Seventeen-year-old Ava Hanson awakens in a bed, in a room, in a home she can’t remember.
While she recognizes the names and faces of the people in her life, Ava can’t shake the feeling that everyone, including herself, isn’t who they seem. Despite being warned not to pursue them, flashes of another life in another world fuel Ava’s desperation to fill the gaps in her memory. The question is, what and who will it cost her? Her visions reveal a sinister dystopia, where Ava’s only hope to escape the chains of her orphaned past is to be a “listener” for a government that demands conformity and subordination at all costs. The stakes are raised considerably with the appearance of Morgan, a young man who doesn’t belong in Ava’s new world, though her heart recognizes him immediately. Scott (Between Here and Forever, 2011, etc.) lays the groundwork for an interesting twist on the “Who am I?” novel, but Ava’s first-person narration, littered with broken thoughts, is often problematic. Its staccato, stop-and-start rhythm is distracting, pulling readers out of the story. This is a shame, as the worlds the author describes—Ava’s new, normal one, much like ours, and the dystopic one of her memories—make for a fascinating set up.
Despite the book's flaws, teens will likely find enough to keep them turning the pages, particularly when it comes to Morgan’s desperation to convince Ava that love is the only thing one needs know for certain. (Thriller. 13 & up)