This book begins with a girl coming to outside a nightclub, in the aftermath of an explosion . She is shocked and confused - and the feeling of confusion only grows as a paramedic asks her name, and she realises she simply doesn't remember. In fact, her name isn't the only thing she's forgotten - she realises she can't remember why she was out that night, who with, or even the names of any friends or family members . Overwhelmed with panic and a strange feeling of paranoia, she flee's from the scene - getting on a bus to who-knows-where, with nothing more than a stolen wallet and somebody else's name written on her hand .
Arriving in Hadley, Jo (as she decides to call herself) starts a new life - stealing money and somebody elses job, she finds herself someone to live with, and makes new friends . Things niggle at her though - stealing came easily - is this a hint of what she was like in the past .
Without knowing anything about her life , Jo forges a new one, whilst gradually remembering bits of the past - she doesn't like what she remembers - alcohol and drug problems, a career as a stripper - it seems easier to remain missing, presumed dead - at least until the tabloids get hold of her story and force her to confront her past, whatever it might be .
I rather enjoyed this book - I found the idea of having no memories and trying to forge a new life for yourself original, if a little unbelievable. I liked the many references to facebook as a tool Jo used to try and find out about her previous life, and the way she had many leading conversations with the few people she came into contact with from her past .
I also kind of liked the premise that somebodys entire life could be wiped out and they could choose to be a much better person, someone who gives back to society and takes responsibility for their own actions, somebody who has sympathies and loyalties vastly different than they were before . I did find myself warming up to Jo, although I did find her tendency to lose her temper over the slightest thing, and to blame others for everything, a little overblown .
This isn't a particularly challenging read - I read the book in a matter of hours, but it does move along at a nice pace, and is very interesting, largely because you do build up a sort of relationship with the characters .
4 stars - a fun read with an original, if slightly doubtful, plotline .