Reviewing Thrift Store Books #3: Reset and Silver

It’s time for round 3 of Thrift Book Reviews and once again I found some true hidden gems. I am quickly learning that thrift stores are a great place to find entertaining reads for an affordable price. Don’t break the bank only buying books new, especially if you’re not looking for something specific and are open to whatever you might find. Also, it’s worth mentioning that thrift stores are an excellent place to unload all your old books that you don’t plan to read again. People like me greatly appreciate it when others are willing to redistribute their book hoards. Books shouldn’t be collecting dust if they can be treasured by someone else. And now, let’s dive into the two thrift books I got my hands on this time.

Reset by Sarina Dahlan

Imagine hitting the “reset” button on your life every four years. Many of us would gladly welcome a fresh start, but when the price is forgetting everything, including those you love, is it really worth it? Aris believes it is. To prevent future wars and conflicts, she believes that the memory wipe that all citizens undergo every four years is necessary for peace. On a basic level, this appears to be sound logic, but what happens when your old memories—those memories that were meant to be erased—start creeping back via dreams? You’d long for what you lost. You’d be angry at the people who did this to you. You’d desperately try to find your loved ones again, only to discover they don’t remember you at all. In Reset, Aris slowly discovers the negative effects of this government practice, especially as she sees how her friend Benja unravels at discovering a relationship he lost. Aris, too, comes to know of her past love that was taken from her, and she’ll do anything to stop her memories from being taken again.

This haunting, dystopian read is perfect for those who like to ponder difficult philosophical questions. I found myself wondering about my own life and how different it would be if I no longer had my family, especially my sweet husband. Waking up one day and feeling like something was missing, but not knowing what, and then going about life as though that previous life never happened would be a nightmare. Sarina Dahlan does a great job of painting an eerie image of what a society like that might be like: Perfect, but maybe too perfect, so it just feels wrong. This book was an emotional read that tackled some heavy topics, and from start to finish I found myself rooting for love to prevail. 

Silver by Chris Wooding

It seems like just another day at Mortingham Boarding Academy, at least until large silver beetles with a mysterious virus start attacking students, leading to the infected transforming into bloodthirsty, zombie-like machines. Survival instincts take over in this horrifying novel about a group of kids doing everything they can to make it out alive (but not everyone will). Paul, the new kid with a traumatizing past. Caitlyn, Paul’s admirer who grapples with being just an average girl. Erika, the popular girl who Paul has his eyes on. Adam, your typical bully. Mark, the nerd who hopes to distance himself from that label through new friendships. Who will live, who will die, and can the virus be stopped?

It took me a while to get hooked on this book, but once I did I found myself loving it. Things mentioned in passing at the start suddenly became important for the plot by the end, making everything come full circle as the main characters fought to survive. I loved that characters weren’t necessarily protected by plot armor and that even main characters that I grew attached to had a chance to die by the end. This kept me guessing as to who would make it, and who wouldn’t, rather than assuming the author would just protect every main character. I think that Adam, the bully, was the most well-written character, as I found myself sympathizing with him and his inner struggles. I also found myself rooting for his character growth as he slowly found a greater purpose outside of picking on his peers. Overall, this was an amazing read that played out in my head like an action-packed horror film. 

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