by Kristen Lippert-Martin
Publishing date: September 23rd 2014
This is the book I was really excited to read and it's the kind of book that usually ends up on my favorites shelf. The key word being usually. There are always exceptions to that rule and Tabula Rasa was one of them. This is the kind of book that had so much potential, a great description that makes you want to read the book right away, and it even started out really great, BUT it all went downhill from there. I ended up NOT LIKING the book that started out really great! It is a rare occasion when I rate a book as 'I don't like it' and it usually means that I basically didn't like anything and I couldn't find a single thing I could hold on to and rate it as 'meh'. Yes, Tabula Rasa was one of those rare books.
What goes on in Tabula Rasa is that Sarah is currently placed in some kind of hospital which specializes in removing unwanted memories, usually ones that are really bad and from some kind of traumatic experience and it's better not to have to deal with them or remember them. The thing is that Sarah almost has no memories of her life before the hospital, but then the attack on the hospital happens and Sarah finds three pills with a note to drink them. Then her memory starts to come back slowly, and while she's trying to put the pieces together, she has to retrieve one new pill that she crushed from the hospital, with the little help of a boy she just met and one of the patients.
I know that this summary probably sounds really good to you, and it really does... But let me explain WHY I DIDN'T LIKE Tabula Rasa and why I deducted the rating the way I did. You'll see, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation why I did what I did.
From 5 to 4 stars - If you look in the description of this book, it promises us "The Bourne Identity meets Divergent". I was looking forward to a book like that, BUT don't let them fool you. Tabula Rasa is nothing like the The Bourne Identity or Divergent. The only thing I can maybe find that they have in common is the genre, thriller and dystopia. I was also promised "a Katniss-esque heroine fighting to regain her memories and stay alive", but Sarah is far from that. I'm not sure I could even compare the two. With this being said, I don't see how this book could appeal to the fans of above mentioned books.
From 4 to 3 stars - Another big problem I had with this book has much to do with the setting, the characters, the pacing and the not knowing anything. At this point, I was already starting to get frustrated. The characters were there just to exist, with no personality or whatsoever. The worldbuilding was explained just so you could have a little knowledge of why are some of the things happening, but it is far, far away from a good, strong worldbuilding.
From 3 to 2 stars - ENTER INSTALOVE (ohhaii)! I think Tabula Rasa has one of the most instantaneous instaloves I have ever encountered. By instalove, I consider romance when two people declare their love after just knowing each other for a week or maybe a month. But this book TOPS IT ALL!
"I knew him three days. That's all. But I think I've fallen in love with him since then."
Yes, you read that correctly. They were in love after just 3 days, and may I mention it came out of the blue? In those 3 days, they spent so little time together because one of them was always either: A) unconscious, B) asleep or C) just out of it/in some foggy state. Before they were in love, you could barely notice they liked each other or cared about the other, but yeah, the were in love. AFTER THREE DAYS!
From 2 to 1 stars - Wtf was that ending? What was the point of it all? Was that supposed to be funny? Sarcastic? Sad? A happy ending? An open ending? I don't get it. I believe this was one of the worst endings I have ever read. I'm sorry to be this harsh, but this is just the portrayal of how I felt upon finishing Tabula Rasa.
I really don't like writing negative reviews for a book, but I think my readers deserve to know how I truly felt about a book, and decide for themselves if they still want to give the book a chance. Two opinions are never the same and they differ. If I didn't like this books, it doesn't mean that someone else also wouldn't.