About the book:
Title: The Memory Book
Author: Lara Avery
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult
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.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Netgalley
Oh my gosh, The Memory Book was so good! It had me going up and down on an emotional roller coaster, and needless to say, I could barely put it down.
I first stumbled across this title on Netgalley, back when I was a brand new blogger. The premise seemed super interesting, so I requested it; unfortunately to be declined, but despite that, I still knew I HAD to get my hands on it, which I did, and don’t regret!
To summarize, this book revolves around 17-year old Sammie, who has many hopes and dreams for her future. She plans to be the class valedictorian, and, of course, get into a really good university. Unfortunately, she is diagnosed with a degenerative disease called Niemann-Pick Type C, and her world is turned upside down. Gradually, this disease will make Sammie start to lose her memories, and eventually her health, as well. To remember her life once her memory deteriorates, she starts writing The Memory Book (which is what this story basically is). She hopes that the disease won’t stand in her way of having a good life, but what if it does?
Like most of the other readers picking up The Memory Book, I was absolutely clueless as to what Niemann-Pick Type C was, which was the condition Sammie had. All I knew was what it said in the synopsis, that its sufferers would lose their memories and health. Many other reviewers have said that Avery didn’t represent the disease very well, and after reading a couple stories and rants about it, I think I’d have to agree as well. I am by no means a doctor, but I do think that the disease portrayed in this book would be something else. Nonetheless, I did think that this book was very diverse in that area, and that the story was still amazing!
First, I want to talk about the characters, which, for the record, were AWESOME, especially Sammie! I found her to be a very wise, strong, brave, and passionate girl, who would be an amazing role model for all teens. Even though she knew what was going to happen due to her disease, she was a fighter💪, and she didn’t let it get her down. Sammie was determined that she would lead a great life before her memories were washed away, and she just had such a positive outlook on life! I felt like I could connect to her very well, through her personal journal entries, text messages, and more.
Okay, I have to admit, there WAS a love triangle, and I did only ship Sammie with one of the guys. It got a bit annoying at times, because while bonding with her initial love interest, Stuart, she also fell in love with her old friend Cooper, and seemed to have trouble ultimately choosing between the two. But both boys were honestly so supportive and kind, and only wished the best for her. It’s so hard to choose which one I like more as a character, even though for reasons I find it difficult to get into, I think Stuart would’ve been better for her.
One last thing I adored about this book was the family aspect. Sammie had a huge family, yet they were all very close and really supported her through her tough times. I especially loved her little sisters, they were just so adorable! Whenever I think about her family, I think about a huge group hug, which represents all the determination and love they had for her. Seriously, they are legitimate family goals👌.
(Image from Google, I give credit to the creator)
Overall, even though The Memory Book had some teensy, tiny flaws, I think it would be pretty safe to overlook them, because this fabulous story is honestly not to be missed. It teaches a super valuable lesson that you only live once, and if you do it right, once is enough. I’d recommend this beautiful book to any teen looking for great characters, an interesting premise and format, and great morals. I promise you that this book will make you view life from a completely different lens, and that The Memory Book will forever remain in your memory!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars