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.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
The Memory Book is a beautifully heartbreaking and poignant read that celebrates what we neglect most-the value of memory and living each and every moment to its fullest.
I always love books that teach me something. The idea that children can get a version of dementia (Niemann-Pick) completely blew my mind and absolutely terrified me. Some scenes are incredibly written and packed with powerful emotion. The moments when Sammie realizes her disease is kicking in right before the memory loss are brutally real and hard to read. The pain and sympathy for Sammie is unreal.
Sammie’s voice is gripping and courageous. You know exactly who she is, what she wants, and how insanely brave she is. She’s determined to overcome when her body is failing her, she refuses to give up despite every setback, and that not only makes her admirable, but heroic.
The diary entries read with such honesty, they’re oh so real and open. All of Sammie’s fears and hopes are laid bare.
I’ve never felt more happy for a character. As Sammie falls in love, it’s a sudden realization that is so bright and refreshing. No love triangle. That perfect moment when something building floats to the surface and everything is beautiful.
Secondary characters are complex, and while I would have liked just a hint more of their back stories, there was enough to keep me intrigued and feel their connection to Sammie. I would have also appreciated more family interactions between siblings.
Those diary entries at the end of the book. Stomp all over my heart, why don’t you?
Life can be so unfair and some people give into the sadness, hurt, and depression. Sammie is ever hopeful, rarely negative, and finds beauty in simplicity. That in itself, is enough to love this book.
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