Kiss Feb 10, 2009
What is memory worth? What is the point of pain? Would it be worth losing the memory of the experience to forget the pain?
?What do you really want?? Shauna McAllister is asked in the opening chapter of Dekker and Healy?s book, Kiss.
?To forget,? she answers. ?I want to forget every single, stinging moment that was inflicted on me by people who were supposed to love me. I want someone to take these memories away from me.?
Be careful what you wish for, Shauna, because in your case, you?re about to get it. Only hours after Shauna says those fateful words, her world is twisted into knots by a car crash that leaves her brother Rudy severely brain-damaged, and Shauna herself in a coma.
Six weeks later, she awakens in the hospital. To her shock ? and the pleasant surprise of some unsavory characters ? she finds herself with a six-month hole in her memory; every event, every thought, every moment from the last half-year is gone. As she recovers, trying to pick up the pieces of a life she no longer remembers, Shauna becomes uneasy. Little things ? discrepancies in accounts of her accident, and threatening text-messages from an unknown caller, not to mention a boyfriend who seems determined to remake her ? gradually convince her that not all is as it seems, and much is as it shouldn?t be. Who can be trusted? Who is out to kill her? (Believe you me; there are plenty of the latter) And why do they want her dead ? what does she know, but can?t remember?
When Shauna develops an unheard-of ability, things get even more gnarled and complicated, as she attempts to sift through the lies surrounding herself, her accident, and her past.
Unfortunately, that?s about all I can tell you without spoiling the book. If you?ve ever read anything by Dekker, you?ll know how he always manages to keep you guessing up until about the last five chapters or so. Certainly no exception, Kiss is extremely fast-paced; while the twists and plot-hooks are unexpected, but never unbelievable.
From the first chapter, God plays a large role in Shauna?s story, reminding her that ? unlike the other people in her life ? His love has never abandoned her, and that pain, or memories that bring pain, are not necessarily evil.
?Remember that you were once slaves in Egypt? (Deuteronomy 16:12) a friend of Shauna?s tells her.
Confused, Shauna asks if that means that one should stay focused on the darkest seasons of your life? ?How could that possibly do any good??
?He wants you to remember who delivered you from that time, Shauna.? Her friend explains. ?That?s the point of holding on to memory: delivery, not darkness.?
Delivery, not darkness. Perspective, not pain. This is the message of Kiss, one we all need to hear.
Kiss is definitely a book to be read ? all in one sitting, if possible ? by anyone who enjoys a good speculative/suspense fiction story. The roaring adventure of Shauna?s quest to find the truth is one not to be missed, and one to be devoured again and again.
Bravo, Mr. Dekker! Bravo, Ms. Healy! Keep us the great work, and we?ll be looking forward to the second installment in this saga ? Burn, coming January of 2010.