Review: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For as long as she can remember, 17-year-old Alex Wayfare has had visions of the past. Visions that seem so real they leave her breathless, feeling as if she really was onboard a ship bound for colonial America, or rising to the top of the first Ferris wheel at the Chicago World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history are not simple jaunts back in time, nor do they come without a price. Alex’s visions wrench her from her life in the present without warning, returning her with mysterious wounds and inexplicable, lasting effects. Desperate for a normal life, Alex wants to discover the meaning of her visions and get rid of them once and for all.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who seems to know more about her than she knows about herself, that Alex learns the truth: she is a Descender, capable of traveling back in time to her fifty-six past lives by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife.

With fifty-six lifetimes to explore, historical secrets to unlock, and hidden treasures to unearth, descending back in time becomes irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with blue eyes keeps showing up in each one of them. But the more Alex descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever. And will stop at nothing to make sure her current life, her fifty-seventh, is her last.

This was just a downright fun read. The historic elements were detailed enough to make them interesting, but not so much that I think it will turn people who aren’t interested in historical fiction off. Also, Alex trying to figure out what her traveling means, who it came from, and how to use it is the driving force of this book.

I have to admit that while the romance element was cute and had some swoon moments, I did not find it as a whole swoon worthy. How little they knew about each other had me having a hard time believing their connection, even though I knew they truly did have one that went beyond each “life” visited – it was just a hare better than insta-love. That, as well as some moments where Alex played the “I’m not pretty or cool enough” card, are my largest complaints, but were not glaring enough to turn me off the book or the characters.

I really like the search for answers in this. We are learning what this life means along with Alex; who to trust, and how to make a life for herself while being surrounded by all these others. I thought there wasn’t much character growth, but the action and the intrigue of her talent made this a fun and easy read.

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