Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ARC Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 5, 2016
Publisher: Alloy Entertainment
368 Pages

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.

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.

Man, this book was tough.

And weirdly enough, it was tough on two completely different levels for me. The first, for a majority of the book I didn't really like it. I was more reading just to get to the end. As much as I felt for what Sammie was going through, I just could not connect with her. But then the last 10 pages or so happened and suddenly my emotions were everywhere. Suddenly it was tough to read what was happening to and around Sammie. And geez, that last page...
The Memory Book is told in kind of a journal format. After finding out that she has a rare disease that will eventually rob her of her memories, Sammie decides to start writing everything down for her future self. And honestly, it's kind of boring. Sammie was kind of bland - most entries were spent discussing the upcoming debate final, or her massive crush on Stuart, or just fretting about being valedictorian. She lacked any real personality other than being socially awkward - which we were told she was, not really shown.

When the disease starts taking over, the journal entries become frantic and sometimes nonsensical - which made sense and I really liked seeing the way the author portrayed her deterioration. For that, the author gets props. Finally, personality was starting to come through in bits and I could start to feel Sammie's frustration and fear.

Another issue I had was the way the love interests were showcased and ultimately dealt with. Feelings sort of came out of nowhere and were jarring - at least to me.

Overall, it was an interesting book to read. I had never heard of the disease that Sammie had before reading this but couldn't even imagine going through what she did. But guys, seriously, that last just gutted me.

I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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