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Christopher Pike – Remember Me 2: The Return

November 18, 2011

140. Remember Me 2: The Return by Christopher Pike (1994)
Remember Me, Book 2

Length: 210 pages

Genre: YA fantasy. (Technically. Mostly it’s just new-agey babbling, but there are ghosts, so.)
Started / Finished: 31 October 2011

Where did it come from? Bookmooch.
Why do I have it? I loved, loved the original Remember Me as a teen.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 13 June 2008.

sounds good when the option is
non-stop new-age talk.

Summary: Shari Cooper was murdered, but has come to terms with her death, and being on the Other Side. But now she’s being offered a choice. She can stay on the Other Side, or she can return to Earth, entering the body not of a newborn, but of a teenager who has given up on life. Jean Rodrigues doesn’t see much of a future for herself, living in a poor neighborhood of L.A., pregnant at 17 by her boyfriend Lenny, who she’s not even sure she loves, and with no way out. Shari can return to Earth in Jean’s body, but if she does, she won’t remember being Shari.

Review: Okay, here’s the thing. I capital-L Loved Remember Me as a teen. In the sea of Christopher Pike and R. L. Stine books that were the bulk of my middle school reading experience, Remember Me was my clear favorite. I read it so many times that even more than decade later, I remember not only what Shari was wearing the night she was killed – yellow shirt and green pants – but I also remember that she borrowed the pants from her best friend Jo. There is still a tiny part of me that expects Peter Nichols to be waiting for me on the other side after I die.

I should have left well enough alone. I picked Remember Me 2 off my TBR stack on Halloween, looking for something appropriate to read, and figuring it’s about ghosts, so it has to be at least a little scary, right? Wrong. The scariest thing about it was how bad it was.

While I don’t know if I can accurately convey just how bad it was, this should give you some idea: At the beginning of Chapter 8, Shari refers to Peter by his full name, Peter Nichols. And then less than two inches of print later, on the facing page, she calls him Peter Jacobs. The fact that Pike can’t be bothered to get the name of one of his main characters right makes me wonder just how fast this got rushed into print. And I know that I’ve complained about lackadasical editing before, but this is just ridiculous. It is on the facing page. How did no one notice this?

The rest of the book is not much better. The plot makes sense only by the loosest definitions of the word. There is a lot of zipping around in outer space and yammering about the power of meditation and a weird and not-very-well-thought-out gang-based subplot and talk about how Einstein and Malcolm X were actually Wanderers and a 30 page story-within-a-story that Shari/Jean reads over a grave and some really weird mixed-messages about teen sexuality and orientation and a whole lot of “there is no death; everything is everyone and you are me and we are all the universe” nonsense. There’s a great recap over at Like Pike that gives a blow-by-blow account of the absurdity.

I think the best thing I can say about this book is at least it’s kind of hilariously bad. I just had to keep reading to find out what ludicrous thing was going to crop up next. (And I wasn’t disappointed, the last page includes one of the most laughably out-of-character moments in the entire book.) Or maybe the best thing I can say about it is that now my curiosity has been satisfied, and I can take it off the TBR pile. 1.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If you can lay hands on a copy, it might be worth it for its potential for hilarious Dramatic Readings, but otherwise, you’ll be happier if you go on believing that Remember Me was a stand-alone.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Jean Rodrigues did not want to become her mother.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2011 4:15 pm

    New age and ghosts? Probably not for me.

    • December 2, 2011 10:37 am

      BermudaOnion – Probably not for anyone, I’m thinking. :)

  2. November 19, 2011 8:31 pm

    Wow, Christopher Pike is a bit of a trip down Memory Lane… I remember when he was very popular, but I haven’t read him before actually.

    • December 2, 2011 10:38 am

      Kailana – Really? Wow. Between him and R. L. Stine, I barely read anything else in junior high.

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