Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
Title: The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #1)
Author: M.G. Buehrlen
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
My The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare Pre-Reading
Synopsis: For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.
But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.
It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.
Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.
And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
Review: Guys, Alex Wayfare completely blew me away. I mean, I was expecting quite a bit from this book based on the synopsis alone, but M.G. totally delivered in her debut novel. It's fun, it's suspenseful, it's mysterious, it's heart breaking, and really just everything I hoped it would be. I loved Alex, I loved her story, and I really, really can't wait to find out where she ends up next.
Before I get ahead of myself, I guess I should tell you why I loved this book so much. Alex's visions prevent her from living a normal life, and they even impact those who are closest to her. Her parents won't let her sisters have a cat because Alex doesn't like them, the only movies her family watches are old classics because Alex doesn't do well with contemporary movies, Alex's sister has to walk home from school because Alex can't drive... it's basically just a mess, and everyone thinks Alex is just a spaz. But there's so much more to her than that, and I thought her visions and her quirks made her even more likable. Like, I want to be real so that we could be friends.
The time-travelling was done really well in this book. I liked how things were explained, and how we were able to experience the "visions" exactly as Alex did. Things were shown rather than told, and I was kept on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what situation Alex would be thrown into next, who she would be, and who she would encounter. And also how everything would eventually tie together.
There's a little bit of romance, but it definitely takes a backseat to the action and adventure here, although I have a feeling it will come in to play in the next books. Or maybe not - it could have just been Alex trying to figure out who she is and who the mysterious boy with the blue eyes is. As her memories from her past lives comes back, things could always change! If it is a budding romance, I'm excited to see where it goes. I feel like it's setup to go either way, and I enjoyed that.
Every character in this book is so well written, and I can't wait to find out more about them. I want to know more about Alex's connection with Blue, and to find out who he is in base-life! And of course Porter and Gesh and AIDA. Gesh is super weird and creepy and I'm terrified for Alex having to cross paths with him again. And then there's Jensen - I really want to know if he's connected to this whole thing or if he's just relevant to Alex's base-life. There are just so many excellent secondary characters and I can't wait to learn more about each one.
One of my favorite things about this book were the subheadings in each of the chapters. They're definitely in Alex's voice and straight out of her mind, and some of them are so sarcastic that I can just see her rolling her eyes as I read them. I think they helped break up what could have been really jarring transitions between reality and past lives, and that was very much appreciated. I thought the overall pacing was just right as well, and never felt like I was being rushed or that the story was dragging. There are enough details so that you can figure out what's happening, but not too many that you feel like they're there just for the benefit of the reader. I felt immersed in Alex's mind from page 1, and I really enjoyed finding things out as she did.
I just really loved this book, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read it. It's different from pretty much every other YA book I've read recently, and it was really refreshing. I think anyone looking for a good sci-fi read or anyone who enjoys Dr. Who would pretty much like this book. The time travelling is done really well, and I'm really looking forward to finding out more about the lives we didn't get to experience! I'm so looking forward to book 2, and will be recommending this book to pretty much everyone I know. A glowing 5/5!
Also! Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks, as we'll be hosting MG on the blog as part of the Alex Wayfare blog tour!