Persistence of Memory [NOOK Book]


Sixteen-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry or making friends. In times of stress, she has always been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she’s grateful to have been spared them for a while.

But when a protective friend comes back...
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Persistence of Memory

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Sixteen-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school. But Erin has more to worry about than passing AP Chemistry or making friends. In times of stress, she has always been overcome by her alter ego, Shevaun, whose violent behavior wreaks havoc on those around her. Erin can never remember anything about these episodes, and she’s grateful to have been spared them for a while.

But when a protective friend comes back into Erin’s life, he insists that Shevaun is a vampire who actually exists apart from Erin. Shevaun has dangerous allies, like the handsome witch Adjila—and they’re determined to sever Shevaun’s connection to Erin once and for all.

From the Hardcover edition.
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  • Persistence of Memory
    Persistence of Memory  

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Janis Flint-Ferguson
Erin is a high school student with an abnormal problem: she often finds herself in a different time and a different place. Mental illness is the diagnosis, and so she is treated and now able to return to a "regular" high school. At school she meets Marissa, who is on the fencing team. But one afternoon, Erin sees Marissa turn into an animal—or is it another psychotic break from reality? Erin is rushed to a hospital ward and sedated, an experience with which she is very familiar. When Erin wakes up, she is in another room, another place, a different life, being called by a different name—Shevaun. Shevaun and her husband Adjila are part of the world of witches and vampires, and they intend to find out why Erin and Shevaun are always exchanging bodies. And, if they have to, they will kill Erin to keep the changes from happening. Atwater-Rhodes will not disappoint her many fans with this cleverly crafted story of a collision between the fantasy world and the known world. Through the story of Erin and Shevaun she explores the many dimensions of illusion and the possibility that sometimes an illusion in one world is the reality of another. Reviewer: Janis Flint-Ferguson
Children's Literature - Kristy Lyn Sutorius
For years Erin has been in and out of psychiatric facilities, battling her severe schizophrenia and an alter ego who is violent enough to stick "a pencil through a nurse's hand." But now that she has been mainstreamed, she is more determined than ever to remain in a real high school. Watching as her friend Marissa turns into a giant cat, Erin believes that she is losing ground against her illness. Waking, she finds herself in a vampire's body somewhere in France. What she still doesn't realize is that this alter ego is not just in her head, but Shevaun is a real person, centuries old. Furious that she shares a connection with the teen, Shevaun and her lover, Adijla, and the two young vampires she has taken under her wing head to Massachusetts to find Erin and destroy the connection and possibly Erin with it. Erin, unwilling to recognize her powers, is protected only by her romantic interest from the psych ward, Sassy, a compulsive liar and shape-shifter who takes the form of a hyena. It is Adjila who finally discovers the source of the women's connection, which proves to potentially deadly for both Erin and Shevaun. Atwater-Rhodes explores a deeper, more psychological side of the underworld inhabited by vampires and other mysterious creatures. Her skilled writing takes the reader to unexpected corners of the characters' minds, usurping the reader's skepticism and doubt. Reviewer: Kristy Lyn Sutorius
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Erin Misrahe, 16, has spent almost half of her life in and out of psychiatric wards. With the help of serious drugs, she has managed to stay out of the hospital for more than two years and is attending classes at a local high school. But the dreams of blood and violence and being a completely different person have started again, and it seems that her alter ego, Shevaun, may be something more than just a figment of her imagination. With the help of her shape-shifter friends and Shevaun's longtime lover, Erin and Shevaun fight to separate their minds and memories and try to figure out what happened to connect them in the first place. What sets this novel apart from the current rash of teenaged-vampire-angst fiction are the two narrators-Erin, grown used to, and even comfortable with, the idea that she is mentally ill; and Shevaun, willing to do anything to protect the family she's cobbled together. Secondary characters are equally compelling, and the world that Atwater-Rhodes has created is believable and intriguing. Hand this novel to the multitudes going through Stephenie Meyer withdrawal and they won't be disappointed.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Perfectly pedestrian storytelling marks this newest from the former teen phenom. Erin has spent most of her life institutionalized for schizophrenia. After years of therapy and medication, she has stabilized enough that she can attend classes at the public high school, where she develops a friendship with Marissa, her spunky classmate. But the 16-year-old must doubt her hard-fought sanity as things go awry. She starts having nightmares in which she wakes up as Shevaun, a powerful vampire living in France with her witch lover, Adjila. Erin recognizes and loathes Shevaun as her violent alter ego from her years in the hospital, but she is powerless to sever the connection. When she sees Marissa transform into a tiger in the woods, Erin is sure she's having another psychotic break. Erin needs the help of Marissa, Adjila and her fellow mental patient/boyfriend Sassy in order to keep Shevaun from destroying her. Awkward phrasing weighs down the muddled story line and the characters are too thinly developed to be very sympathetic, but this fast-paced narrative will be a quick read for devotees of the genre. (Horror. 11-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375891885
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 12/9/2008
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 235,131
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Amelia Atwater-Rhodes wrote her first novel, In the Forests of the Night, when she was 13 years old. Other books in the Den of Shadows series are Demon in My View, Shattered Mirror, Midnight Predator, all ALA Quick Picks for Young Adults. She has also published the five-volume series The Kiesha’ra: Hawksong, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and VOYA Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List Selection; Snakecharm; Falcondance; Wolfcry; and Wyvernhail. Visit her online at

