The Memory Book by Lara Avery is currently ON ORDER at the Caledon Public Library! Check out what Anya, one of our Teen Reviewer’s thought of the book, and place your HOLD today!
They say 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 the rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly 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.
I loved this book! The writing had a voice and personality, giving it depth. I had a good idea of how all the characters behaved and reacted to situations. I could’ve cried when Sammie decides to take life slower and appreciate every moment given to her, for she may not have many left. When she accepts that she won’t be able to go to NYU like she dreamed, I – well, I still didn’t cry. I never cry when reading books or watching movies because I’ve a heart of ice. However, the ending was close to making my frosty heart melt.
Cooper’s personality also surprised me. He’s a stoner who sleeps around, and I totally bought into that stereotype (and I feel bad about that even though this is all fictitious). There’s so much more to Cooper than what’s on the surface. The way Sammie accepts him as he is and overcomes her previous prejudicial thoughts made me think about how complicated people are. We always judge a person based on what we see, but like I said, there’s always more. Cooper isn’t just a “stoner bro” – he becomes a caring and compassionate friend to Sammie, and even begins to improve on his not-so-good habits.
I also liked Sammie’s character. She’s sarcastically funny, optimistic and dedicated all in one. She cares about her family deeply and works hard to achieve her dreams. She also doesn’t mess about – she always cuts to the chase without bringing in any crap. And the idea of having a memory book to remember everything had be marveling at Sammie’s strength and how she still found ways to be in control of herself despite her deteriorating mind. She remained organized and my left brain especially loved that being-in-control strength.
The one thing I couldn’t quite get over was the love triangle. For most of the book I thought Stuart would turn out to be a cheater, but he’s genuinely good and Sammie’s the one who realizes she’s not as in love with him as she thought. And then she sleeps with Cooper. Whoops. The love triangle was about as annoying as a slight itch, which is to say not a lot. But I feel like Sammie should’ve had a little more self-control. It was a small disappointment from her character.
Would I recommend this book? If you like bittersweet stories that’ll make you laugh and cry simultaneously while also questioning your own nature as a homosapien, then yes, I would.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5