Name: The Memory Book
Author: Lara Avery
Samantha McCoy has got it all planned out – first she’s going to win the Debating Championships, then go to New York and become a top lawyer. And even when she discovers she’s has a rare disease that will take her memories, one at a time, it won’t stop her perfectly planned out future.
However, as her memories begin to disappear, it seems like her dreams may too. So, Sammie embarks on a summer of firsts:
The First Party.
The First Friendship.
The First Rebellion.
The Last Love.
‘They say I’ll forget. I’m writing to remember.’
I like to think I’m pretty hard-core when it comes to emotional messes, but OH MY GOD. The Memory Book broke me. I hardly ever cry at books (except The Fault in Our Stars; that’s the exception for everything) but honestly.
First of all, the concept of ‘girl-looses-her-memory-so-begins-diary-to-document-it and oh would you like to read it?’ has been done before, I know. A few months ago I read ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ (of which there is an amazing review here) and I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan. The author just made Flora so incapable of being independent, so one of the things I really liked about this book was that, despite Sammie gradually losing her memory she still wants to work on her own and pursue her dreams.
Sammie herself is pretty amazing. She was actually quite relatable (although I hope I don’t have dementia) – she was fiesty and awkward and nerdy and totally adorable. This girl frequently tells herself ‘you are not a robot’ when she goes to make friends and she freaking reads at parties. The world needs more Samantha McCoys.
“I tried emotions in middle school and didn’t care for them, but they have snuck back into my life”
‘The Memory Book’ written as if she’s typing up what’s happened right after or during something… which obviously has a few set backs. However, I liked it. It was quite an interesting take on the present tense; it made you feel more involved. For example, there was this section where this boy was at her house but they had to be quiet so they were typing to each other on Word and… God, my heart! That was another amazing thing about this book: the detail put into every character and scene. There’s so much too it, from Sammie’s childhood (very fit) friend and her aspiring writer crush to her crazy debate partner and her adorable family and I’m just like YES! We need more family orientated books.
The reason I haven’t given this book 5 stars, is probably just because it doesn’t go into enough detail about the illness. I literally had to go and look it up to check that it was real (Fun Fact: it’s a type of dementia) so yeah, there really wasn’t enough detail. Also, her deterioration was quite fast and unexpected; not documented as much as I’d like – but I understand she became too ill to type that well. But it totally made itself up with the ending – I’m literally tearing up thinking about it. IT WAS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE ENDINGS EVER. Honestly, read this book.
Yes, its an illness book but its also about finding hope and doing what you love. How you’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got – and that you’ve got a lot! You have memories and friends and love and chocolate milk and family…
This book will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
MATURE CHEESES ONLY! This is a pretty hardcore Young Adult novel so I would only recommend it for readers over 12 – or anyone that enjoyed 5 feet apart and Everything Everything.
Read this book? Got any recommendations? (song recommendations also excitedly accepted)
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