From the Hardcover edition.
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Read an Excerpt

ERIN WOKE ONCE AGAIN IN A DARK ROOM, BUT this time it didn’t feel like a dream. She thought she had fallen asleep in her father’s car, which was unusual. The only times she really remembered blacking out like that . . .

Where was she?

What had she done?

She pushed herself up and then gasped. Her body ached. She shoved her hair out of her face and groped blindly for the edge of the bed, and from there for a lamp. She needed light. She needed–

Don’t freak out again, Erin. Deep breaths.
She consciously controlled her breathing as she located the bedside table.

Instead of finding a lamp, she touched a small box, maybe for jewelry. A . . . pair of handcuffs? A little less carefully and a little more frantically, she searched further, and then she bit back a scream as she grabbed something sharp, cutting her hand.
She recoiled, hugging her injured hand to her chest, and ended up in the middle of the dark room. She shuffled forward, her uninjured hand in front of her face, until she found the wall and breathed a sigh of relief.

The relief was short-lived. In that moment, a door behind her opened, letting in a stream of muted but much-appreciated light and a man she had never seen before.

He looked a little older than Erin–maybe a college student–though he had a quality about him that made Erin think he was older than that. His skin was caramel-bronze, and his short, tousled hair was the color of French roast coffee beans.

What didn’t match were his silver and blue eyes, which made her think of a blue jay dipped in mercury. He didn’t look like anyone she remembered ever knowing, but at the same time he seemed impossibly familiar. Those eyes, focused on her with apparent concern, seemed like eyes she must have stared into for hours once upon a time, in another life.

Maybe she had.

This thought made Erin’s skin crawl.

“Where am I?” she asked, in a voice so muted she could barely recognize it as her own.

“In your room, in your Sète home.” He looked worried now. “Do you remember how you got here?”

Sète? She had never heard of it.

“What state?”

Now he really looked confused. “Shevaun, why don’t you sit down? You were badly hurt. This is the first time you’ve been conscious in days, and I think you’re still confused.”

“What did you call me?” But Erin already knew. She knew because she had heard the name before. It was written in all her medical records.

“Shevaun, sit down–”

He moved to touch her arm and she jerked back.

“I’ve got to go. I have to leave, now.”


“Don’t call me that!”

