Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Me on Unremembered
Author: Jessica Brody
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (Macmillan imprint)
When a flight goes down over the Pacific Ocean, no one expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl they find floating among the wreckage, alive, is making headlines. Even more strange is her lack of injuries and lack of memories boarding the plane. And her lack of memories period. No one knows how she survived, why she wasn't on the manifest, why there's no record of her fingerprints anywhere. Crippled by a world she doesn't know, plagued by abilities she doesn't understand, haunted by a looming threat she can't remember, the girl struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is, but every clue beings more questions and she's running out of time. Her only hope might be a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who made her forget?
Unremembered is a complicated search for the truth, a search for memories, a search to discover someone's true identity. Lost, confused, alone, the girl struggles to find out who she really is while wondering if anyone is really telling her the truth. A slightly over-the-top love story veiled by secrets and science, this might interest some but struggled to hold my attention emotionally.
The girl is alone. Her memories are gone. She knows nothing, quite literally nothing, nothing beyond what her brain automatically processes when she looks out in the world (like complex math). The boy who knows her is as much a mystery as she is, only no one seems to know he exists. He knows her, he wants to help her, he cares about her, but she is lost in a sea of emptiness and missing memories.
Memories are curious things. How deep are they settled in our minds? How ingrained can a touch or scent or sight be to keep us from forgetting it? If we lose our memories, are we still the same person? Or do we become different people? When we've forgotten everything, how can we trust anything that's said to us? We have no way of knowing whether it's true or not, or whether those people have our best interests at heart.
An intriguing mix of romance, thriller, and science-fiction that will surely interest some readers. For me, this is one of those books where I can't definitely say whether or not I liked it. The story pulled at me, I wanted to discover the truth behind the girl, behind her amnesia, behind those chasing her, but I felt no emotional connection to the girl herself. Without her memories, she's lacking, almost always confused or frightened or clueless or angry. Of course, this semi-lack of a personality stems from her having no memories as well as the way she was raised. This kind of heroine is hard to like, I spent some time waiting for her to grow a spine and fight back instead of questioning everything and running when her instincts take over.
That being said, I'm sure this will appear to those who enjoy epic love stories that stretch out across time and space, books like Fallen, The Eternal Ones, and My Name is Memory.
(I acquired an advance copy at ALA Midwinter.)