Title: They Called Me Wyatt
Author: Natasha Tynes
Genre/s: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
My rating: 3/5 stars
When Jordanian student Siwar Salaiha is murdered on her birthday in College Park, Maryland, her consciousness survives, finding refuge in the body of a Seattle baby boy. Stuck in this speech delayed three-year old body, Siwar tries but fails to communicate with Wyatt’s parents, instead she focuses on solving the mystery behind her murder. Eventually, her consciousness goes into a dormant state after Wyatt undergoes a major medical procedure.
Fast-forward twenty-two years. Wyatt is a well-adjusted young man with an affinity towards the Middle East and a fear of heights. While working on his graduate degree in Middle Eastern studies, Wyatt learns about Siwar’s death, which occurred twenty-five years ago. For reasons he can’t explain, he grows obsessed with Siwar and spends months investigating her death, which police at the time erroneously ruled as suicide. His investigation forces him to open a door he has kept shut all his life, a spiritual connection to an unknown entity that he frequently refused to acknowledge. His leads take him to Amman, Jordan where after talking to her friends and family members and through his special connection with the deceased, he discovers a clue that unravels the mystery of her death. Will Siwar get justice after all?
The author gave me an ebook copy of this book via Booksprout in exchange for an honest review.
They Called Me Wyatt is intriguing, enjoyable, and offers a new and bold perspective to readers.
I mostly enjoyed the writing style of this book. It offered a new perspective for me, a perspective of a Jordanian woman struggling to fit into her world and a new world. Siwar’s memories of Jordan was really interesting, and I could sense the struggle and the need to be herself and follow her true passion.
The writing style also tries to point out several flaws and issues in the society—it tries to discuss things such as feminism and racism. I liked how the book tackled these things, but at times it didn’t feel convincing enough for me. I thought it wasn’t convincing enough because sometimes it feels out of the blue and out of character, so it didn’t affect me as as great as I thought it would.
Now, the characters. I’m a bit conflicted about the characters. Although I enjoyed reading about them, I didn’t connect with any of the characters very well. I feel like the characterizations are all over the place, and I just couldn’t get a good grasp of their personalities.
Siwar, our protagonist. I mostly liked her and her journey as a woman of color in a foreign land, and as someone who aspires to be an author. But her personality is a bit frustrating for me. I felt like she was dramatic most of the time and a bit selfish.
Wyatt, our other protagonist. Now, don’t get me wrong, I liked Wyatt, but I felt like something was missing and his characterization wasn’t as fleshed out as I hoped it would be.
The plot was truly interesting. The consciousness of a dead person stuck in a living and breathing baby until he grows up? That already is a mystery, and I was really curious about how Siwar is going to cope with that situation, and how Wyatt is going to be when he finally grows up.
As the story progresses, it also keeps you wondering and thinking about Wyatt’s next move, about Siwar’s memories, about the suspects and their true motives, and if Siwar will truly get the right justice. I must admit though, I was worried that it might take a cliche turn but that little twist at the end wrapped it up for me.
They Called Me Wyatt comes out on June 11, 2019! If you feel like this is a book for you, go add it to your Goodreads now!
I give this book three stars!