As she remembered what he had said, she demanded, “Hurt–how? How was I hurt? What did I do?” Erin didn’t want to go back to the ward, to lockdowns and body searches and waking up in restraints, but wasn’t this worse? At least when she woke up in isolation, she knew where she was and who she was with.

“Calm down,” the man was saying, but she couldn’t. She knew what “Shevaun” was capable of; any friend of that woman’s was no friend of hers. Erin only needed to glance at the bedside table–and the handcuffs, knife, and bottle of wine there–to know that.
The man reached for her again. This time she shoved him, discovering in her panic a strength she hadn’t known she possessed, and suddenly the stranger was sprawled full length on the ground.

Seizing her advantage, she dashed past him, only to slam into a tall, slender girl with unruly blond hair, who stumbled a bit but managed to keep her footing and grab Erin’s arm.

“Shevaun, you’re awake!”

The girl’s glowing happiness was quickly replaced by confusion as the man Erin had run from said, “Brittany, don’t let her past you. Something’s wrong.”

“Something is wrong,” Erin said swiftly as the man moved up behind her and grasped one of her wrists in each hand. “I don’t know what I’ve told you, but I’m not who you think I am. And I need to get home, right away.”

“You are home,” the girl said.

“No, I’m not–”

“Brittany, why don’t you give us some privacy?” the man asked.

Brittany nodded. “I’ll wait in the parlor, in case you need me.”

Parlor?Who has a parlor, in this day and age?

Apparently, Shevaun did, along with this oldmoney, Victorian-style bedroom, featuring a fourposter bed, an Oriental carpet, and honest-to-god oil paintings on the walls. Not to mention handcuffs and a knife, and a man Erin had never met.

“Please,” she whispered. “Let me call my father. He’ll explain.”

The man holding her didn’t reply. Instead, he pulled them both down on the bed, where he spooned against her back, pinning one of her arms underneath her and keeping her other wrist in his hand, against her shoulder. He was gentle, but Erin knew that he was perfectly ready to roll forward and pin her more thoroughly if she struggled.

“Let’s start over,” he said, in a voice that was ohso- careful. “My name is Adjila. I am in love with Shevaun, so you can be assured that I won’t hurt you, that I have a vested interest in figuring out what is going on, and that I am not going to let you out of this house until I am confident you are safe. Even if you were making sense to me, I would attempt to discourage you from leaving due to your current physical condition–which you would notice, if you would calm down enough to recognize that you are still injured.”

Aware that she wouldn’t be able to get up until he let her, Erin forced herself to relax. As she did so, she confirmed what he had said: her whole body hurt. The pain seemed most focused in her gut and her ribs, but everything ached, as if she had either had a serious flu or taken an equally serious beating.

“Okay, I’ve calmed down,” she said. “Would you let go of me now?”

“So you can run off?” Adjila guessed correctly.


“Actually, because it creeps me out to have a guy I don’t know snuggling with me,” she snapped. It was her secondary reason, but that didn’t make it less true.
She felt him flinch, and an unexpected wave of pity washed over her. He had claimed to love Shevaun. She was about to tell him that Shevaun didn’t exist.

“If it would make you less uneasy,” he said, “I can tie you down instead.”

She drew a deep breath. “I don’t want to be tied up.”
“I didn’t think so. Now, if you aren’t Shevaun, why don’t you let me know who you are?”

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 71 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 72 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2010

    A bit disappointing

    I have loved most of her books (mostly her Den of Shadows quartet) and was glad to find out she'd written a novel that included vampires in it again. After reading it though I have to be honest and say I was a bit disappointed with it. It's brilliant but it feels like it was thrown a bit around and rushed. I'm not saying it's not a good book, just that it's probably not one of her better ones. She is still number one vampire writer though as far as I'm concerned. Sorry Stephenie Meyer fans

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another amazing story from Amelia!

