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Remember Me (1-3) (Review)

Remember Me (1-3)
Author: Christopher Pike
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 789
Release Date: July 6, 2010
Rating: 3/5 (for all of the books combined)

SynopsisShari Cooper hadn't planned on dying, but four floors is a long way to fall. Her friends say she fell but Shari knew she had been murdered. Making a vow to herself to find her killer, Shari spies on her friends, and even enters their dreams. She also comes face-to-face with a nightmare from beyond the grave. The Shadow - a thing more horrible than death itself - is the key to Shari's death, and the only thing that can stop her murderer from murdering again

My Thoughts: Okay so this was one of those books that I found while scavenging through second-hand shops as a pre-teen. I found the first Remember Me in 1999 at the tender age of 9 and was sucked into the story. It quickly became one of my favorites becuase it was nothing quite like I'd ever read before. I will say while Book 1 is still on my favorites list, the series as a whole was somewhat, disappointing, at least for me.

Years later when I was in my late teens I returned to the second hand store and happened (by chance) across Remember Me 2 and Remember Me 3 Who knew these even existed? Not me! So when it was re-leased as a whole I figured I would revist these storeis again as an adult to see if I still liked them.

Book 2 was also something neat and new, the spirit of Shari unknowingly takes place in the body of an 18 year old hispanic girl named Jean Rodrigues who otherwise would have died. Shari doing this actually improves Jean's life because even though she isn't aware of the change, Shari's presense begins to influence her. She volunteers, she gives up drugs and drinking. All of this is well and fine but the story sort of begins to get convoluted with Hinduism effect on the story. Shari, before she takes her place in Jean's body is going on a spiritual journey with a Rishi which is also know as a wise individual who after much meditation has access to great worldly truths that we could not imagine.

Hinduism is always greatly present in a lot of Christopher Pike's writing, where Shari had her Rishi, Site in The Last Vampire (Or Thirst) Series had Krishna. It's an intriguing aspect of the stories but, it doesn't enter into Remember me until the second one, and it feels, based on the previous story, somewhat out of place. 


Why I say that it is convoluted, or out of place, is because while elements of Hinduism are used, in the story, others are twisted, or replaced with other ideas. Here's where my studying of World Religions comes in handy. The term Wanderer (what Rishi tells Shari she can be) is not a Hinduism ideal, while similar to the concept of reincarnation, the books states that it is the duty of Wanderers to take over the body of another and find love and help others find love. 


Taking us back to the cast system, reincarnation meant that if you were a good person in life, you will be reborn as a better person and challenged to continue to improve yourself until you reach Moksha, or the release from the cycle (also know in Buddhism as nirvana). While reincarnation is a really interesting and cool concept, and Hinduism is an awesome religion to learn about, I don't like the way it was being used here, at all.

Initially, Shari's biggest fear in her afterlife was running from the 'shadows' that wanted to claim their spirits and it was entirely supernatural. Her friends were using a Ouija to contact her and she was wandering around our plane lost and trying to prove, with the help of another ghost, that she did not commit suicide.  It was just very much a paranormal ghostly story filled with regular teen issues, and at some point in the second book it shifted into this other tale.

The Krishna angle makes 100% sense in The Last Vampire where our protagonist Sita is an ancient vampire from India, in this tale it seems to come out of nowhere. Generally, I would like this angle in a story, but it this particular instance it feels like a misleading representation. If what I read in this book was my only exposure to Hinduism, I would be confused. Wait scratch that, even with my prior knowledge, I was confused.
 



 I liked the second book even still, not as much as I liked the first, but it was enjoyable enough. Then I got to the third one and I just couldn't. The ghost who helped Shari in the first book was a boy named Peter whom she had known from school and who had committed suicide (which was why he was being chased by the shadow). Turns out he and Shari kind of click in the afterlife and they were meant to be together. Cool, except we don't hear practically anything about him at all in the second book until the end. 


Peter gets to become a wanderer to so he and Shari's souls can have a chance to be together as humans, even if they have taken over other bodies. Cue Book 3!

Yay, romance, true love, all that. Except wait... in book three Shari or 'Jean' decides to write about her story and sell it as a novel, oh and now a movie. She's super rich and successful and then she cheats on Peter (or Lenny) with some clearly evil random. This is soul crushing for the true love train. SOUL CRUSHING.




Screw this, take me back to Book 1 I want their ghostly eternal love again.

What I really like: What I do like about these books, and Christopher Pike stories in general, is that while they have an aura of fantasy and paranormal aspects, they are not entirely unrealistic. As an author, he writes for, and with his audience rather than to us. I like that it approaches death in the way it does. The afterlife, the souls wandering and continuing on even though their bodies are gone. It truly makes you think about and appreciate your life and those in your life. It gives you a glimpse into the people you surround yourself with and whether or not they are worth your time.

Recommendation
: To be quite honest with you, I would only recommend the first in this series. It concludes itself well and did not really require a continuation. While some of the same characters are carried through I feel like the second and third novels were sort of their own thing.

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