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review 2015-03-06 11:06
Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert Martin
Tabula Rasa - Kristen Lippert-Martin

Title: Tabula Rasa
Author: Kristen Lippert-Martin
Publication Date: September 23rd 2014 by Egmont USA
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads


The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this heart-pounding debut.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah has a rare chance at a new life. Or so the doctors tell her. She’s been undergoing a cutting-edge procedure that will render her a tabula rasa—a blank slate. Memory by memory her troubled past is being taken away.

But when her final surgery is interrupted and a team of elite soldiers invades the isolated hospital under cover of a massive blizzard, her fresh start could be her end.

Navigating familiar halls that have become a dangerous maze with the help of a teen computer hacker who’s trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, Sarah starts to piece together who she is and why someone would want her erased. And she won’t be silenced again.

A high-stakes thriller featuring a non-stop race for survival and a smart heroine who will risk everything, Tabula Rasa is, in short, unforgettable.


Tabula Rasa somehow reminded me of Scarlett Johansson’s recent movie, Lucy. If you’ve seen the movie, you probably know about Lucy’s ability to access her brain’s functions fully because of the drug that has been absorbed by her body. Here in the book, it’s a bit like that. The main character, Sarah, basically has advanced skills developed from a drug.


The book started pretty amazing. Sarah cannot recall her memories and she’s being held at a special kind of hospital. One minute she was just taking some lab tests, then few pages after she’s being chased by soldiers just because she has “green eyes”. That fact has been one of the major anchors in the story. After she managed to escape the hospital, she met Thomas and they helped each other to basically reach their goals.


The characters were very intriguing, in general and I love the way they were written. Sarah and Thomas’ chemistry was very adorable. I loved every single scene of them together., which means the bulk of the book. Hahaha!


The book was very fast-paced but it suited the story because it was action-packed and really thrilling. I really loved the way it was written because everytime you finish a chapter, you just crave for more. It’s very unique, fresh, compelling and captivating. It’s certainly a must-read for fans of action and science fiction/dystopia.

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review 2014-12-21 00:00
Tabula Rasa
Tabula Rasa - Kristen Lippert-Martin Heart-racing blockbuster of a debut.

Tabula Rasa means ""blank slate"" and it is the name of a procedure designed to remove the worst traumatic memories from the minds of people in order to give them a fresh start in life. Sarah is a patient at a medical center in the middle of nowhere - literally, on top of a snowy mountain and surrounded by electrified fences, with no roads that can reach it. The surgeries and treatments that are part of the treatment leave Sarah numb, empty, and feeling ""like she is nothing."" So Sarah really doesn't know much about her surroundings, has a vague sense of time, but she is still pretty curious about things.
However, Sarah doesn't stay this way for long. The power flashes in and out during her supposedly final surgery, and someone slips her a packet of pills - mysterious unmarked pills that she is supposed to take every 24 hours. As soon as she is alone, Sarah takes a pill. Someone is finally trying to help her, and she accepts it without question. It makes sense - she's obviously a reckless girl and acts on impulse. It's exactly what I would have done.
From there, everything is turned upside down. Sarah's memories start returning, the power goes out for good, and the Center is stormed by soldiers. The action does not stop at all for the rest of the book! There is action, suspense, a tinge of romance, there is humor and science fiction and oh, did I mention action?!
Great for fans of movies like The Matrix, Lucy, The Island, and the new James Bond films, TABULA RASA is a spectacular heart-pounding adventure that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. It is a single novel - no sequels or novellas here, which is a refreshing change from the inevitable YA trilogy.

Grades: 8 and up.
Literary Merit: Great.
CHaracterization: Great
recommended: Highly
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-11-28 18:06
Tabula Rasa
Tabula Rasa - Kristen Lippert-Martin

I actually enjoyed the first half of this book very much. It was engaging and suspenseful and kept me flipping the pages until a wee bit later than I probably should have. But then the last, hmm, fourth of the book was a hot mess. So many unanswered questions; not to mention plot bunnies everywhere. I was more confused and disappointed than upset, but hence the low-ish rating.




Sarah/Angel is so special. Special powers, special family, special you. Even her "name". I'm so done with these special names that someone/you gave you(rself). Especially when it's "Angel." *cringes* She was special in the beginning of the story, anyone could see. And it was kinda great, because it was said and you knew and there was promise of her being super cool without overdoing it. And then it was overdone like a chewy steak.


"I am way, way too angry to die."

Fun fact: Anger does not have healing properties, nor does it repel bullets, shrapnel, shock blasts, etc.
Sarah, you precious thing, you are trying way, way too hard.


