Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

Review: The Memory Book by Lara AveryThe Memory Book by Lara Avery
Published by Poppy on July 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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five-stars

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.

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.

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.

One of my very favorite things as a reader is a book that surprises me. If you follow this blog or my twitter semi-regularly, you probably know that I try a lot of books from a lot of different genres, and that, a lot of the time, I end up DNFing books I already suspected might not be for me. While I know this may seem foolish much of the time, I do it so that I don’t miss out on books like The Memory Book. It showed up in a box from Novl, and, though it sounded too sad and is from Alloy Entertainment, the premise sounded just intriguing enough that I decided to give it a shot. The Memory Book hooked me from the very first pages with its powerful voice and didn’t let me go until I finished, full of emotion.

I’m especially glad that I read this book when I did, because I know exactly who this voice reminds me of, because I just finished binging Greek. If you enjoy the character of Katherine from that show, you will love the voice of Sammie. She’s strong, determined, and comes off as an icy, superior bitch to most people. Some of that is the determination and her level of genius, but part of why she comes off that way is that she’s awkward and doesn’t understand social cues. Sarcasm often goes off of her head, and she doesn’t get implied subtleties. If you flirt with her, odds are high she will not understand what you’re doing and she’ll seemingly blow you off, all while having no idea what she’s doing. However, if you get to know Sammie better, she’s got this silly sense of humor she sometimes lets loose, and she’s really sweet and direct.

Considering that Sammie has been diagnosed with an extremely rare degenerative brain disorder, NPC, without any real treatments available, I’m not going to lie and say that this book is fluffy. Still, I really was shocked at how funny and approachable most of the book is. The book is Sammie’s journal of things she wants Future Sam to remember, so she has a resource when her memory begins to slip. Sammie mostly keeps it light, because she wants to remember the good things. Because of how joyful it can be, the darker moments hit really fucking hard, though. This book tore me up inside. It made me laugh, smile, and cry.

The writing in this book is so incredibly amazing. As the novel goes along, Katherine’s voice is changing all the time, depending on the day and how her brain is doing. The changes are done so well. Even when she’s completely changed, there’s something about the simplified writing that really reads like Sammie. I’m so impressed with how Avery managed to pull this off.

There’s a really nice love triangle in The Memory Book. *pauses while some readers run from this book in horror* Okay, so, for the rest of you, I was really impressed with how Avery handled the romance in this book. Sammie’s two love interests are Stuart Shah, a nerd hot Indian guy with literary dreams, and Cooper, her pothead neighbor and former friend. It would have been really easy to assassinate the character of either guy, but both are actually really great guys and yet she’s still able to choose between them even with a degenerative brain disorder.

Okay, the rest of what I want to talk about is spoilers, so see ya to people who have not read this book yet. View Spoiler »

On the strength of The Memory Book, I’m adding Avery’s other books to my to-be-read list because wow.

Favorite Quote:

The Memory Book quote

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif katherine greek flirting

One response to “Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery”

  1. Whoaaa, this wasn’t on my radar at all but I’m so glad to see your review of it 🙂 It sounds EXCELLENT. I am all for heartfelt but also heartbreaking but also uplifting books. *adds to TBR*
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