Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin eARC (4 stars)

The synopsis calls Tabula Rasa "Bourne meets Divergent." I haven't read Divergent, but I have seen all the Bourne movies and there is common ground- namely that the protagonist doesn't know who she is, just that men with guns are chasing her. The memory loss aspect is well done, the sci-fi background for the memory loss is interesting, and the character is good, even if she only has one really "Bourne-like" moment.

This eARC was provided through Edelweiss for review. Some things may have changed in the final version.
Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Sci-fi, Thriller
Published on September 23, 2014
Published by EgmontUSA
Final Rating: 4 stars

The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this heart-pounding debut.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.

But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end.

Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.

A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.

What I liked:
  • Sarah- She's lost her memory, trained professionals are trying to kill her and she doesn't know why. In these situations, characters usually fall to one extreme: curling up in a ball crying or getting an adrenaline rush and kicking butt. Sarah is the happy middle ground. She keeps her head and is practical and reasonable throughout the book with little moments of the natural human fear and/or recklessness.
  • Pierce- the cute computer hacker who thinks he looks dorky in glasses. His dry humor made me smile so many times, and he really helps balance out the seriousness of the situation. There were moments I thought, wow it's getting a little heavy here...and he'd bust out a joke or a bit of sarcasm and I was like, yes! That's exactly what I wanted!
  • The setting/description- The whole story takes place in a compound in the middle of nowhere in the middle of a blizzard; but it's a compound full of secrets and mad science experiments with surprises and/or danger around every corner, so of course I liked it.
  • The other patients- They are crazy and dangerous and not always safe to be around, but they add a really interesting flavor to the story and a good bit of unpredictability.
  • The ending- The story ends on a good note. Not too perfect, but not too open-ended, and with a healthy dash of humor. :)

What I didn't like:
  • The name changes- It's picky, but I preferred the first names I learned for the two main characters and was a little miffed when they changed.

Final Thoughts:
I wouldn't call this a high octane thrill ride because it has plenty of slower moments, but the constant tension and mystery built up to a satisfying climax and ending. I really enjoyed the characters and the writing was smooth and kept me immersed in the story. Granted, as with all sci-fi psychological thrillers, Tabula Rasa will require a certain suspension of disbelief and won't work for everyone; but if you love the characters the way I do, it shouldn't be a problem.


  1. Sounds interesting! I'll throw it on my wish list. Great review :)

  2. Too funny, found it on netgally and already got approved for it :)

  3. I had heard negative things about this title prior to your review. I am glad to see there ARE actually Bourne characteristics included in the story! Sometimes those 'along the lines of..' adverts are so false.

    1. Like any book, it's not for everyone. I remember one review said it revealed the mystery "too slowly" for that person's liking. And the villain does monologue/info dump at the end. I feel like I should go back and add that to my review, but I enjoyed the book at the time I read it and none of these things bothered me too much. :)

      Oh, don't get me started on false advertising again. I think I ranted enough on that with Winterspell. ;)

  4. Oo, I don't know the last time I saw you give four stars, I'm excited :D. I hadn't seen much about this one, so it's good to know that it is a solid choice the next time I spot it ;-)

    1. Haha, so I'm THAT reviewer. ;) But yes, I did enjoy this! It was fairly fast-paced, had some action and crazy people, and it's a standalone. No series pressure! :)

  5. You're hard to please worth ya do this must definitely be good. Now I'm surprised Kat disliked it so much.

    1. It isn't perfect by a long shot, and I've seen other reviews similar to Kat's, but it was a quick, fun read that hit me at the right time. :)