Title: Remember Me.
Series: Remember Me, #1.
Author: Christopher Pike.
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2010.
Publisher: Hodder Children's books.
Format: Paperback Bind-up, book 1: 338 pages.
Shari Cooper is dead. She is in-between worlds, in a place of spirits. But something is stalking her..always watching, always waiting.
Shari just stepped onto the balcony for some fresh air, she didn't mean to fall. Whilst her friends assume it was suicide, she knows otherwise, and now her restless spirit must find the real killer. When Shari decides to contact her friends via a Ouija board, she becomes aware that something else wants to talk to them too - something dark, something malevolent..
I have a bind-up of the first two books in the Remember Me series - this review is of the first book. I loved this book, I thought it was great read. Shari is a some-what popular girl, like any other. She and a few of her friends end up at a birthday party one evening, which starts off as the typical teenage get-together. However, as the evening progresses, Jo, Shari's best friend decides to start a séance and accidental summons Peter, Jeff's brother who died in a motorcycle accident a while back. After a while, the group of teenagers become freaked out from Peter's restless presence and Shari runs out onto the balcony where she soon falls to her death. Whilst everyone thinks that she jumped - she knows otherwise - which is where the story really starts.
I found Shari's character really interesting, I think - at first, to me - she seemed very over confident and self-absorbed. However when you get further into the book and get to know her character more, you find that she's not so. Her character really develops as she seems to mature more and she comes to terms with what happened, although she becomes a bit obsessive with finding out who her murderer is. I don't criticise this, because if it were me in the situation, I would want to know as well. Shari has 'troubles' doing certain things that should come naturally to her in her new 'state' which I think is understandable, but I'm glad that at the right time - she manages to overcome these obstacles.
As for the other characters in the book, right from the start of the book, I disliked Daniel - Shari's boyfriend. Daniel wasn't even shook up about the death of his girlfriend and couldn't wait to move onto the next girl. Jo, who I mentioned earlier, seemed like a good character, although personality wasn't overly mentioned in the book. However, she was one for the paranormal and such - which has always been a grey area for me in real life. I don't believe in the works of Ouija boards and summoning the dead, but Jo seemed pretty obsessed. Jeff's character also wasn't talked about a whole lot, but he was very withdrawn and seemed quite sullen - which is understandable seeing that his brother had passed away.
Beth or 'Big Beth' (As Shari and Jo liked to call her - referring to her large chest) was pretty bland, she was interested in Shari's boyfriend and didn't care about anything else that evening (not even her own boyfriend, Jeff) and I didn't particularly care for her. As for Amanda, who is Jo's cousin, and is also the girlfriend of Shari's brother, Jimmy - well, I had mixed feelings about her throughout the entire book. She irritated me with her obviously faked innocence and the way she treated people around her. Lastly, Jimmy was a sweet character who obviously loved his sister dearly and she was a big part of his life. It seemed to me, that a part of Jimmy died with his sister that night. All the characters were sort of interesting in their own way, even the ones I didn't like - but I feel they could of been developed a bit more.
Moving onwards, when Shari is attending her funeral (as a ghost-of-sorts) she meets Peter, who was her friend and love interest before he died. Peter has taken it upon himself to help Shari go to 'the other side', Shari, however refuses to move on yet and together they team up to try and find her murderer. I loved Peter; he seemed like such a honest and kind guy - although he has his own, personal demons himself. Throughout most of the book, Shari and Peter are going round trying to figure out who had a motive to kill Shari - which seemed like no one. I loved Garrett, the Police Officer who was working on Shari's case; he was a very witty and clever character who made the book a lot more interesting. I found the concept of the 'Shadow' very creative and I've definitely not read anything similar to it before - but I won't go any further, or I'll ruin it!
I think the novel only really picked up pace near the end, which is why I've rated it 4/5 stars, instead of 5/5. I felt like the author, Christopher Pike, had rushed things, it seemed like he just wanted it to end. However, there were constant twists and turns throughout this novel that left me shocked and confused at the same time. Definitely an interesting read and one I will read again without hesitation.