Something’s not quite right at the ReMIND Nursing Facility in Rio de Janeiro. It seems that someone might have discovered the fountain of youth and he’s passing it off as a medical miracle.
Nineteen year old Donner has a little more than a week left to live unless someone miraculously finds a cure for the brain-eating virus he contracted. Dr. Khayyat has actually been experimenting on many patients with deteriorating neurological functions, not the least of which have been Alzheimer’s patients. As a matter of fact, his ReMIND program has been able to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s and he’s excited for a chance to test that experiment on Donner.
Donner wakes to discover that the deadly virus is gone and that he’s by far the youngest person at the ReMIND Nursing Facility. Everyone around him had once suffered from Alzheimer’s and now they’re not only cured, they all have the mental sharpness and energy levels of their youth. They all might as well be the same age as Donner even though they still look like the senior citizens they once were. It’s only when Donner reaches out to his family back in Ohio that he starts to realize something isn’t quite right.
Ok, this is going to be a very… “mixed feelings” review. The novel got me so infuriated while reading it that I actually took a break, sketched most of it and then continued with the reading. This never happens unless I’m either mind blown or completely pissed off with a book. And the funny part is that from the 1 star rating that I was planning, all of a sudden, after that OMFG ending, I was sooo so tempted to give it 5 stars! I eventually settled for 3 just to make it even, to reach some sort of equilibrium between all the ups and downs of this story.
ReMIND is the story of Donner, a 19 year old young man who gets infected by a brain-eating amoeba and has only a few days left to live. Taken as an emergency case by a doctor who’s doing some experimental research on brain diseases, Donner wakes up in something that looks like a luxury nursing home for old people suffering from Alzheimer. But very soon, things start to look a bit odd at the clinic and Donner seems to have no ways to escape the paradise resort.
Although it will be a weird review, I decided to leave the negative parts the way I wrote them and get back with the update at the end of this text. Therefore:
EARLY READING impressions:
Oh god… there are so many wrong things with this story that I don’t even know where to start. And have u seen the rating of this book and the reviews?! Hooow? How in the world all those disturbing errors passed unnoticed or ignored by the readers who ranked it so highly? (Later edit: well, now I know. Once I finished it I was about to do the same).
• The whole story is extremely rushed. Such an original idea would deserve to be detailed in a much better way. Of course I do appreciate the fast pace and all the adrenaline that comes from that, but still. This gave me the sensation of a sketch more than a well polished work. Later on, what’s with the initial suspicion of Donner regarding everything? And the double-triple-multi-checking of information that characters offer? It is exactly the introduction in a new environment that should have been, yes, curious and maybe a little scary, but completely innocent and without any regard or suspicions from the protagonist.
• Where’s the doctor? A nurse maybe? Any medical practitioner? Ok, ok, I understand that the operation was a success, but really, you wake up after you were so close to death and you just go out for breakfast and make new friends? With nobody to be there when you open your eyes and start explaining shit? And no, the fact that a super sexy young doctor shows up later and you have a 5 minutes talk doesn’t really help.
• The protagonist’s sudden personality change is shocking. He does act and speak like a 19 year old teenager in the beginning, but few chapters later, he turns into this sophisticated old school preacher when he’s speaking to a charming lady 🙄
• What’s with the invasion of unbelievable beautiful chicks? Like.. I do get that looks are definitely a major point in life and in literature as well, but seriously, it just gave me the impression that the author itself is a horny 19 year old that didn’t have much contact with the opposite sex and that he’s transposing his fantasies into this book. He’s not. I checked his GoodReads profile. He looks older and normal ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
• Insta-love?! Really? Insta-love? I thought only female authors have this obsession, I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I found this in novels written by male authors. Oh, and to make things worse… insta-love between a 19 years old guy and a 60 something lady. I mean… I might even accept the idea that he’s young and inexperienced and gets carried away easily, but I can’t think of something more unrealistic than an old woman making plans for the future after 2 hours of meeting a man, a 19 years old man!!
• What a… tsunami of details. Ohmygoood, the amount of details for every single thing that the characters see, wear, do, hear, or… or breathe! Of course, of course some descriptive passages are necessary but dear god, this was so exhausting that it became annoying from the first chapter. Add to this the fact that everything is going on fast forward and do the math… how much space is there left for the action to actually happen?
I’m actually feeling sorry to butcher the book so angrily, especially since usually I’m a very patient reader and most of the times, I’m trying to look at the positive aspects of the books I read and to go easy on the negative ones. But the more I read, the more I started bubbling inside and it became impossible to ignore one flaw after another.
I’m not intending to be unfair here, so let me acknowledge the better parts as well. Because there are some and for sure, they are good enough if they managed to charm so many readers.
• I’ve never encountered a similar idea in any of the books I read. So original, compelling and unexpected that it’s difficult to put the book down. You have to wake up early? Be a functional, well rested human being tomorrow? LOL. Forget it. You’ll sleep once you find out what the hell is going on in there, not a second earlier.
• I loved, loved, loved the originality of the first pages of the novel. Prologue… more prologue and a little bit more. Fun, refreshing and ironic in the good way.
• It took me a while to get used to the author’s writing style (in the beginning, BEFORE he turned his protagonist’s voice into an 18 century knight’s discourse) I can’t really figure why it felt a bit unusual in those first few pages, but looking back now, I should put this aspect on the list of PROs and not CONs.
To be honest, there’s just one more thing left to add. The ending, guys. The last chapters of the book are overwhelmingly impressive. You’re completely blown away with the new information you’re getting and page after page, the shock increases. And yes, now I completely understand all the 5 star ratings. Because the ending is sooo good that it definitely makes you forget all the frustration that pilled up during the earlier stages of the story. Not that it just sweetens things up and makes you feel more indulgent with all the flaws. Hell no, it totally erases them from your mind. All the negative parts blow in a small cloud of smoke which leaves you thinking just about that damn ending. Nothing else matters and I’m sure that most of the readers will have the same feelings and keep the memory of ReMIND in that drawer labeled “Amazing Reads”.