Title: Choices
Pub: Roaring Press, 2007
Pages: 203
Genre: Young Adult, Realitybending**

“Okay, let’s say you’re right,” I say, “We’re shifting between multiple copies of ourselves. Is that why I have two sets of memories? The memories I carry with me when I shift, and the memories of the body I’ve shifted into?”

“Exactly,” Luke says.

I shiver.  “We’re like ghost, possessing our own bodies for a time and moving on.” (92)

Stranded at a party because everyone, including her best friend Jen, is drunk, Kathleen calls her brother to pick her up.  The weather conditions are fierce – snow settling on the icy roads.  Nick is involved in a devastating car accident that takes his life.  Kathleen blames herself and in her moment of anger and blame isolates herself from Jen and anyone else once close to her.  Kathleen’s mother begins to drink while her father pretends as though nothing is wrong.

Or, in another reality…

Kathleen is still stranded at the party and Nick is still dead, but instead of her mother drinking she has been throwing herself in to community efforts to help prevent drunk driving and various other causes.  Jen is still Kathleen’s best friend, and life moves on.
The only thing that each of the realities have in common is a boy named Luke, whose first interaction with Kathleen is at Nick’s funeral. Kathleen doesn’t know where he came from but instantly feels a connection. Plus, he seems to be the only one who has memories of his own alternate realities.  Maybe he can help her find the one where her brother is still alive.

What drew me into this book was the notion of alternate universes.  I don’t think that I’m a very big fan of time travel novels, although I guess the concept of realities all existing simultaneously is similar in fashion.  I’m looking over the notes that I made about this novel and I’m not quite sure where I was going with it.  I wrote something along the lines of follow up with Rogers (Carl Rogers, a brilliant theorist and therapist back in the 60’s I wanna say.  He devised the notion of person-centered therapy and was best known for his work with schizophrenics.  Rogers believed that we must emerge ourselves into the schizophrenic reality to communicate with them, rather than try to force them into our reality.  But you see, even though I made this notation, I am not quite sure why?)

I enjoyed this book and think that a lot of teens will like it as well.  Kathleen is a very empathetic character.  I truly wanted her to find her brother but understood the dilemma of what that might mean in all of the other realities.  

** Realitybending is how I refer to books that make you question reality.

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