Cover image for Tabula rasa
Tabula rasa
Lippert-Martin, Kristen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Egmont USA, 2014.
Physical Description:
335 pages ; 22 cm
A girl who has been held in an experimental medical facility to remove the memories that gave her post-traumatic stress disorder begins to recover her memory after fleeing mercenaries sent to eliminate her.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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The Bourne Identity meets Divergent in this action-packed debut thriller with a Katniss-esque heroine fighting to regain her memories and stay alive, set against a dystopian hospital background.

Sarah finds herself in a battle for her life within the walls of her hospital-turned-prison. A procedure to eliminate her memory goes awry, and she starts to remember snatches of her past. Was she an urban terrorist or vigilante? Has the procedure been her salvation or her destruction? The answers lie trapped within her mind. To access them, she'll need the help of the teen computer hacker who's trying to bring the hospital down for his own reasons, and she'll need to evade an army of mercenary soldiers poised to eliminate her for good. If only she knew why . . .

Author Notes

Kristen Lippert-Martin has an MFA from Columbia University. She's worked at Time , the world-renowned Brookings Institution, and even had a stint as a stand-up comic before turning to writing full-time. She was awarded the SCBWI's Work-in-Progress grant in 2010.

She lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband and four children. Tabula Rasa is her first novel.

Visit her online at and follow her on Twitter @KLipMart. The author lives in Arlington, VA.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

She doesn't know what to call herself: Sarah or Angel. In the facility where she is a test rat, she is Sarah, and the nurses keep a watchful eye on her, wondering if her memories and her abilities will come flooding back. Before her memories were extracted, she was known as Angel. Now, a mysterious corporation is hunting her for reasons she can't and may not want to remember, and she must find her way through the facility's bland halls to figure out why she is there, what she has done to deserve the pursuit of armed mercenaries, and, ultimately, how to survive. This never skips a beat of action or suspense, and while it is highly reminiscent of both the Hunger Games and Graceling books in its central conflict of a heroine versus a corrupt institution, it still pulses with vivid, original details, engrossing readers and leaving them begging for a sequel.--Lynch, Caroline Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lippert-Martin's debut finds life in the oft-seen trope of lost memory-and even a somewhat plausible mechanism for bringing about the amnesia. Plausibility isn't always the name of the game (the government rarely uses world-class architects for medical torture labs), but this is a very entertaining game for thriller fans. Sarah Ramos, 16, is undergoing focused memory-elimination treatments when her surgery is interrupted by a power outage, followed by an invasion of explosives-wielding commandos who are looking for her. Calling on street smarts she didn't know she possessed, Sarah eludes capture long enough to stumble into a boy who calls himself Pierce and says he's a hacker for hire. Sarah doesn't know what side he's on, but trusting him looks like her best option-and he seems to know who she is. He's cocky but kind; she's paranoid but open to change. Both Sarah and Pierce are layered and appealing characters who don't get too caught up in their own drama-the mayhem around them is excitement enough. Ages 12-up. Agent: Molly Jaffa, Folio Literary Management. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-In this fast-paced but superficial sci-fi thriller, 16-year-old Sarah, who is half-Latina, is being held in a remote, snowy location in a facility where she is being systematically operated on to erase her memories and make her a Tabula Rasa-a blank slate. She has been told it's for her own good because it will redeem her juvenile delinquent past and get her back on track. After mercenaries attack the facility and kill the staff and patients, Sarah realizes that she's their main target, but has no idea why. The teen struggles to stay alive, helped by Thomas, a talented hacker who's broken into the facility for his own reasons. Gunmen relentlessly purse them throughout the damaged facility on orders by Hodges, a powerful woman whom Sarah instinctively hates. The story's plot is more like a video game or film screenplay-all action and little substance. With the exception of Sarah and Thomas, the characters are underdeveloped. Hodges is a caricature of an evil villain with rather nonsensical motives. The medical procedure Sarah's undergoing and the expected result is the most intriguing aspect of the book, but it's ancillary to the rest of the action, which will be a disappointment to readers hoping for a more complex tale.-Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.