Review “The Memory Book” – Lara Avery

February 9, 2017 Book Review 2

 Review “The Memory Book” – Lara AveryThe Memory Book by Lara Avery
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Published on: January 26th 2017
Published by: Hachette
Pages: 357
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: eARC

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The Story(summary from Goodreads)

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.

Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she’s going to win the national debating championship, then she’s going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she’d planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. 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. Realising that her life won’t wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.

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.

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My Thoughts

This book packed an emotional punch so strong that I haven’t been able to find the words to describe it for a whole week!

Going into this book you know it’s not going to be all rainbows and unicorns. It’s a hard topic to write about but Avery does it which such talent and sensitivity that you’d think she’s been writing for the past fifty years, not the past five. I also found the illness that Avery chose to focus her story on quite refreshing. Since The Fault in Our Stars I feel that we have gotten a lot of books about young people fighting cancer, all of which I have loved, but still it was refreshing to read Avery’s book about Niemann–Pick type C (an illness I had never even heard of before).

“Life is not just a series of triumphs.”

The book was written as journal entries and although at first I wasn’t a big fan of this, by the end of the book I definitely agreed that it was the only way this story could have been told. I especially thought it was very clever as we got further into the book and Sammie started to deteriorate and her writing showed this with spelling mistakes/words missing etc.

Sammie was a very likable character, who yes at times made some stupid decisions (which I yelled at her, aka my kindle, for) but that just made her even more real. She isn’t perfect and she makes no apologies for that, instead she owns it, and instead owns it in a beautifully and sometimes hilarious way.

“So they have decided to break my dreams and render my life completely meaningless.”

I have to admit that I did start to loose the story at one point. It felt a little bit like it was dragging and there were certain things that happened around the 80/90% mark that in my opinion should have happened WAY sooner in the story. That being said, the ending was so incredibly powerful that I forgot any slightly less impressive moments earlier in the book and suffered through a week long book hangover this story definitely deserved!

There is some romance in the book, some very messy and confusing teenage first love type romance. I’m not going to say much more than that, other than to say that it is not a typical “oh no, you’re sick but lets pretend that everything is perfect and fall in love and pretend we are going to live happily ever after” so please don’t let the thought of romance deter you from this book.

“No matter what plans I make, no matter how much I help my parents, I feel like my body is failing me, and I don’t know how to stop it.”

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Final Thoughts

It’s such a brave subject matter to tackle and Avery has done so fabulously. This book packs and emotional punch and for fans of The Fault in Our Stars and The Summer Remains it is a must!

Re-Readability: Yeah

I would recommend this book to fans of: book containing characters with medical conditions, friend to lovers relationship, book set in high school

Have you read The Memory Book?

Have you ever read a book which features a medical condition you’ve never heard of?

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2 Responses to “Review “The Memory Book” – Lara Avery”

    • Brocs Bookcase

      I think for me the story idea was the thing I loved most about this book. I found Sammie to be likable and real but wouldn’t say she was a favourite character of mine by far. There were times when I struggled with her, but I think it was the overwhelming wow feeling when I finished the book which resulted in my positive review. I totally get where you are coming from though.