Anterograde by Kallysten
Publication Date: June 28, 2014
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When Calden wakes up – every time he wakes up – the last thing he can recall is a debilitating headache that even his medical background failed to identify as anything more serious than a regular headache. He also remembers his decision to ignore the fact that his best friend Eli is married and to tell him about his long-standing feelings for him. He remembers June second.
But it is not June second anymore. The tattoos on his arm and chest prove it. They also tell him why he doesn’t remember anything past June second… and why Eli sleeps in his bed now.
When Calden wakes up – every time he wakes up – he gets to discover Eli is in love with him for the first time all over again.
Calden is a brilliant surgeon who is as arrogant as he is brilliant. Unfortunately he can’t remember anything after June 2nd when he was hospitalized for encephalitis. He is also diagnosed, when he wakes up, with anterograde amnesia. This is the inability to make new memories so when Calden falls asleep at night he can’t remember anything from the previous day when he wakes up. He can’t remember anything past June 2nd and when he awakens always thinks it’s June 2nd.
His best friend, Eli, is there to help him through it all and eventually Eli and Calden become a couple but of course Calden can’t remember this and discovers it daily that his best friend has become his lover/partner. The story follows both Eli and Calden as they work through their everyday lives dealing with Calden’s amnesia and their life in general.
The story is definitely a different kind of romance. Calden is a man who is plagued with guilt over the death of his sister. When he stays awake for too long he starts to hallucinate that his sister is there and she’s pouring on the guilt about her death and how he couldn’t save her. If she was actually there she would never have considered Calden responsible for her death.
It was an interesting love story as only Eli can remember what happens from day to day. Yes, Calden writes things down in a journal but not much about Eli per Eli’s request. Even though Calden couldn’t remember it was still all very sweet. The other interesting part of the story was the way it was laid out. It is told in alternating POV’s but the timeline has one character working a backward timeline and one character working a forward timeline. The author does give the reader the option to read the story in chronological order but recommends it be read the chapters in the order they were meant to be discovered. It definitely made for a different feel to the book.
The one thing that kind of annoyed me about the book was the world that it was all set in. They lived in a walled city and they had been at war for years with strange creatures that had been nicknamed demons. Throughout the story I couldn’t quite figure out why that part of the story needed to be included. Yes, it explained the lack of doctors and the need for Calden to be included despite his amnesia (he of course hadn’t forgotten any of his medical schooling) and the reason his sister died but that could have easily been explained by a normal war. Why demons? I couldn’t figure it out and I found it to be bit annoying as I found it unnecessary.
Anyway, despite the whole demon thing that I disliked, the rest of the story was very good. A different type of romance/love story but worth reading, imho.
Rating: 4 out of 5