    This book was yet another example of how much Amelia's books own. I enjoyed every word of it and can not wait for the next book to come out!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012


    As always Amelia don't disappoint, the first thing I loved about this book is it is so unlike all her other books, and though there is familiar names from the early den of shadows, she goes into an entire new theme using a mental patient as her main character. I love the way she twists the plot and how the only thing more seemingly terrifying to Erin than her apparent schizophrenia, was the idea that all these years she was never even crazy to begin with! Although surely it wouldnt happen I would love to see her write a prequel to this book, one that delves more into her actual episodes in shevauns body and also shevaun being in erins and the violence towards sassy and the nurses that was barely brushed on! That would rock! The only complaint I have on this book is that Alexander (the triste that was Risikas brother in In the Forests of the Night) had at one point fed his wrist to shevaun, but triste blood is poisonous to vampires... not sure how that was possible, but maybe I missed something :( anyways it surely wasnt enough to lessen my high praise of yet another of my favorite artists creations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    another great book by amelia

    Not my fav of her books but still a great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Read!

    If you enjoy darker stories and characters with emotional or phyc. problems then you will most likly find this book fasinating! I strongly enjoyed the characters and the overall plot of the book! The authors writings are all suspenseful reads and I suggest if you enjoyed this book to read them!

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    Confusing but Worth It

    While the book had it's confusing turns and back-tracks, switching between minds, it was still worth the read. Fans of the author's books are more likely to understand it, given that there are subtle references to her other works in here that help slightly with background. It felt like slogging through muddle at some points but quickly picked back up again later.

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  • Posted May 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Worst vampire book ever!

    I do admire most of Rhodes's work, but this one was severely disappointing. This girl thinks she's mentally ill, but when meeting with an old friend, she realizes something far more dark than she imagined. Honestly, this book went N-O-W-H-E-R-E! I would skip 2-3 chapters ahead, and they would still be talking about the same thing! The female antagonist is far too plain, and just the same as most of her other vampire characters in previous works. This was very disappointing from a good author. Don't waste your time.

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  • Posted May 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Stick to It

    At first, I thought that this story was a little strange, but after awhile, I realized how good of a book this truly is. You can realy feel the bonds that the characters have together. You can also feel Erin's pain as well. It is a very good book and I would recomend it to my friends.

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  • Posted March 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Can't believe I wasted my time with this book

    I had to drag myself to finish this book. It was nothing like some of her better books. I wouldn't really recommend this book but if your utterly bored...

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  • Posted February 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Another great book!

    This book was amazing! It held me from the very beginning and I loved the twist at the end. I hope there will be another after this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009


    the book was great an enjoyment

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  • Posted February 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Good and the Unexplained

    This story takes up several years after Atwater-Rhodes's short story "Empire of Dirt". The plot revolves around Erin and her alter-ego, but when the people she trusts the most tell her that her alter might just be real, can she believe them?<BR/><BR/>For most of her life, Erin has grown up in mental institutions for having a split personality. This is her first chance outside the walls of those buildings, thanks in part to a hand full of rainbow colored pills. Her struggle begins with a relapse episode into her alter-ego that is more real than all the ones that she has encounterd previously, and so entales the beginning of her trip, along with old friends and newly formed, fragile alliances.<BR/><BR/>"Persistence of Memory" is a good book with solid writing, however I do recommened going to the library and checking out the short story "Empire of Dirt" in the anthology "666: The Number of the Beast", becuase, while you can read this book without the short story, you would be more likely to connect the dots in the end that would otherwise be left as question marks.<BR/><BR/>The pacing of the plot is ideal, not to fast and not to slow. It allows readers to keep up without scratching their head as to what has happened due to the changing of characters that the book follows. The characters are realistic, and while at times their reactions may anger you, they are true to the character. The only draw back to this book is that at the end there is a question to a minor outcome, but it is easily resolved with reading the short story or going to the message boards through the authors website.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Persistence of Memory - well written, makes you think and...

