Book Review – The Memory Book by Lara Avery

 

This is not normally the type of book I’d have chosen to read, but I received it as an ARC and it sounded interesting enough so I thought I’d give it a read. I’m not a big fan of contemporary YA (If I read YA, it’s usually Sci-Fi/Fantasy) but this book just blew me away.

The main character, Sammie, has been diagnosed with Niemann Pick Type C which is a condition where she will slowly lose her memories. Because of this, she decides to keep a journal as a “Memory Book” so that she can read it to remember who she is.

The book takes the format of a diary in first person, and is very much what you’d expect the diary of a typical teenager to be like. She talks about being on the debate team, about her future plans for college and how she’s never been to a party. However, as the book goes on, you can see her condition slowly worsen starting with one-off instances where she forgets where she is then more severe instances. Some of these occur while she is writing her Memory Book and so you can see her confusion and struggles with the condition represented as they happen.

I really liked the characters in this book, they all seemed very well fleshed out and realistic. I don’t have a favourite as they were all so great. I was slightly disappointed that the book features a love triangle as they are one of the things I just really do not enjoy. However, I will admit that it was very well written and handled well. Finally, I was quite pleased that there were quite a few diverse characters. Sammie’s best friend, Maddie, is in a lesbian relationship with another character and one of her love interests, Stuart Shah is Indian-American.

I ended up giving this book 4 stars, since although I really enjoyed it, it just lacked that special something to give it five. I would definitely recommend it though but I suggest making sure you have tissues handy as it gets very emotional.

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