Remember MeRemember Me by Cheryl Robinson
Published by NAL Trade, an imprint of Penguin
Review copy provided by the publisher in conjunction with TLC Book Tours

Mia and Danielle became best friends at their Catholic all-girls high school, even though they came from drastically different backgrounds and no one would have ever expected them to click in such a way. But years later, an unexpected deception shatters their friendship and they cut ties with one another completely. Now the two women are in their forties. Mia is teaching high school in Detroit, and dealing with her cheating husband and their financial woes. Danielle is a successful novelist, but even the success she’s always dreamed of can’t buy her happiness in her marriage. The two women don’t even think of one another anymore, until a tragic accident brings them together in such a way that forces them to look back at their past, reexamine where they went wrong, and imagine the possibility of a renewed friendship.

Remember Me has a lot going for it. First of all, I enjoyed getting to know these two main characters – what their backgrounds were, what their childhoods were like, how they became friends, and what happened to them as they got older and started families and careers. I feel that Robinson devoted an equal amount of time to both women, allowing the reader the opportunity to get to know them very well – independently and together as two halves of this strong, deep friendship. I enjoyed the way the story was told – it focused on what was happening in the present, filling in Mia and Danielle’s pasts by going back and forth throughout their present day stories. It worked for me because I would get sucked into both stories, and this going back and forth really kept my attention.

Unfortunately, while those elements of the book really worked for me, the majority of the book did not work so well. The biggest issue I had with the novel was the fact that the writing just wasn’t what I was hoping for. The dialogue felt clunky, the flow of the writing was kind of all over the place, and overall it just didn’t seem natural. In addition, the novel was much too long (in my opinion) which made me concentrate on what I saw as shortfalls even more. Last, the way the women reconnected was hugely contrived and it just felt to me like Robinson created this event so the women would have the opportunity to meet again – the way the events unfolded is extremely unlikely and probably would not happen that way in real life. It bothered me because I felt like the book could have been so much better had this aspect of the novel been a bit more realistic.

So, overall I’m not sure how I feel about Remember Me as a whole. There were definitely aspects of the novel I enjoyed, and I had no problem finishing the book, but I can’t get past the less-than-stellar writing and the fact that the events in the book seemed so contrived. So I guess I would say that the novel is decent but not great and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.