    This is the story of a girl who has a mental problem where she thinks she's someone else but finds herself waking up in a place she thinks looks familiar but has never been there at least from what she remembered. The girl meets someone she thought was only in her head. Turns out she's going to discover that maybe what she thought was an illusion is more real than she has ever imagined. She gets help from an old friend and thus he and the familiar person try to save the girl and her sanity. Just read this book and see how good it really is. Amelia is one of my favorite authors. The story has suspense, romance, action, little humor and makes you think too. Can't wait for Amelia's next book.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting story.

    I love Amelia's Kiesh'ra Series, but I never read any of her other books. I haven't read the other books that go along with Persistence of Memory, but it was still easy to follow. I was amazed that she could get a major revelation in such a short book, but it worked. I really liked the ending, and for a while I really did think that the main character was crazy. It was a quick read, but still good.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by LadyJay for

    Since she was a child, Erin has been plagued with mental illness. Her schizophrenic episodes have kept her in and out of various institutions for most of her life. Now, at age 16, Erin's therapist has decided she must re-enter the real world. <BR/><BR/>Public school is a little frightening - lots of kids, larger classes, more stimuli to trigger an outburst. Erin attempts normal teenage activities; making new friends and trying out for the fencing team, but nothing is able to stop her alter-ego from rearing her ugly head. <BR/><BR/>Erin believed that Shevaun had finally disappeared, but now she is back with a vengeance. Erin must find a way to control Shevaun before it's too late. <BR/><BR/>Amelia Atwater-Rhodes has been writing about the paranormal since she was thirteen. Her stories involve vampires, shape-shifters, witches, and magic, and PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY is chock full of all of these elements. <BR/><BR/>The story is fast-paced, which makes it a quick read. Those readers who enjoy the supernatural will definitely want to give this book a try. <BR/><BR/>Also, look for sequels on the horizon. Atwater-Rhodes' final chapter is open-ended, leaving room for future stories about Erin and Shevaun.

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  • Posted January 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting-but adventure cut short

    This story was high flying and then all of a sudden it seemed like Amelia just wanted to end it and she gave the first sum up of events possible.<BR/><BR/>Hopefully there'll be a sequel that will bring Erin into a full blown power house.

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  • Posted December 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is an excellent young adult fantasy thriller

    Like many sixteen-year-old high school students, Erin Misrahe struggles to belong to any crowd, but she is different. When stressed out sweet Erin turns into violent Shevaun; she hurts those nearby and when she reverts back to prime ego, she has no idea how she got where she is and what she did to others. Diagnosed by doctors as a mental illness, she is sent to the hospital and medicated.<BR/><BR/>When she is released and enrolls at Nefershen Public High School where Erin makes friends with fencing team member Marissa who she see shift into a tigress. Assumed that she had another psychotic incident, Erin is back at the ward. When she awakens she is in a different place with a man claiming to be her husband Adjila the witch and that she is Shevaun the vampire. They want to know why Erin and Shevaun switch places so they can end that tie if necessary by killing the human teen.<BR/><BR/>This is an excellent young adult fantasy thriller that anchors the exhilarating story line in the mundane human realm through the beleaguer teen¿s high school, family, and even the psycho ward; yet also insures the fantasy world once she crosses over (with readers) feels genuine. The cast is solid in both environs especially Erin. Amelia Atwater-Rhodes¿s fabulous tale is all about reality is in the eye of the beholder.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted December 1, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    can't wait

    i have read and own every book from that series.i love them all.even though i wish that each story would continue......but i will get persistence of memory on decembr 9.the day it comes out........that is 8 days in countin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<BR/><BR/>whoooooooooooohoooooooooooooo..............can't wait

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2008

    Yes, another anticipated book to wait for!

    I can't wait for this book! I was wondering when Amelia Atwater-Rhodes was going to write another book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008


    i love ameila's works and cant wait for this one to come out. i have been waiting for her to write more. im so excited i can hardly stand it!

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