the one and only Robin King was SUCH a treat and we are beyond proud of her accomplishment. We hope that you and your book club love Remembrant as much as we did! Are you ready for a little tidbit straight from the author? In our discussion we asked quite a few questions about the mysterious Elijah. Robin couldn't give out too many details, but she did let us know that he plays a pretty major role in the next book....that's RIGHT! The adventures of the beautiful spy Alexandra and the Company are far from over. Of course, this isn't very public knowledge......can you keep a secret?


*CONTENT CATEGORIES*
*RATING*
LANGUAGE/PROFANITY
none
SEXUALITY
mild (flirting, kissing)
VIOLENCE
mild
DRUG/ALCOHOL USE
          none
INTENSE/SCARY SCENES
          mild




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