04 October 2011

Me Again, by Keith Cronin


Jonathan is a young man who wakes up from a six-year coma at the age of 34 after having a stroke in the prime of his life. With no memory of anything or anyone, he begins the slow process to speak and rebuild his muscles and motor skills. Suffering brain damage, his previous expertise as a skilled accountant can't help now because he has absolutely no concept of what a number is. Everything is brand new for him, and because of this, he's pretty sure it's just like being a newborn baby.

Fellow stroke survivor, Rebecca, remembers everything from before her event, but hates who she was. Her husband, though, misses his sexy trophy wife and wants her back. Unable to maintain tact, Rebecca says whatever she wants even though she knows that to be polite, she should reserve some thoughts. It's this brutal honesty that Jonathan falls in love with and what he needs as he learns what he truly was like "before."

With unexpected humor, Keith Cronin's freshman effort has successfully hit the mark. A refreshing and genuine perspective on the aftermath of a stroke survivor, Me Again is an intriguing reminder that, while a catastrophic event will change life, it sometimes can make things better. 

My only gripes? Hardly any, but I would have wanted the relationship between Jonathan and Rebecca to be a bit toned down on how perfect for each other they were, and I especially wanted Jonathan to ease up on his constant self-deprecation. While I thoroughly enjoyed his character, eventually I started to stick up for Jonathan against himself. I would find my reactions included "Stop always belittling yourself, Jonathan!" after each low blow he dealt to himself. But those are minor compared to how I felt for it overall.

Keith Cronin's talented writing delivered on a unique story about finding a new place in life after the original path has gone horribly awry. Sparked with humor, love, education and a little bit of a mystery, Me Again is a quick read that is ultimately satisfying and promising of more to come from this author.

Side Note: 25% of any money made by this book will be donated by the author to the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association.

About the Author
Keith Cronin is a corporate speechwriter and professional rock drummer who has performed and recorded with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Clarence Clemons, and Pat Travers. He is also becoming informally known as "the title guy," having provided the title for Sara Gruen's blockbuster "Water for Elephants," as well as Susan Henderson's HarperCollins' debut "Up from the Blue."

Keith's fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, Amarillo Bay, The Scruffy Dog Review, Zinos, and a University of Phoenix management course. A native of South Florida, Keith spends his free time serenading local ducks and squirrels with his ukulele.

Click here to visit the author on his website.
Click here to become a fan on Facebook.
Many thanks to TLC Book Tours for giving me an opportunity to read this book. Upcoming tour stops for Me Again, by Keith Cronin can be found by clicking here.

13 comments:

  1. Yeah, that self-deprecation stuff can get old. The book still sounds like it's worth a read.

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  2. This one sounds interesting, but I'm not sure if it's for me.

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  3. Strokes remind us of just how much we take our brains for granted. It would be kind of cool, though, to turn it into an opportunity for a fresh start.

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  4. Such a great cause, and a topic that people need to know more about. It is so hard to see people suffer and battle back after a stroke.

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  5. bermudaonion - It did grate on me towards the end, but I enjoyed the book. Definitely worth a read.

    Mrs Q Book Addict - If you do get a chance to pick it up, let me know your thoughts.

    Trish - Yes, absolutely. This story resonated with the "fresh start" approach to life as it made reference to the similarity of being a newborn baby. Great images for that and for this stroke survivor.

    Sandy - It is a great cause and one that more need to be aware of. I love the fact that the author is donating 25% of his profits to the American Stroke Association. Very generous.

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  6. This does sound like a really interesting read, though I am with Kathy in that the self-deprecating comments might wear on me after awhile. I am really intrigued by the two different character perspectives on stroke that this book gives, and think it sounds like the characters compliment each other really well. This was a wonderful review, Natalie, and I really loved that you added a personal touch with your own photo of the book!

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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one Natalie! It sounds like an intriguing premise ... not that I'd want to put myself through Jonathan's experiences though. :)

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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  8. Zibilee - It is an interesting take on in, not to mention quite humorous (although, as mentioned, I was sticking up for Jonathan quite a bit). Thanks, Heather! You know I love snapping a photo :)

    Heather at TLC - As always, thank you for inviting me to the tour. I always have a blast. I also wouldn't want to be in Jonathan's shoes either - it's a tough battle and while this character certainly found a strength that was different than anything he may have had before, it's one that I'll sit on the sidelines on and be the enthusiastic supporter. Survivors of this are true heroes, no question about it.

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  9. This sounds like a great book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  10. That sounds so scary! I read a book recently where the author was so self-deprecating that eventually it sort of turned me away from the book.

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  11. Leeswammes - It is a good one, let me know what you think if you get a chance to read it.

    Jenny - Yes, strokes are definitely frightening and quite a long process for the individual to get to where they want to be. Self-deprecation can be a tough thing to master and in small doses, I'm fine with it. When it seems like the character is beating themselves up each time, I start to get defensive for the character, especially when they're a pretty good guy.

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  12. Sounds like a lovely story - but I do understand how it might be annoying that they were sooo perfect for each other. It is definitely possible to overdo things like that. Sometimes less is more

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  13. It worked pretty well for me too. I had a hard time suspending my disbelief at some points. Overall the self-deprecation worked for me. Not perfect, but a nice enough book. :)

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