The Memory Book by Lara Avery Review

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“If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering who you are…”

I was lucky enough to be sent a proof copy of this book before its release. The concept sounded interesting: seventeen-year-old Sammie McCoy decides to write herself a ‘memory journal’ on her laptop because a rare disease will eventually take them away. I went into reading this thinking that it was going to be completely depressing and just be depressing, but I was pleasantly surprised.

If you are looking for a book with a happy ending, then this isn’t the book for you. But if you’re looking for an enjoyable story with good humour and nice flow, then I would highly recommend.  The way Sammie refused to let her disease become her, even when she would forget who, or where, she was is certainly something we should all take away from this book. But it wasn’t just about her disease. It was about love, friendship, family, graduation and a young girl’s life suddenly changing making for a really gripping story.

The way this book was written is something you don’t see enough of in young adult fiction. It’s not beautiful or lyrical or quotable but it is very, very real. It feels like a seventeen-year-old girl getting her feelings out in a journal. And for that reason, it felt very personal and I found myself really connecting with Sammie and all of the characters around her.

It was very clever how the writing changed as Sammie’s condition deteriorated. Sentences got longer, grammar mistakes began to occur and she often trailed off or repeated sentences. It really did enhance how the disease was getting worse without having Sammie explain and bring down the mood of the book.

My only complaint about this novel is that the ending seemed rather rushed. I feel that the time jump to the ending was a bit too much and without saying too much… I was rather confused as to how she got so ill so quickly, therefore I don’t think I appreciated the ending enough.

I really would highly recommend this book and see it becoming hugely successful once it is released. Fans of Jennifer Niven and Nicola Yoon will very much enjoy this read. 4/5 for me.



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