Thursday, May 7, 2015

DYING TO FORGET by Trish Marie Dawson (The Station #1)


Dying to Forget
by Trish Marie Dawson
The Station Series, #1

Dying to Forget by Trish Marie Dawson puts a spin on the common religious notion that people who commit suicide go straight to hell. Two major tragedies befall Piper Willow, a girl in high school. The third results in her death.

Piper finds herself in a clean, white place - a Station for people like her who have committed suicide, a chance for redemption.

In order to redeem herself and possibly go to a better place, Piper and her friends in the afterlife become Volunteers who go back to Earth to reside in the minds of individuals who are contemplating suicide, in order to persuade them to choose life over death.

Old vs. New Cover

Dying to Forget Covers: Old (left) and New (right)
I love the new cover so much more than the old one. While the new one is generic and vanilla, with a closeup of an attractive model, it doesn't turn me off like the old one does. What does it tell me about the story? Nothing, except that the protagonist is a white female. However, it doesn't make me go, "Eww."

First thoughts about the old one: Eww, sullen teenager in an unflattering pose. Why is she squatting as if she's about to drop a deuce, and why is her crotch covered by white fabric? The model looks like she has an attitude, which is not representative of Piper at all. Piper lacks that edge. The background is visually interesting though.

My Thoughts

I thought it was very cool that Trish Marie Dawson chose to tackle the widespread idea of the suicide victim's condemnation to hell by giving the victims a chance to redeem themselves in an in-between Station. I laughed at the concept of the bureaucratic heaven (The afterlife is a big business! Why wouldn't it have a huge bureaucracy?).

Nigel was an endearing character, and I was glad that Piper was able to meet such a nurturing fellow. I thought Nigel was God at first, but how often do you get to meet the CEO in a densely bureaucratic company? I feel like there is more to him than meets the eye - he seems to play a larger role in the afterlife bureaucracy than he lets on.

It took me a chapter to warm up to Piper, mostly because I found her naive obsession over Jock Guy annoying. Fortunately, that only lasted a chapter. The ending comes in the form of a huge cliffhanger - I saw it coming from the setup earlier in the novel, but I welcome this direction in the plot because I want to find out what happens.

The Audiobook Experience

I listened to Dying to Forget by Trish Marie Dawson on Audible, narrated by Kimberly Woods.

Kimberly Woods' voice comes across as very adolescent, kind of breathy. It took a while to get used to (especially during the whole Naive Piper stage), but by a third of the book in, I was enjoying her narration, and I can't imagine this book or Piper without Kimberly Woods' voice. I hope Kimberly Woods narrates the next books in The Station Series, because I can't imagine Piper with a different voice.

Woods' vocal rendition of Piper makes me picture Beth Greene from The Walking Dead (possibly because the similarities in speech patterns)and as a result, I pictured Beth as Piper rather than either of the cover models. Here's a picture of lovely Beth:
Beth Greene from The Walking Dead, played by Emily Kinney
Woods' high voice is perfect for embodying a teenager but not so much for old men. I couldn't tell Nigel's voice apart from Sloan's step-dad's voice. But they were relatively minor characters, so that was okay. And their emotions were still conveyed well. 

This book translated well into audiobook format. I played this in my car during morning and evening commute and looked forward to hearing more about Piper's afterlife each time.

My rating:

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