In short, I didn't like it. I've had a hard time even finishing it. The outcome was predictable from the start, the novel lacked action and I just couldn’t relate to the main character.
The novel lacked action in first place. It’s a very long description of a 6 year old child waking up from a cocoon her family and friends have built around her. After suffering from extensive brain damage during a car accident Sal woke up without any memories. She doesn’t know who she is, doesn’t know how to speak, read or write, has forgotten everything she ever learned. The story starts 6 years later with her having a boyfriend and sexual relationship while still living under the surveillance of her parents and the company that fabricated the tapeworm and having weekly psychological therapy. Without giving to many spoilers away, but: This is just so unrealistic. A six year old child (at least regarding her psychological condition) is having a sexual relationship with a doctor specialized in Parasitology while her tapeworm is apparently responsible for saving her after the accident and nobody thinks this is weird?
Let’s forget the relationship and have a look at the rest of the story. We get to accompany Sal to a lot of therapist sessions, medical treatments and examinations and nobody in the last six years found out that her tapeworm no longer is there where it should be? All this fancy ultrasound gel sessions and examination gadgetry in the future and no one ever considers of looking in her intestinal area? I was awed, but not in a good way. One other thing had me really wondering. Did you ever have a car accident? I had one, and I remember it. For 6 months I had nightmares of driving and not being able to brake. But after all, I still drive my car. What I don’t understand: Sal can’t even remember her accident but she is so over the top when driving with people in a car: Listening to radio is taboo as well as being emotionally excited; people should have both hands on the steering wheel while driving and their eyes always on the street. Every person in this book is being characterized by his driving style. It really is annoying.
As much as I like apocalyptic novels about viruses that wiped out mankind this book didn’t do it for me.
With thanks to Netgalley for providing me with the ARC of this book.