Review: Lost in Me (Here and Now #1) by Lexi Ryan

Lost in Me - Lexi Ryan

Oh man, what to say about Lexi Ryan's "Lost in Me"? This was a better book than I expected it to be for the cliches provided and the category (New Adult), but I still wasn't enamored with it and had more issues than not in the aftermath, considering.

This is the first book I've ever read by Lexi Ryan, and I'll say that her writing style is compulsively readable and she does have a command over an eye for detail and character development (though with caveats). "Lost in Me" follows the journey of Hanna, a young woman who has lost her memory and can't remember the last year of her life. That's a pretty tough situation to be in itself, and I'll admit the part of the story that hooked me was Hanna trying to feel her way back into her life, between rekindling her relationship with her twin sister, rediscovering her work with her bakery, and coming to terms with her mother's control over her life and suffering from an eating disorder and body image issues. (Because YAY for overweight heroines, though I didn't like how Hanna still continued to shame herself for her weight in this story and also proceeded to objectify herself in ways associated with her weight - that vexed me to no end. I mean, if the point is to be able to love your body no matter what, she did an awful lot of shaming her old image and glorifying her weight loss associated with her eating disorder and being in the hospital.) If the story focused on her coming to terms alone, I probably would've given this book a little higher in rating because I connected with that part of it.

The romance in this book was a different story. I mean, I knew it was coming - I knew that Hanna would be torn between two different guys - a man she's said to be engaged to but doesn't remember (Max), and a rocker whom she has a thing for but isn't sure of the nature of their relationship (Nate). I'll admit this book threw me out several times because of the awkward imposing of the sex scenes. Some of them were sketch in and of themselves (i.e. Nate coming into her room and imposing himself on her when she still doesn't remember who he is, and she freaks out because she thought it was Max.).

But seriously, you could've taken half of the sex scenes out of this book, and it wouldn't have been as awkward for transition as it presented itself. It felt a bit forced, and I didn't really care for it. Not to mention that I'm not sure if I really cared for the heroes in this book. I was team Hanna the whole way through, don't get me wrong, even if there were times she wanted to make me throw the book at her. Max was caring enough as a potential fiance, but there were things about his character that seemed off to me from the get go, and I understood why after certain events were revealed that made me think "Oh he can go screw himself for all I care." I'm not a fan of cheating relationships, and there's a bit of a two-fold questioning scenario in this that it goes back and forth between in this novel. It's palpable for conflict, but I didn't care that much for the portrayal. Nate is your typical rocker, though I still felt like he wasn't a part of the overarching novel (which I understood why) for a good part. Didn't give me enough time to get to know him or connect his relationship with Hanna.

This book goes between the present day and flashbacks as Hanna slowly recovers certain memories about her relationships with Max and Nate. I found that I followed that fine despite the jumps in time (though the intimacy scene transitions were awkward because of Hanna not knowing her connections with the two). I did feel for her as she came to rekindle her relationships, especially with her twin. I also liked Dr. Nix as a character (she was probably the character I liked the most in this novel, considering), as she helps Hanna in her recovery and just as an aide throughout certain events.

But if there's something that I hate in New Adult that always happens and new writers in this category always tend to do: cliffhangers. Why the heck do authors feel the need to crudely end their works on a cliffhanger, especially one that doesn't really make that much sense, especially when it contradicts information that was previously provided in the book? That's exactly what this book did, and it left me feeling like I'd followed most of the novel without getting very many answers at all, just more questions, and an awkward question to end on especially with the contradiction in info. I won't spoil it, but I'm wondering how this will be addressed in the series to come.

For the record, I'm interested enough in this book to continue the series, but I don't go into it with high expectations. I'm disappointed that this book chose to follow familiar cliches despite having potential to go beyond that, and an interesting premise and set of characters to follow. But compared to some of the NA books I've picked up in comparison? This wasn't among the worst ones I've read, but it still left much to be desired.

Overall score: 2/5 stars