Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Genres: Action, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
Goodreads | Purchase
The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this heart-pounding debut.
Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.
But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end.
Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.
A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.
Tabula Rasa is an unforgettable novel, according to the summary. Do I agree with that? Well, I’ll let you know at the end of this review.
I’ve not read many books like Tabula Rasa in the YA genre. It’s definitely a page turner, one full of non-stop action. It captivates you and makes you not want to take a break from the story. It’s undeniably pulse racing and will hook you from the very beginning to the end. It truly did feel like an action movie, and there were no slow moments in Tabula Rasa at all. It makes for some interesting situations and solutions. Though it did work for me in the beginning, I felt like by the end of the novel I just couldn’t suspend my sense of disbelief any further. Things just became too convenient and unbelievable. I couldn’t take Tabula Rasa seriously by the end. It also led to the writing being a bit simplistic and sometimes glossing over important details and explanations.
The story itself was one that I was easily engrossed in. The premise itself intrigued me, the title basically means blank slate. To achieve this ‘blank slate’ your memories are whipped from your mind through a number of brain surgeries. I was afraid that this surgery that happened to the main character would make her extremely hard to connect with or like. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case though and I found myself sympathizing with Sarah’s plight from the very beginning. Being in her mind was quite interesting and I loved her moments of well timed sarcasm. She didn’t slut shame or do anything to drive me insane. I call that a win!
As we began to explore her memories I found myself very invested and found myself itching to find out more about Sarah’s past. As you find out more I found myself liking Sarah’s character either. She’s one of strength and reading about her connection with her mom was so endearing and heartbreaking. She felt realistic and I loved that even though she was in a tough situation, she didn’t dissolve into tears. Too often. I also loved that she broke the mould of typically “unearthly beautiful” heroines that seem to be so common in YA. Or heroines that are beautiful but don’t even know it. Sarah is bald from all of her surgeries and had metal clips stuck in her head for goodness sakes!
Another aspect I actually found myself shockingly enjoying was the romance. The love interest was a hacker named Thomas who I actually enjoyed. He wasn’t annoying in any sense, he wasn’t stupidly reckless nor was he an douchebag in any way. I found him to be quite hilarious at certain points and he offered some great comedic relief. He was sweet and actually cared for Sarah which was quite cute to witness as his feelings grew. They did have some genuine swoon worthy moments together and I felt like they had some real chemistry. The relationship did move quite quickly, though I personally wouldn’t classify it as insta love. There was definitely insta-attraction though. I feel like romance matched the fast paced action of the story. It didn’t take over the plot line though, it was a bit heavy near the end of the book however.
The ending of Tabula Rasa was not so enjoyable. The antagonist of the story was revealed in full force and it was so contrived and cheesy. The villain basically gave a “MWAHAHAHAH I’M SO EVIL, LET ME TELL YOU MY WHOLE PLAN AND HOW IT’S WORKING WOOT WOOT” speech.
(This was literally the villain for a good 15 pages)
That speech was full of info dumping and was definitely not enjoyable to read. It made what is supposed to be the most heart racing and pulse pounding part of the book seem laughable and lame. The speech honestly didn’t really explain much either?? It just confirmed that the antagonist was evil. I felt like I still had a lot of questions.
Overall Tabula Rasa was a book that will definitely appeal to those looking for a quick and action packed read. Those who are looking for a bit more depth and explanations may be disappointed though.
~Thank you Egmont USA for sending me this copy!~
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