Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin

Tabula RasaTabula Rasa is about Sarah Ramos starting over. She’s in a hospital where they’re going to take her memories from before she was admitted to make her a better citizen. Her final surgery gets interrupted and she’s taken back to her cell. Being in a hospital cell rather than a room makes sense. Most of the people in the hospital are violent and/or criminals.

Someone secretly helps her get out and then she realizes that the hospital has been infiltrated by people out to kill her.

Right off the bat I was intrigued. I love books where you learn as the protagonist learns. Lexicon by Max Barry was like that and it’s one of my favorite books to date.

Books where the characters are a fighter is also on my list. I love action and guns although I refuse to hold a loaded weapon unless I’m at a shooting range (never been to one though). But just reading the first couple of chapters reminded me of that. The author had an attention to detail that most other authors overlook. It closed the gap between reader and protagonist.

It also made me remember what my writing voice is. I’ve been going down this path that’s been leading to unfinished works. It irks me to move an idea into my ‘Undecided’ folder. This story reminded me of that and gave me an idea of something to write.

The fighting scenes were vivid. I could see it happen clearly in my head. And there wasn’t too much fighting, like the characters stopped to hide and collect themselves as they tried to figure out what exactly was going on. It was a good balance and it met with the readers want to know why they want her.

I’ll admit, I kind of did an eye-roll when ‘Pierce’ was introduced. I was like, “Here comes the love interest like a punch in the face” (If you read the book you’ll appreciate that line). I’m always put off by relationships and I was worried that the author was going to ruin the book with the romance. I found that it actually flowed naturally. It had a slow build up. Nothing was forced in your face like some other books I won’t name.

There were flashbacks in this story and if there’s anything I learned in school it’s that if you have a flashback, make sure it’s lies to a greater purpose. At first I was wondering why Sarah was having certain flashbacks but as I got nearer to the end, I understood. Sometimes Sarah was a little slow when it came to certain things. It was almost agonizing to watch her connect the dots as slowly as she does.

I’m so glad there wasn’t a love triangle. I can’t stress how much I despise love triangles. The Hunger Games ruined it for all because Katniss was so confusing and indecisive. She led everyone one. Bye Katniss.

Half way through the book you find out that Pierce isn’t Pierce’s real name. Really wish it was because I like that name a whole lot better than his actual name. Every time I read his name I thought of a different (popular/also a movie) book series that I’ve read. Plus it’s also my dads name. So… But Sarah also decided to change her name nearer to the end. Hers was a little more understandable, but still. Too many name changes.

I liked that the protagonist (Sarah) was hispanic. It was refreshing reading in a non-white perspective. Not that it was different, it’s just white people are overused. I’m all for POC characters.

The book is the first in a duology. The ending of the first book is pretty conclusive though so I probably won’t read the second. I see how there could be a second but I like how this one ended.

4/5

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