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Friday, February 13, 2015

Review: I Remember You by Cathleen Davitt Bell

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Title: I Remember You
Author: Cathleen Davitt Bell
Publisher: Random House
Pub. Date: February 10, 2015
Genre: Young Adult
Rec. Age Level: 14+
Pages: 320
More by this author: Little Blog on the Prairie Description:
For fans of The Future of Us comes an engrossing story of two teens, whose love for each other is tested by time and fate.

Lucas and Juliet couldn’t be more different from each other. But from the moment Lucas sees Juliet, he swears he remembers their first kiss. Their first dance. Their first fight. He even knows what’s going to happen between them—not because he can predict the future, but because he claims to have already lived it.

Juliet doesn’t know whether to be afraid for herself or for Lucas. As Lucas’s memories occur more frequently, they also grow more ominous. All Juliet wants is to keep Lucas safe with her. But how do you hold on to someone you love in the present when they’ve begun slipping away from you in the future?

I actually didn't mean to read this book. Don't get me wrong - I wanted to read it eventually, but I ended up sitting down and reading the first few pages and then I just couldn't stop. From the start, there was something about Juliet's voice that kept my attention. I think, maybe, she reminded me of me. Or, the me I was when I was in high school, falling in love for the first time.

I Remember You recounts the high school romance of Lucas and Juliet. Both have a plans for their lives. Juliet is college bound, while Lucas has long known he would join the Marines. Neither expected the other - well, I guess that's not quite true. At least not by the time the reader meets the fated couple. Somehow, Lucas has experienced his life and his relationship with Juliet before. He swears that he remembers their first kiss, their fights, their lives - that he has somehow returned from the future and has been given a second chance to be with Juliet.

Juliet is practical and doesn't know what to make of this Lucas character, a boy who swears he's known and loved her before. Despite her better judgement, she finds herself falling for him. And, as their relationship deepens and grows more complicated, she's concerned by the flashes of memory - or is it the future? - that plague Lucas, signalling that all is not well in his future.

I was surprised by how deep a chord this novel struck for me. And how nostalgic it made me feel. There's nothing like first love and this particular story was incredibly bittersweet and affecting. I'm really curious about how teens will respond to this novel in comparison to adult readers. In my mid-twenties and far enough away from my first love and first relationship to at least think semi-critically about it, I found this story about a boy who has lived and been able to reflect on his past mistakes, then go back and essentially have a redo, surprisingly emotional. In our own lives it's near impossible not to think 'what if' and I Remember You presents a scenario in which 'what if' becomes actionable. I think, because of this  distance, I Remember You became less of a sweet romance with a touch of scifi and was instead something more substantial. I hope teen readers find something equally substantial in the their own reading.



  1. I hadn't heard of this one before I read your review, but will definitely keep my eye out for it! Sounds rather intriguing. Lovely review!


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