Monday, July 07, 2014

Review: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen

From Goodreads: For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair. But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them. It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories. Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever. And will stop at nothing to make this life her last. 

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen was a book that began with a compelling first chapter. However, as I further delved into the novel, the main character began to annoy me and the premise that the book was built upon became confusing.

Despite the mean pranks that Alex pulls, I initially liked Alex because her confusion about her visions and desire to be normal felt very realistic. Over time though, it became clear that Alex is very much ruled by her emotions, which makes her prone to not making wise choices. For example, during one of her visions, she goes against her mentor’s wishes – which she does constantly – to come back to her Base Life in order to spend more time with a guy. It drove me crazy to see how attached she becomes to a guy after knowing him for less than a day!

Another issue I had with Alex was that she made generalizations about all girls based on her experience with just one girl. This quote, for example, really irritated me: “Jensen, if you haven't figured out by now that most girls are shallow, shallow creatures, then there's no hope for you” (97% in my Kindle).

Furthermore, the meandering plot relied very much on Alex being kept in the dark. As such, when explanations were provided, they were given in info dumps and made little sense in the grand scheme of things. In spite of all the terminology thrown around, I’m still very fuzzy on how time travel works in this book and remain clueless as to how Porter, Alex’s mentor, knew in which body Alex would be reincarnated in in Base Life. 

The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare was released by Strange Chemistry in March 2014. 

Comments About the Cover: I think it looks mysterious. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Strange Chemistry) for free via NetGalley.


  1. Yep, I can already tell this one is not for me. I don't mind the ruling by emotions part, I mean what teen isn't ruled by their emotion? It's the meandering plot and being kept in the dark part that makes me not want to pick this one up.

  2. I like to think that despite the fact that I'm a girl, I'm not overly shallow. That's a pretty broad generalization, and it it irritates me as well:) Characters who continually make unwise choices while knowing better are really frustrating Z, so I'm going to pass on this one. Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. I have to say, I'm not all that excited to read this one. It sounds not that fun. Oh, the potential that it had. It's to bad you didn't enjoy it that much.

    Thanks for the review!

  4. Ah, too bad. I hadn't heard of this one before but I guess I won't be going out searching for it, ha. Sounds pretty annoying, I hate relationships like that so much.

  5. Oh man, I haven't even heard of this one before and I'm already turned off by it. Can't stand protags like that!!


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