Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve read a book before? Perhaps a character seems suspiciously familiar, or a plot device is not the surprise it should have been.

Right now I’m in the middle of John Green’s Looking for Alaska, which I would have sworn I’d never read. I chalked up the feeling initially to a matter of style, and the outward similarities to An Abundance of Katherines. All of a sudden, however, a scene between the main character and his girlfriend seemed reminiscent of…something. I tend to have a very good memory for what I’ve read, and all of a sudden began doubting it. Perhaps I picked this up during the year I didn’t write books, or read an excerpt online.

The same thing happened a while ago when I read the YA Civil War book Annie Between the States, by L.M. Elliot. I had occasional nagging feelings of familiarity, especially about the fate of Annie’s horse. Again, however, I had no record or memory of reading it before.

Has anyone else ever noticed this phenomenon?

Published in: on June 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

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