Published by HarperCollins on March 3rd 2015
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Edelweiss
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In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.
Lora Mint is determined not to forget.
Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.
But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?
Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology.
I really wanted to like this one more than I did. (Well, there’s an opening sentence that no one wants to see in a review, hm?) I love the topic of memory in general, and I love thinking about how our mind works. Sadly, this one fell short for me in more ways than one. It wasn’t all negative though, so…
What Worked For Me:
- I liked that the family relationship was featured heavily. Lora has to deal with the death of her mother, her tense relationship with her father, and even an aunt in government who is a strong influence in her life.
- I was interested enough to want to see how things turned out. The mystery and story were entertaining.
- I don’t know where or when this is. It’s confusing, because it doesn’t seem like it is that far in the future, or even in the future at all, but I guess it is? As for location, it seems like it is kind of supposed to be a “Anywhere, USA” sort of thing, but it is incredibly generic, and all references to government and location are completely generic, so it could in fact be set anywhere, at any time. There is very little (close to not any) world building.
- The flashbacks are really confusing. I don’t know if this is going to be different in the finished copy, but in the eARC there is absolutely no indication that Lora is having a flashback. I would be reading along, something would make no sense, and then I’d realize that I’d been reading a flashback scene for several paragraphs.
- Speaking of flashbacks, wouldn’t she be freaking out a bit? If suddenly, your memory key malfunctions, and you are flooded with strange memories, wouldn’t you maybe, I don’t know, panic? Nah, Lora’s cool. I didn’t even understand that it wasn’t normal until a full chapter later.
- Lora wasn’t particularly likeable for a big portion of the book. From about 20%-85%, I was kind of sick of her. She was being awful to everyone around her. I understand that she was having issues, but goodness, she was awful to her best friend, her father, people at work… it wasn’t exactly endearing.
- The romance was… okay. There are two love interests, only she isn’t so interested in one. He’s actually completely pointless to the story, and if you cut every reference of him out, things would probably make the same amount of sense. Go home, Raul. The other love interest, Tim, is the brother of Lora’s best friend Wendy. Tim is fine, but they do this awkward back and forth that gets old really fast.
- I saw the “twist” coming. Maybe this is just me, but yeah, I wasn’t super surprised by the way things ended up.
Bottom Line: Well, I guess that was a lot more negative than positive, no? Perhaps if I hadn’t read any books involving similar situations (The Unhappening of Genesis Lee comes to mind, and is far better executed), this would have worked better for me. But, this is a quick read, and the story was somewhat entertaining so if you’re interested, it might be worth it. Otherwise… not so much.