Review: Tabula Rasa – Kristen Lippert-Martin

Posted 5 June, 2014 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 16 Comments

Review: Tabula Rasa – Kristen Lippert-MartinTabula Rasa by Kristen Lippert-Martin
Published by Egmont USA on 23 September 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
5 Stars

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.

*I received a free ARC of Tabula Rasa from Egmont USA via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*

Tabula Rasa is an excellent science fiction YA story, I loved the scientific aspect of it, and Sarah was an amazing main character. At the beginning of Tabula Rasa, the readers find Sarah in a facility where scientists and doctors are working on erasing part of her memory. They won’t let her see herself in a mirror, as her looks might trigger memories they have already gotten rid of. She thinks she is there because she is a criminal who has done something horrible, and erasing some of her memories are supposed to make her a stand-up citizen once more. Only things might not be exactly as they seem.

When Sarah is undergoing her last procedure, the doctor who usually talks to her is talking about Hamlet, and suddenly all the lights go off. During that small window of time, someone comes into the room with her, delivers a small plastic bag into her hand, and then makes her sit on her hand. At the same time, she can hear a woman talking, and something about her makes Sarah really angry. Right after the power outage, she is taken from the examining room, and Tabula Rasa becomes very fast-paced and filled with information, excitement and just maybe a way out of the center.

Tabula Rasa is written very well, and Sarah is a very strong female character, who just won’t give up. Slowly, she finds more confidence in herself, and it was a treat to get to know her. Once she leaves the center, she meets Thomas, a young hacker who is working his own schemes, but he takes  pity on her and takes her to safety. He’s another great character, even if he keeps his cards very close to the chest, and doesn’t let anything out that he can keep secret.

The excitement, the action, the villains, the heroes – everything made Tabula Rasa a great read, and I am delighted to have found this author, I will be looking for more books from her in the future. Fast paced, written in first person present time also makes the action seem even faster, and I read at a frantic speed because I just needed to know more. The way the story unfolded was expertly done, and I truly felt as if I was alongside Sarah and Thomas for the whole of Tabula Rasa. If you enjoy science fiction, you’ll definitely enjoy Tabula Rasa. In the quest to find out who she really is, Sarah managed to find herself, and to realize her potential even when the world was more or less falling apart around her was a definite treat.

“Just remember, Sarah, sometimes the answers to all our questions are staring us right in the face”

People have a way of vanishing form this place. One day they’re here; the next day they’re not. I don’t know if it’s because their treatment is completed or because something else happened to them. Something potentially “upsetting” to the rest of us. All they’ll say is that a patient is “gone”. That could mean anything from transferred to released to dead.

Before these few memories came back to me, I didn’t have a strong sense of what was missing. But now that I realize how many pieces of me have been stolen, I can feel what’s gone even if I don’t know everything that’s been taken.

Lexxie signature (un)Conventional Bookviews



Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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16 responses to “Review: Tabula Rasa – Kristen Lippert-Martin

    • Stormi, it is quite Sci-fi in the beginning, but it’s not hard to understand. And when it’s sci-fi – it’s a lot easier to just suspend disbelief… It was a really good read 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Great review, so glad you liked it and seems like there is a nice balance between the sci-fi elements and the characters. I love reading about strong characters so this seems like it’ll be a book I’ll love. I’ve been on the fence about Tabula Rasa, I was little apprehensive when I first stumbled across it that it would be just another YA Sci-fi to add to all the others. I’ll definitely move it up my TBR, thanks Lexxi!

    Alma @ Journey Through Fiction recently posted: Review: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
    • Yes Alma, there’s definitely a balance between everything in Tabula Rasa, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did if you decide to read it!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Carmel, then you really should check out Tabula Rasa! It’s pretty awesome 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Definitely engaging, Lori. I really enjoyed the whole story, the characters, the world-building, the Sci-fi elements. All good 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Great review Lexxie! When I saw this title I immediately thought of the Buffy episode (called Tabula Rasa) where they all lose their memory – so what do you know, memory loss! (It means “blank slate” in latin, so makes sense). Anyway – I love this concept and the idea that she may/may not be this criminal is neat. Definitely checking out!!

    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted: Teaser Tuesdays | Death’s Redemption
    • I actually thought of the LOST episode called Tabula Rasa when I picked up this book, especially because it’s something we often talk about in linguistics as well : are we born with some innate knowledge, or are we a tabula rasa (without anything but instinct) when we’re born??
      I loved both the concept, the characters, the plot and the story in this one, so yes, I definitely hope you’ll read it!
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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