Review: Amber by Julie Sykes

October 17, 2013 Book Reviews 2 ★★★

Review: Amber by Julie SykesAmber by Julie Sykes
Published by Curious Fox on September 12th 2013
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Goodreads

How do you live by the rules if you don’t know what they are?

Amber’s lost her memory. She doesn’t even know her real name. The only clues to her identity are a beautiful amber necklace and a broken mobile phone. She’s determined to learn the truth about her past life, and the secrets she’s hiding, but how many rules will she break along the way?

AMBER is the story of a young girl who awakens in the hospital after a car crash with no memory of her identity. Upon learning that the person she was travelling with was killed, our protagonist takes the name Amber, compelled to do so by the beautiful necklace in her possession. With nothing more than a strange type of Smartphone, Amber must discover who she is. Fostered by the Marshall family as investigations get underway and brought to their Summer Music Camp, Amber finds herself drawn to Dan, the Marshall’s son and as she builds a life, must decide whether the disturbing flashbacks of her previous life are a beacon to guide her home or a warning to stay away…

From page one you’re hooked into the mystery as the fog around Amber’s past begins to dissipate and the reader uncovers information at the same time as Amber about the mysteries of her past. I enjoyed AMBER but unfortunately I didn’t love it. I felt there was something crucial missing. The pacing chugged along at a steady tempo and kept me interested as the story unfolded but I didn’t particularly connect with any of the characters. At times their interaction was strange, it didn’t ring true which I suppose should add to the sense of foreboding that one should feel when trying to solve a mystery and figure out who’s the good and bad guys but it struck me as more jarring and shallow.

It was interesting to discover who Amber actually is although from the beginning it was fairly obvious but I liked how certain aspects of language and culture  particularly the use of music were weaved into the plot and thought it highly original and compelling.

At times the mystery of who Amber is was shunted to one side in favour of a classic boy meets girl scenario. The romance which usually I’m a big fan of frustrated me especially towards the end when Amber came across as finicky and indecisive leading me to really disconnect with her as a character.

Overall, as a mystery AMBER is an intriguing and entertaining quick read but unfortunately not as memorable as I would have liked.

 

Danielle

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