ARC Review – The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

17878473Title: The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare

Author: M.G. Buehrlen

 

Rating: ★★ 1/2

Synopsis: Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

Sam’s Review:

Huge thank you to Strange Chemistry and Netgalley for this advance reader copy.

I feel like based on the synopsis that this book would have been right up my alley. The problem with The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare is that it’s going to be a very polarizing read for most lovers of young adult.

I’m throwing this out there, but this book is beautifully written, right down to it’s detailed and intricately written descriptions and use of imagery. However, there’s beautifully written and then there is beautifully written but going nowhere. That really is how I am going to sum up my feelings about this book because it has such a fabulous premise, but the size of it hinders the story more than develops it.

I get frustrated sometimes with larger books because you want to hope that everything within the texts fits and its something important to the plot or makes the readers want to turn pages. For example, in a series like Game of Thrones the reason that those books are such page turners is because (for the most part) there is always something happening. While this may be an unfair comparison for Alex Wayfare, I feel like because a good chunk of this is flashback, it gets harder to invest oneself in where the real narrative is moving. I had so many moments where I found myself saying something was fantastically done or very clever, because Alex is a heroine who gets crap done. On the other side of the coin, however, there are so many parts of this book that drag and often feel as if it’s going nowhere, and that really saddens me. I don’t mind reading a large book, but give me substance that makes me want to turn the pages.

I had a hard time with a lot of the side characters. I never felt connected to them or care about what they were doing. Alex, I had moments where I loved and cheered for her, and other moments where I was smacking my face into a desk because of hos idiotic she’d behave. She’s a very polarizing heroine in this sense because you feel like she’s balanced, but her flaws don’t feel as fleshed out as they could be.

So in the end, I’m torn and confused by Alex Wayfare it’s a great idea that really could have been cut down by a number of pages. It’s one that I’d recommend requesting from the library or reading an expert before making a decision because I feel like with the right reader, it could be an amazing experience for them. Unfortunately for me, I was clearly the wrong reader in the end for this timeslip.

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