“Both of Me”
Published December 2014 by Blink
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It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years.
When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she’s beginning to love from ever disappearing again.
While I didn’t like this book, it doesn’t mean that it was a bad book, I think that it just wasn’t for me. I was trying something new. With that being said, if the synopsis sounds good to you, give it a read and ignore the following comments.
I guess I was hoping that the imaginary world Elias created was going to be more of a focus in this story. Instead, we barely learn anything about this strange world in his head, and we’re lead on a psychological journey fueled by Clara’s own selfish needs.
Yep, Clara is incredibly selfish. She meets Elias and within a couple of days she rips this boy out of his home to “Fix” him, but really she just wants answers to her own questions and every time something goes remotely wrong she abandons him to run off and have a little meltdown. And this is after she constantly promises Elias that she will make him better and will never leave him.
Oh, and there’s total insta love which just doesn’t belong in this book. When Clara’s not abandoning Elias she’s taking advantage of him. Yes sexually… In a very awkward scene that was a little confusing. In fact, there were multiple scenes where I felt a little confused by what was going on.
Perhaps one of my biggest irks is the strange happenstance of events that leads them to the big “reveal” of why Elias is the way he is. It’s all just a bunch of random moments that happen to connect with Elias’ crazy ideas of his world of Salem. I think the story was trying to say that God was playing a role in this, but the fact of Clara being a religious person didn’t even make any sort of appearance until 200 pages in where it was suddenly a big factor, just didn’t make sense. It would have played better had she been struggling with her faith along the journey and then it would have clicked in nicely when she decided to start praying for guidance. I think I just like things to make sense, and none of this really did.
The ending was so poorly done. Elias was used and abused throughout this whole book and it just wasn’t a satisfying conclusion. Also, had Clara just gone to his mother in the beginning and said “Hey, what happened to Elias that he’s like this?” we could have save ourselves over 200 pages of confusion.
I’ll admit, I came very close to DNFing this one. But it did keep me intrigued enough where I wanted answers to both Clara and Elias’ back story. Was it worth it? Not in my opinion, but again, this just isn’t my type of book. At least I tried.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review