Friday, July 8, 2016

The Memory Book by Lara Avery

The Memory Book by Lara Avery

Review by Lauren

source: copy from BEA '16; all opinions are my own

Official SummarySammie 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.

Review: Sammie is very much an over-achiever. She gets good grades and she excels on the debate team. She's going to NYU for college and then she's going to law school. She has it all figured out. She doesn't really have friends, but that doesn't seem to bother her much. She has her eye on the future. However, this is all before she is diagnosed with a disease that will affect all parts of her - but especially her memory. Someday soon she won't remember the answers to a test, she'll forget her siblings, she'll get lost going somewhere she has directions too. Despite this, Sammie pushes on.

I admired that Sammie wanted to keep trying. She didn't want to just give up in the face of her diagnosis. She tried to find ways to get through school, especially in terms of the debate team. She wants to win, knowing it would look really good when she went away to college. As the book continues, Sammie leaving her hometown starts to look slim. She's forgetting more and more. She's experiencing other symptoms, and her parents soon make a rule that she can't go anywhere without someone who is a first responder in case something happens.

While this is all happening, Sammie does try to continue living. She even gets a boyfriend; a guy she crushed on throughout high school. It seems picture perfect. Sammie is blunt and straight-forward, but Stuart doesn't seem to mind. Sammie's personality could be off-putting, but since she's telling the story, it makes sense and didn't bother me. I loved learning about the people in Sammie's life, including her three younger siblings and Coop, a childhood friend who re-enters her life after high school ends.

The Memory Book is told in a journal format. Sammie is writing on a computer to her future self, so that if she starts to forget, she can go back and read what happened. The book also includes some writing from her family and friends, which was a nice touch.

In the end, I really loved this one. It's a definite 5-star read and I highly recommend it!

I'm hosting the Unique Format Book Challenge and The Memory Book definitely falls under that category since the book is essentially a journal. Within that, there is also "different" ways that Sammie writes out her story and I loved that!


Christy LoveOfBooks said...

I love the fact that it's written in journal format to her future self. This sounds like a really touching book.

Keertana said...

I love this age right between high school and college and it's so rare to find more books that tackle on that time period versus another, more easier one, like the first year of college or junior year of high school. Anyway, thanks for putting this one on my radar--I love the cover and sound of this! Fantastic review!

Erika Sorocco said...

So I LOVE books told in journal format; and the fact that Sammie sounds like such an intriguing protagonist basically has me sold!


Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

Oh gosh. That would be so hard. It sounds like a moving read!

Joyous Reads said...

Love the format! And the never-say-die attitude of the heroine!

Grace @ RebelMommyBookBlog said...

I love the journal format of it. Sounds like a great one. Lovely review!!

Cait @ Paper Fury said...

I'm so so excited for this one!! It's top of my TBR right now and AFJDSAKLD THIS IS GOING TO BE GLORIOUS. I'm really keen because I need a good read (I've had a slew of terrible ones!) and I also am really curious about this condition. :O

Kristin @ Addicted to HEA said...

This sounds so good but I think it would totally break my heart... not fair, not fair, NOT FAIR!!! Yeah, I get wrapped up in books ;) Your review is so wonderful, though!! I think I like Stuart, too.

Shannon/ It Starts at Midnight said...

TOTALLY agree with you on this! Sammie DID have some unlikable characteristics but like... who among us doesn't!? She was just a well developed, well rounded character IMO. I loved the journal style too, and like you, the family and friends additions were perfect for me! Great review, I am so glad you loved it as much as i did!