3 April 2014

The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M. G. Buehrlen

The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare by M. G. Buehrlen
Series: Alex Wayfare #1
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
Source: Netgalley [Strange Chemistry]

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare was a book that I was excited for as soon as I heard about it. So, of course, when I saw a copy was available to request on Netgalley I jumped at the chance to get it. Thankfully, Strange Chemistry approved my request and I was super excited to read it.

The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare follows 17 year old Alex who has hallucinations. These hallucinations pull her in without warning and Alex finds herself strange wounds she can't explain. Alex is desperate to find out why she is having hallucinations and to try and get rid of them. And then she meets Porter. Porter tells Alex that her hallucinations aren't really hallucinations, they're glimpses of her past lives. Alex is a Descender which means she is able to travel back in time by going through Limbo (space between life and death). Alex has had fifty-six past lives that she can travel back to. While Alex is exploring her previous lives, she keeps running into the same mysterious boy with blue eyes. As Alex continues descending, she starts to realise that someone is trying to stop her from descending and also trying to stop her altogether.

All I want to do is say how much I loooooooved this book. Seriously, it's one of the best time-travel books I've read because the whole time-travel aspect really wasn't that complicated. I've read a few time-travel novels that have left me with headaches trying to wrap my head around the time-travel process (Tempest for example - but I still love that book), but I had none of that with Alex Wayfare. It was a very simple and easy method to understand and I was extremely grateful for that. 

Alex is an intriguing character. She's suffered from visions ever since she was a little girl and they limit the amount of things she can do. Her visions can be triggered by anything so Alex avoids new movies, reading, cats and anything that could set off a vision because her whole family (mainly her sister) think she's slightly weird with all of her phobias. Discovering the different Alex's through her descending was brilliant and added a lot of her character. She came back from her visions with new abilities and became even more awesome that she already was. 

There was a little bit of romance in this book, but it definitely worked. First, we had Blue. Oh, Blue was definitely my favourite of the guys. Alex met him for the first time in Chicago 1927 and my heart melted. And then he popped up in a few of her other lives so I'm extremely intrigued by him.
And then we had Jensen. I really liked Jensen too. He's from Alex's current life and he's the popular guy at school. Nearly everyone else in Alex's class calls her 'Wayspaz', but Jensen doesn't. He's a genuinely nice and sweet character and I did really like him.
There were also a few other love interests from Alex's previous lives like Judd and Levi, and I enjoyed discovering about them too.

The storyline was so interesting and never had a single dull moment. Honestly? As soon as I picked this book up I just didn't want to put it down. It pulled me in straight away and I was so desperate to find out about Alex's glimpses of her past life and what was going to happen. Alex descending was definitely my favourite part of the book. I adored seeing her different lives and seeing how different she was in each of them. I really loved learning about Alex's past and finding out who was trying to stop her.

And then the ending happened. It was building up to something that I'd been dying to find out for so long, and then it just ended! I may have screamed in frustration because I'd been so desperate to find out this information, but I wasn't getting to. It's definitely a slight cliffhanger and obviously left me desperate for the next book so I can find out what happened!

Overall, The Fifty Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare is a fantastic debut. It's an enthralling, fast-paced, unputdownable read and I recommend it to everyone.


  1. I agree with you Samantha! I loved this one so much! I loved Alex and how we keep discovering information little by little! The ending was quite evil though!

    1. Me too! That's one of the things I really loved about it.
      The ending was super evil! I was getting all excited and then it just ended!

  2. Well that's encouraging that the time travel aspect is easy to follow. I find that a lot of books just leave you even more confused, too.
    I still need to get my hands on this one. Hopefully sometime soon!

    1. You neeeeeeeeeed to read this one Brittany! The time travel aspect is super, super easy to understand :)
      I'm pretty sure you're going to love it :)

  3. So glad you liked it! :D I wasn't sure I wanted to read it, so I didn't request it. I have enough unread ARCs as it is anyhow...
    But I am excited you liked it and that it was big enough to want you to read on :D

    My INT giveaway - The Fifty Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare
    My UK giveaway

    1. It was such a great book, Ula! After that ending, I have to keep reading!

  4. The problem I have with time-travel is that it's sometimes so complicated and that prevents me from getting hooked to the story. So, it's good for me to hear that it's not difficult to understand, since I love the concept of this book with Descenders :D

    1. The time-travel aspect was my favourite part of the book and I was so happy that it was easy to understand! I really hate super complicated time-travel because it tends to give me a headache trying to understand it, but this one is really straight-forward :)