Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

Title: The Memory Book

Author: Lara Avery

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

The Blurb

“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.”

Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she’s going to win the national debating championship, then she’s going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she’d planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. 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. Realising that her life won’t wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.

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. 

A life-affirming, heart-breaking and dazzling novel for fans of All the Bright Places and The Fault in Our Stars.

The Review

There has been a trend over the past few years that has seen YA fiction focus on life-limiting illnesses. We have had The Fault in Our Stars and Five Feet Apart among many others. Whilst these books were great I think I was a little bit unsettled by the thought that teens were being exposed to such sadness but then I had a word with myself and remembered that this is how people learn and how people are exposed in a healthy way to things that they may know nothing about and how empathy is created.

The Memory Book is about early dementia – a disease often associated with the elderly but in rare cases it can affect teenagers. Samantha McCoy has this rare condition and she is doing everything she can to fight it. The feeling you get from Samantha is that she feels that it is just so unfair. Your heart breaks for her as you see her disintegrate in the novel. It is the kind of novel that will remind you how lucky you are.

The Memory Book by Lara Avery is available now.

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) please visit www.hachetechildrens.co.uk.

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