It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years.When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she’s beginning to love from ever disappearing again.
I thought it was interesting that the author for this young adult novel chose a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as a main character. DID was previously referred to as multiple personality disorder or split personality. It is a mental disorder on the dissociative spectrum that is characterized by having at least two distinct personalities emerging from one person. In this book we get a look at the disorder from different perspectives. The author brings together Clara and Elias in an unlikely meeting and shows God’s hand in seemingly random acts. The book is quite intense and has several twists and turns to keep you hopping. I thought it read very well. For a Christian book, it did have a few worldly things like characters swearing and dark thoughts. So I would leave this book for the older teens. All in all I think it was a good read.
~Reviewed by Julius M.