They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.
Title: The Memory Book
Author: Lara Avery
Publication: July 5th 2016 by Poppy
Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review
Summary from Goodreads:
Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way–not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.
So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart–a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.
Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.
The Memory Book is pure wow factor. It isn’t exciting in the sense of “wow, bam, pow pow” sort of action or anything of the sort – The Memory Book is a slow and subtle journey of determination, devastation, and redemption. It is heartbreaking, waaay out of my comfort zone of books, and ultimately it was sheer perfection and a masterful depiction of the unfairness of the bitch that is life.
What I Liked:
- Protagonist’s name is Samantha… Just… pshawww. Automatically awesome.
- The book is not rainbows, sunshine, and happy endings. It is a shit show of the real world, and it was awesomely horrible.
- FAMILY! FAMILY! FAMILY! Thank the writing gods for a book showcasing a steadfast, involved family that isn’t a rendition of the overbearing asshats or neglectful absentees we usually see.
- Told in journal entries – which usually makes me want to rip my hair out. In this case, it worked like a gem.
- Realistic portrayal of illness that wasn’t sugar coated or used simply as a plot device.
- Romance, but just a touch. Like a nice sprinkle of salt over In and Out french fries.
- Said romance is also adorable, swoon-worthy, and so sweet it will make your teeth ache.
- The originality and ease of story telling was impeccable. YOU GO LARA AVERY!
- Grab the tissues, possibly a Costco pack, cause you’re going to need it.
The Not As Good:
- Maddie, Sammie’s friend, is a bitch. Who acts like that? Seriously. WHY YOU NO BE GOOD FRIEND!?!?
- Failed love triangle that was unneeded and completely superfluous. Prepare your sails for multiple ships. Just saying.
- Cheating if you pay attention. Instant no-no for me.
Overall, The Memory Book packs an emotional punch that will hit you a few hours after finishing. It was fantastic, poignant, and inventive. It is unique, magnificent, and heartfelt. It sheds light on something not normally explored, and it handled it with grace and poise. The writing was outstanding, highlighted even more so by the fact that it is so fluid in format. The Memory Book will leave you emotionally drained and raw. Prepare yourselves.