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I Belong

Review: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst


Author: Sarah Beth Durst

GenreYA Fantasy


Publication Date: September 3, 2013

FormatHardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-100802734588 (Bloomsbury)

ISBN-13978-0802734587 (Bloomsbury)

Reviewed byBridget


Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she’s in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

Quick & Dirty: Magical story filled with mystery and romance.  It was a little confusing at times and I had a hard time connecting with the characters, but it was still an enjoyable read.

Opening SentenceYour name is Eve.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Eve only has a few memories and they are all from the last few weeks. Anything beyond that is a complete blank.  She is currently in the witness protection program because she is the prime witness in a very important case.  There is a magic-wielding serial killer on the loose and Eve is the only person that witnessed all his crimes. Unfortunately, she has no recollection of the time she spent with the killer. The people that are protecting her will do anything to make her remember, or she will be of no use to them.

Eve has strange magical powers, but whenever she uses them she is instantly swept away into a vision.  The visions are cryptic and something about them feel so familiar to Eve.  But whenever she wakes up afterwards she finds that days and weeks have gone by and she has no recollection of what has happened in that time. She lived her life just like normal, but she once again can’t remember any of it. If Eve wants to survive she is going to have to dig up her past, but will remembering destroy her future?

Eve was a very interesting character.  Since she has no idea who she was in her past, it’s like she is starting over.  Everything she experiences seems like her first time.  When she uses her magic she is able to remember glimpses of her past, but by doing so she is giving up the few memories she has gained of her new life.  It is very frustrating for her because she feels like she is a stranger in her own life.  Personally, I liked Eve, she was different and easy to like.  But I had a hard time connecting with her story since big chunks of her life were missing. I realize it was written that way on purpose, but it made me feel a big disconnect with Eve and her relationship with all the other characters. All her interactions and the things that make you love secondary characters were missing. Personally, I think I would have liked it better if her short-term memory had stayed intact.

Despite the flaws in the story, I still found it to be an enjoyable read. The plot kept you guessing, but there were a few times I felt a little lost as well.  The idea was very original and it kept me intrigued the whole way through.  Because of Eve’s memory loss there were times when things felt a little rushed and it made it hard to fully connect with the story. By the end of the story Durst wrapped everything up nicely, and overall, I did end up liking the book. I do think that there will be people who will love this book.  If you like a good mystery mixed with magic and fantasy, I would recommend you give this one a try.

Notable Scene:

EVE’S HANDS WERE WRAPPED around a glass of orange juice. She blinked at the pulp that swirled in the orange. Aunt Nicki was talking as she buttered toast. “. . . doesn’t matter. If Lou says jump, we fetch the trampoline. You have to try harder.”

She didn’t remember coming into the kitchen, sitting down at the table, or drinking the orange juice. She didn’t remember anything since the cafeteria and her last vision. Her hands tightened around the glass. Calm, she told herself. Stay calm. She looked out the window. Outside was bathed in pale yellow, as if it were morning.

“Are you even listening to me?” Aunt Nicki asked.

The clock over the refrigerator said 7:05. She swallowed. It was hard to breathe. Her lungs felt constricted, and the air in her throat felt as if it had hardened. It was morning. It had been late afternoon at the agency. She’d lost all her memories of last night, plus any memory of what she’d done since she woke— everything since her last vision.


FTC Advisory: Walker Childrens/Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of Conjured. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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