Review: ‘The Memory Book’ by Lara Avery

Review: ‘The Memory Book’ by Lara AveryThe Memory Book by Lara Avery
Published by Poppy on July 5th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 357
Format: eBook
Source: borrowed from the library
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.

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book review

Sammie has a rare genetic disorder that will rob her memories so she comes up with the memory book where she writes down everything that has happened to her. She constantly writes to her future self wherever she goes. Sammie is determined to keep her life as is. To graduate as valedictorian and to go to college.

Sammie starts off as any ambitious hard worker and I love that she tries so hard to be perfect but we all know that won’t last long. She is also socially awkward and I too love that she had some weaknesses. She could be a little judgmental at times:

I knew she didn’t do it on purpose, but girls like her made me feel like garbage. Like, what’s even the point with girls like her around.

Especially with what she said about Cooper to Stuart. I was a little shocked she would do such a thing but obviously she made a mistake. And she keeps making mistakes because this is what a teenager does. Stuart and Cooper were great love interests and I was cheering for both. There is a love triangle but it’s so well done, that I didn’t mind at all. I love that her family and friends are all a big part of her life. I love that there’s a focus on them as well. Her siblings are just too adorable. Her parents are concerned but sweet. I loved how Sammie handles herself. She’s so wise! I love how ambitious she is and so driven to succeed. It’s a great thing to see in a teen book. She’s not perfect. There are instances where she messes up and you still love her all the same. There are also sad bits in it, so I have to warn you that with the laughter, some tears will be shed for this book. I know I pretty much lost it with those letters. Lara Avery does a wonderful job showing her decline but it’s also so hard for the reader to see it happening. She knows how to write such well-developed characters that you will love and I kid you not, I’m still all teary just thinking about it.

One thing that always bothers me is that the POC and the lesbian were shoved aside as secondary characters. I might be nitpicking here as well because Sammie is written as having curly hair and glasses. There is no indication of that on the cover, just another Caucasian model. If one wants to include diversity, show it on the cover and within your main cast of characters. Sorry for getting off tangent there.

A remarkable heart-felt story that will have you crying and laughing all at the same time, The Memory Book is one underrated book of the year. 

book quotes

We were just space rocks bouncing off each other temporarily in this strange little Upper Valley void, but our trajectories were still separate.
Sometimes life is really terrible. Sometimes life gives you a weird disease. Sometimes life is really good, but never in a simple sort of way.
Maybe we depend too much on other people for what we think of as success. Like, maybe we share too much. Maybe that’s why good things lose their good feeling because we give it all away.
I was going for my own goals.
I’m sort of a sponge. I have a few strong opinions, but they might change. I just want to find out everything I can.
What about all the moments that surround the good things? If you can only remember your aspirations, you will have no idea how you got from point A to point B.
Life is not just a series of triumphs.
Do them because they’re good things to do. Do them just for the sake of doing them.
All strong women are allies, and if I can’t run the world, you should, and you should know I’m behind you.
I’ve lived with you right now and those right nows are everywhere, every time, in my house, in your house, on the mountain. I love you. Home is where love is. You’re my home.

reading progress





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