HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Remember Me
Author: Christopher Pike
Cover illustrator: Brian Kotzky
Publisher: Simon Pulse, republished in 2007
Language level: 4
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Intended for young adult ages 12-up, but I’d say hardly anyone
Rating: * One star (very poor)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Pike, Christopher. Remember Me (published in 1989 by Archway Paperbacks, an imprint of Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, NY 10020). Shari Cooper, who lives with her well-to-do parents and twenty year old diabetic brother Jimmy, is eighteen and will graduate soon from Hazzard High. But at a friend’s party, Shari finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her, goes out onto a high balcony to get some fresh air, falls off the balcony, and dies. Her death is ruled a suicide, but, convinced that she was pushed and thus murdered, she comes back as a sort of “ghost” and with the help of another ghost named Peter Nichols, an older former friend from her high school who had been killed a couple of years before in a motorcycle crash, she tries to find her killer. However, there is this monster known as “The Shadow” which stalks her yet holds the key to her death. What is this “Shadow” thing? Who killed Shari and why? What secrets about her past will she learn?
There is an interesting plot here for those who like morbid ghost stories, but it is marred by a number of elements objectionable to Bible believers which the author apparently felt that he must include to make it appeal to worldly minded young people. The language is quite bad, liberally sprinkled with the “h” and “d” words, some taking the Lord’s name in vain, and a number of common vulgar terms. Also, there is a lot of talk about and even descriptions of sex, or at least near sex. For example, while she was still alive, Shari was trying to decide should lose her virginity with her boyfriend Daniel before she graduated or wait until the Fourth of July for the fireworks. And she tells about when they almost had sex. While listening to loud music and making out in his bedroom, they took off all their clothes and got in bed, but Daniel couldn’t because, like her Ferrari, he was “as fast as the car.” Several instances of drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco also occur.
Then the concept of religion portrayed is definitely not in harmony with a Biblical worldview. A lot of interest is shown in occultism with Ouija boards, séances, channeling, reincarnation, yoga, and the like. The picture of God is according to New Age pantheism. Peter tells Shari, “God just is. He exists. He is everything. He is us. We are him.” And the rather murky idea of the after-life is “that it wouldn’t hand out penalties. It can’t—it’s too nice. It’s completely non-judgmental.” Even Publishers Weekly said, “Some may question the prudence of presenting young readers with such a seductive vision of life after death.” Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of American author Kevin Christopher McFadden (born in1955), who is a bestselling author of young adult novels and children’s fiction. Remember Me is the first of a trilogy about Shari Cooper. In The Return (1994), she comes back to Earth as a “Wanderer” in the body of a depressed teenage girl named Jean Rodrigues. In The Last Story (1995) Shari begins to write her story down but discovers that her latest work is really a mystical blueprint that warns of evil creatures which despise all humankind. An Omnibus Collection was published in 2010.