Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Book Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

Hi, friends!! I hope you had an amazing holiday (if you’re American) or even just a wonderful Monday. (Don’t let those Mondays get ya down!) I want to celebrate the release of this AMAZING book with you – The Memory Book – because it’s the first book that has gotten me to cry, not to mention in public, in a while. My roommate and other friend laughed at me and people kept looking, but don’t worry I’m pretty sure it’s because they were jealous they didn’t know the amazingness of this book. Really it’s utterly fabulous.

Some things you might be interested in knowing:

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a

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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.

Publisher: Poppy                                 Edition: Hardcover, USA

Publish date: July 5, 2016                  Page #: 368

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Kudos to Lara Avery right now, because this beautiful book quickly became one of my top books from this year. I can’t believe the lack of hype this book is getting because it is truly one that leaves you laughing and heartbroken in the same chapter.

Sammie. Oh dear, Sammie. How do I love thee? Samantha’s character is one I haven’t encountered yet and not just because of her debilitating disease. I see myself in her in ways that make me relate to her even more.

I wasn’t sure how this would read at first because of the journal entry style. I was a little worried I wouldn’t get to see what was happening to her on the outside. I first thought it should be third-person narration.

Boy, am I glad I was wrong. This memory book is the perfect way for the reader to truly understand and see Sammie as she is. I like how unabashedly she shares her soul with herself and how hard she works to remember things. Her section titles are fitting, and sometimes they take a little bit for you to realize how they’re related to the story that follows. I feel like this is an accurate representation of what would happen to her, and it shows through her tone and the way she writes. You can tell when Sammie isn’t herself because the style changes and she stops using proper sentences and grammar errors abound.

I did a little searching around, and Sammie’s disease is real. Niemann-Pick Type C is a disease that typically afflicts young children. What make Sammie’s story unique, and hopeful, is that she’s older. She has a future ahead of her. She has plans! I just… can’t believe it. To say Sammie getting the disease was unfortunate is a bit of an understatement. I’m not saying that a child having it is better than her because having the disease regardless would be something that’s hard to deal with. Sammie herself struggles with it. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a caretaker for someone in this way. To those of you who are or who know someone who is, I commend you.

Stuart Shah. What a nice name. He is the kind of man I hope to meet some day, not just in the pages of a book. I felt bad for Stu. He represents all of the things Future Sam wants and would be. Despite everything I still love you Stuart (and I think Sammie does too, and she gets first dibs).

I think my favorite part is the ending. There are some entries from her family and loved ones, and it makes everything lovely. (Thanks for reviving the word ‘lovely,’ Jennifer Niven!) I don’t think it could have had a more bittersweet ending than this.

5/5 star rating on Goodreads. I couldn’t be happier with this book! Please take a minute to go check it out!!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

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