Remember Me by Christopher Pike
This is the first of three books in a Christopher Pike trilogy. To be able to really review the books, I’m going to need to describe the plots, which means the next two reviews at least will likely contain spoilers.
I have been looking for Christopher Pike books for a while. I was fairly obsessed with his books when I was in high school; they weren’t horribly written, they were quick reads, and the characters (as I recall) were pretty interesting and dealt with some odd stuff. They were meant for, I believe, high school students, but they talked about things like sex and abortion. No chaste Twilight-level stuff here. At least, not that I can recall.
I found this trilogy (in one GIANT volume) at Powell’s today. 300 pages later and I’m done with book one, Remember Me. I definitely have read this before, as bits and pieces stood out as familiar.
Remember Me follows Shari Cooper. She’s dead, and everyone thinks she killed herself, but she didn’t. And she’s pissed about that, so she’s trying to figure out a way to solve her murder and essentially clear her own name. The killer could be one of many people, including her best friend or her boyfriend. In the end, her killer tries to kill Shari’s brother as well, and that sequence is a bit thrilling but also kind of weird.
There’s obviously a supernatural component to this, but it’s mostly set as much in reality as it can be. And despite the final (seemingly unnecessary) weirdness, I actually really enjoyed this book, and not just because of the nostalgia factor. The writing isn’t horrible. It’s not great, but I didn’t ever catch myself rolling my eyes. I think it helped that the book is written in the first person, so this high school student’s observations actually feel pretty true to what an 18-year-old straight rich white girl might think about her own boyfriend, her best friend, her brother’s girlfriend, the girl who might be stealing her boyfriend, and her parents. She’s superficial, but realizes it.
One thing that is a bit disturbing is how Mr. Pike addresses economic differences. All but one of the main characters comes from a well-off family, and you can imagine that the one who doesn’t is the one who becomes the biggest suspect. Mr. Pike also doesn’t seem to have the best understanding of nuance in terms of how young women relate to each other – are women always just jealous of each other because of men? That perspective is probably not the best thing for young kids to be reading.
The book isn’t ground-breaking, and at times it veers into the super weird. But I still enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to reading book two.