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 Summary: 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.
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!