Title: The Memory Book
Author: Lara Avery
Published: July 5th 2016 by Poppy / Hachette Book Group
Genre(s): Contemporary, YA
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.
My rating: 5/5 stars!!
“What?” you whisper in stark disbelief as you look down at this book review, amidst the soft glow of your laptop screen, “Jamie gave a book 5 stars?? Impossible.” Out of the corner of your eye you see pigs flying and your laptop immediately self-destructs.
Not impossible! Apparently! This book has some flaws, but honestly I didn’t care. I flew through this book so quick and I had a great time doing it. So 5 stars it is.
“We have to get used to the idea that no one cares as much as us, because guess what, they don’t. Succeed, fail, whatever, no one is going to give you a pat on the back for spending all hours of the day studying, or researching, or giving up everything to write. So we’ve got to just do it for ourselves.”
Everything I loved about this book:
(ok, not everything. maybe just the top 3 things)
The format of this book is so well done! Instead of being told in first person, it’s told in journal form- which is even more personal than first POV. And it works so well for this book. For a character that lives with a rare form of amnesia, its effects on her life are so clearly shown when she writes it down: all her breakdowns and happiest moments and misspelled and forgotten words are so much more powerful when you know when it’s told through the main character’s own words as she’s pouring out her soul onto a laptop at 3 AM.
I loved the protagonist, Samantha. So much. For everyone who wants to know how a strong female character should be written: read this book and take notes. If I had a terrifyingly unknown disease like Sam does, the only reason I would write in a journal would be to complain about it. But she doesn’t! She takes maybe one second to feel sorry for herself and then turns her journal into this heartfelt, inspiring chronicle of her life, pastes the portraits of great historical women on her walls to get her through her bad days, and tries to find solutions for everything her illness prevents her from doing.
(I mean, she even dedicates a part of her journal to a bulleted list of which philosophers she’d make out with if given the chance, and like…how can you not love that?)
Also, a huge part of my love for this book comes from its unexpectedness. Of course, when a book’s protagonist is battling an illness, you begin to expect the …unexpected, (this is what going months without writing a book review does to me. I can’t write original sentences anymore) but I still wasn’t prepared for anything that happened in this book. (Except for maybe one thing in the romance department. But that’s it.) There are books I can reread endlessly and never get bored of, but I feel that this book’s magic lies in not knowing what comes next. I’ll still enjoy Samantha’s antics if I read this again, but I won’t feel that tug to keep turning the page. You know what I mean? (Hopefully??)
My only complaint:
The romance. There was a little bit of a love triangle, and, for the majority, it was pretty predictable. But I loved all the characters involved, so that was a plus? I guess? And thankfully the plot didn’t depend much on romance so it was easy to brush aside.
That’s my review! Did any of you guys read this book? Did you love it as much as I did? Did you hate it?? Let me know!