Rinse and Repeat by Amberly Smith
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Rinse and Repeat is a fairly interesting book with a clever hook. The idea of repeating a day over and over is not necessarily new, Groundhog Day made it famous, but the story has good pacing, decent writing, and two engaging leads that make it work. There are a lot of details left unexplained and the ending is one that could be cheesy but ends up slightly creepy instead. A mostly interesting read that moves quickly and has you rooting for the men to get their happy ending.
The story opens with Jake at his best friend’s funeral, struggling to deal with Geo’s murder. Some time later Jake is in danger from the same killer and repeater Peat is sent to help. Peat repeats the same day over and over again until he gets something right. What that “right” element is varies from case to case (called repeats) and isn’t always about saving lives. The real purpose to these repeats is a vague sense of fate or destiny but the idea is largely unexplored and ignored. Instead the focus is on Jake and Peat as they struggle to find a way to save Jake’s life while Jake loses all knowledge of Peat each new day at midnight.
The narration is third person and alternates between Jake and Peet with equal time. Sometimes the point of view feels muddled and indistinct as Jake and Peet have nearly the same internal voice and style. Given that they’re both young twenty-somethings, this isn’t too surprising but if your attention wanders you may forget and get confused whose perspective is being highlighted. There’s an attempt to had distinctive tone to Peet with the British flavor but it’s too inconsistent and infrequent to feel natural and real. Instead it comes across as an obvious manipulation and artifact. The prose is also sometimes awkward and clunky. Not the majority but sometimes phrases are jumbled or the wrong words used.
The story however is very easy to read and the pace kept nice and fast. The days repeat but the story does a very good job in offering enough details and information without ever feeling repetitive. Each day has a new and fresh feel despite the fact it’s the same day over and over again and certain events have to occur. A variety of secondary characters help liven up the story and keep things new even as none of these characters are really necessary. Almost all of them could have been eliminated without changing the story much but they break up what could have been monotonous repetition. Thankfully the each repeat day is slightly different and never exactly the same.
The characters have a similar feel and they’re almost too much alike in their narration. They tend to blend together but that’s a minor point as the story and plot is engaging and mostly fun to read. I found my attention wandering a few times, even with as much as I like the main couple. However the fast action and enjoyable story makes up for this. I’m not sure I’d read this again but I’d definitely read more from this author and am likely to remember this book.
2 thoughts on “Review: Rinse and Repeat”
I did enjoy this one. I think I liked how every day (or so) Peat would try and pass on some information or find some information, gradually putting things together. There is supposed to be a follow-up to this the author said that explains the phenomenon more.
Oh I’d be interested in reading a sequel that explains it. I didn’t mind so much the lack of explanation (though it did allow for things to be.. well easily done). I think I’m the last person to read this and everyone else gave it such glowing reviews.