Thomas was a very good character, except for the whole bribery kissing. *frowny face* But otherwise! He was funny without simply being comic relief, and he played off of Sarah's character well. Little bit of a rough start though; I wasn't sure how I would like someone who was refusing to help the escaped mental patient. Okay, well, actually....he might have had a point. Still, she would have frozen to death or been shot. Decisions. And then at the end, he says this:


"I don't want you shortening your life by even one day for my sake."

N'awwwww. And that's what I like to see.


Though I wasn't a huge fan of how Thomas and Sarah used Sylvester, Jerry(Tom?), Sam, and the other one, I could understand why they did what they did. There was no way to really help them, and if anyone wanted to get out of there alive, they needed to lie to them. Still, it was very sad, though more having to do with these guys' life situations than anything else.


Oscar had many issues, though I can't entirely blame him for some of his actions that took place post-experiment. However, he felt like a means to an end, rather than a character, so my condolences there.


Joli, though we didn't see much of her, garnered the most sympathy from me. She deserved a better life.



I wanted a lot more from the story than I got. There was a lot of promise in the beginning and then I realized that it would have much to do with Sarah/Angel's father, which is terribly overused, to be honest. (But I was wrong about who her father was. I really should have figured it out, considering that he was old enough to be her grandfather. *dorky grin* Pun intended.) Not to mention that Thomas' mother is evil and also plays a huge role. I just. If you're going to go that route, do it well. And the motivations of these people were so contrived. Yeah, yeah, Hodges' main motive was greed; that's great and all, but her method was ever so slightly unbelievable. Though she was trying to please Virgil...Still, it didn't sit right with me. Also, the two experiments that were going on in this place, the super-power one and the tabula rasa, how exactly did these two get mixed up together?? Though I'm sure it was similar to how Splenda came to be, now that I'm thinking about it.


But the super-power one was certainly interesting, though with zero explanation as to how they actually figured it out. The "super-power", as I understood it, is the ability to turn on and off the brain's capacity to "think faster", much like the brain does when in danger. However, this wears a person down and shortens their life span, so really, I don't imagine that Sarah will be using her so-called super-power very often. And is she the only person who has it? Why did it only work on her? Is it just 'cause she's special or is there a deeper reasoning behind it? IS THIS A SERIES?!




Very frustrating, as there was barely any resolution, and many questions were just left floating there.




I really wanted to know where this was supposed to have taken place, other than a vague "yards away from Canada". All we know is snow, snow, mountains, cold. My guess is Alaska, though Sarah's guess of Montana could be correct. But we're never told.




There was no love triangle!! Hallelujah! Guess what I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving!

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review 2014-09-27 02:42
Book Review - Tabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin
Tabula Rasa - Kristen Lippert-Martin
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review 2014-09-16 00:00
Tabula Rasa
Tabula Rasa - Kristen Lippert-Martin Book Info
Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: September 23rd 2014 by Egmont USA
ISBN 1606845187 (ISBN13: 9781606845189)
other editions (5)
Source:Netgalley EARC

Book Buy Links


The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this action-packed debut thriller with a Katniss-esque heroine fighting to regain her memories and stay alive, set against a dystopian hospital background.

Sarah starts a crazy battle for her life within the walls of her hospital-turned-prison when a procedure to eliminate her memory goes awry and she starts to remember snatches of her past. Was she an urban terrorist or vigilante? Has the procedure been her salvation or her destruction?

The answers lie trapped within her mind. To access them, she'll need the help of the teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, and a pill that's blocked by an army of mercenary soldiers poised to eliminate her for good. If only she knew why . . .

"This is a snap-the-whip story, dark and fast. The sparks of humor in the voice won me over. Bottom line: I think the cocktail of suspense and believable smart-assery adds up to an addictive dose of reader appeal." --Blythe Woolston, author of the William C. Morris Award winner "The Freak Observer"

Releases simultaneously in electronic book format (ISBN: 9781606845196)

My Thoughts

Not sure what triggered the conceptual idea for this story but it has many elements integrated within from popular books/movies that we can readily identify which make it familiar but at the same time the author has created her own unique world, characters and plot that are easy to relate to as well as entertaining to read about.

Sarah is above all resourceful, she may not be functioning at 100% capacity but no matter what she never quits which is one of the main attractions to her story that kept me reading.

Thomas is quite simply a geek who has a way of endearing himself to both Sarah and the reader, his mad computer skills are only matched by his determination to help Sarah stay alive!

Together these teens combat overwhelming odds against them as they seek answers to Sarah’s questions while trapped within the hospital, finding more than they bargained for when they least expect it.

Packed with action that at times defies belief one can easily picture the scenes in their mind as they unfold on the pages, which make for quick reading from beginning to end of book.

Unlike others if had to compare Sarah Ramos to another resourceful female character my pick would be Sarah Connor from Terminator franchise, they share a similar ferocity of will to survive.

[EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
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