You guys, this book. This powerful novel is my favorite of 2015 so far. I cannot remember the last time I cried so hard and for so long at the hands oYou guys, this book. This powerful novel is my favorite of 2015 so far. I cannot remember the last time I cried so hard and for so long at the hands of a book. All the feels. I also can't believe that this is a debut novel! Mr. Silvera has earned himself a place on my auto-buy list....more
-- Nothing But Your Memories is a dystopian science fiction story wherein humanity has taken to a novel solution to overpopulation woes. It becomes c★★★½ -- Nothing But Your Memories is a dystopian science fiction story wherein humanity has taken to a novel solution to overpopulation woes. It becomes clear that there are not enough resources for all the people on earth to continue existing all of the time, occupying space and resources for every year of their life span. So, it is decided that they’ll just have to take turns. The AG (Alternation of Generation) system was originally conceived to have each group live a year and then take a year off. However, by the time the whole population is indoctrinated into the program, each person is allowed one out of a decade. Of course, for this system to work, something has to be done about the frailty and weaknesses inherit to the human body. Living one year and aging nine would be acceptable to no one, and spending resources on keeping all those bodies alive wouldn’t help the problem. The solution to this is shells — engineered blank humanoid canvases onto which memories are imprinted via an identity chip. Each identity chip takes turns inhabiting these shells for a span of a year.
At the open of the novel, our protagonist Mira is awakening to her first cycle. The story that follows is an interesting one that brings up a lot of worthy, thoughtful questions. The issues of identity, the loss of self, the loss of family, the fairness of living one year out of ten (while the government officials, of course, get to have each one). The issue of forced compliance. The deeper questions over the impacts of loss of age, cultural and/or racial identity, reproduction. The insidious wonderings–what has happened to the problematic personalities, and the children? Is it worth the loss of so many of the things that make us human to lead a safe, comfortable life?
Hands down, my favorite part of the book is the world H. B. Clementine has built. I find it exceedingly inventive, and the concepts of identity chips, shells, and AG cities is enough for me to eagerly seek out the upcoming sequels. The groundwork Clementine lays toward the end of the work leaves plenty of room for several new branches of story, and I look forward to reading them. I also very much enjoyed how the last chapter of Nothing But Your Memories brought the narrative full circle.
There are some technical issues that I had with the book, things that drew me out of the world and kept me from being fully immersed. One of the issues was the quite young-sounding voice with which the story was narrated. I think narration in the present tense also pushed me back a bit. There were some passages that were exceedingly rambling and flip-floppy. Some of this is explained toward the end of the novel, but a lot of it seems only attributable to Mira not being able to make up her mind.
I find myself much more forgiving of these quibbles than usual due to the fact that this strange and inventive world was created by a young teenager–14 years old to be exact. In that respect, I am suitably impressed. Clementine’s achievements are laudable, and I certainly think she deserved to win the BookLogix Young Writers Contest. I am glad she got the chance to share this story with world. I look forward to reading more from her.
Overall, I would recommend the story to fans of dystopian science fiction, particularly those looking for something a little different than the standard teenagers competing against each other and the government fare. I’d particularly like to recommend it for younger readers–the content is appropriate and the reading level is accessible, while still thought-provoking. Young adult fans should find it enjoyable as well.
This book was obtained freely from the publisher, BookLogix, in exchange for an honest review....more
Thoughts: It's been a while since I've been so conflicted about a book. To be fair, I went into this book thinking I wouldn't like it. A cancer book?Thoughts: It's been a while since I've been so conflicted about a book. To be fair, I went into this book thinking I wouldn't like it. A cancer book? Not my thing. And it is so, so, very hyped. But once I started reading, I thought maybe I'd been wrong. I loved the voice. Dark, sarcastic, smartly funny. Intelligent and raw. But by the end? I just don't know.
I can't put my finger on why I didn't actually like it. I just felt so emotionally unattached from the whole thing. I've read many an angsty book--I've known and appreciated many a good cry at the hands of an emotionally unforgiving heart-wrencher. It was what I expected from The Fault in Our Stars, but I didn't get it. No tears were involved at all. So, I rate this on the low end of 3 stars for the excellent writing but for failing to make me really feel anything about any of the characters....more