Monday 13 February 2017

Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

30316954Review: The Memory Book
Author: Lara Avery
Genre: Contemporary, Romanc, Young Adult
Publisher: Hachette
Publication date: January 26th 2017
Pages: 357 (paperback)
Source: Netgalley

“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.

A life-affirming, heart-breaking and dazzling novel for fans of All the Bright Places and The Fault in Our Stars.

It has been a long time since a book had left me feeling the way The Memory Book did. After I finished the book so many different emotions were running through me, happiness, sadness, satisfaction...

Sammie has recently been diagnosed with Niemann-Pick type C, this disease makes that young children will suffer from progressive dementia. Sammie had her whole life planned out, she studied hard during high school so that she could get into the university she wanted and eventually become a lawyer. But the disease slowly takes all her dreams away and Sammie has to learn to live with her new reality. That’s where the memory book comes in. In order to remember what happened every day and what is happening to her she creates a book that contains her memories from that day. And she does not leave anything out it is fragments of good and bad things and sometimes really sad things. The concept of the book was really nice, reading fragments of her life. I do not think I have read anything similar before.  And I think that writing the book in this way makes the story also seem more real.  

It is really easy to like and connect with Sammie. By reading her memories you sort off become a part of her. It was also wonderful to see how strong Sammie was as a character. She does not want to let the disease determine her life. She wants to live her life on her own terms. Sammie also made so much progression throughout the book. During high school she was always so focused on school work that she never really took the time to connect with her fellow student. But her disease forced her to see some things differently in her life. I was really moved by Sammie’s story; it is hard to see how she is trying to balance her life between what is realistic and her original life goals. I also think that the author did an excellent job at portraying how dementia also affects the people that are close to the patient. The author captured the sadness, helplessness and anger very well.

I absolutely loved this book. When reading it I really found it impossible to put it down. The book was so captivating and I was really engrossed in it. And this book also hit really close to home, my grandma has dementia so I feel the struggle that Sammie’s family has to go through as well. But oh boy I was not prepared for the ending. It left me absolutely shattered, but at the same time this book could not have a more beautiful ending. My favorite read of the year so far!


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