Anastasia Tuckness's Reviews > Memento Nora

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
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's review
Jul 15, 11

bookshelves: c2011, science-fiction, ya, best-books, dystopian
Recommended for: lora
Read from July 03 to 09, 2011

I really really enjoyed this book. It has a great combination of interesting characters, a setting that's all-too-believable in our near future, and enough action to keep it moving.

Nora has it all--a glossy Pink Ice mobile, a mom who takes her shopping whenever she closes a big real estate deal, a successful father, and a well-established place at the top of her social hierarchy. One day while shopping, she witnesses a violent bombing and it bothers her so much she can't sleep. No problem, say her parents, and her mom brings her for her first trip to TFC, where she can take a pill that will erase the traumatic memory and allow her to continue her comfortable life. Since her mom has been doing this for years, Nora doesn't question anything--until a boy from her high school (Micah) walks out of the clinic and spits out the pill.

As Nora and her mother recount their traumatic experiences to the clinician prior to erasing them, Nora learns something so shocking about her mother, something so important that she too decides to spit out her pill and remember.

The rest of the book chronicles her interactions with Micah, his best friend Winter, and their attempts to fight back against the government and corporations, as they learn how much they are controlling.

This book is similar to Little Brother except their method of fighting back is through artistic and written expression, rather than technology. This book also has a more lyrical pace. As in Little Brother, it is so easy to read this book and see so many characteristics of our current society reflected here.

It was a quick read (and I am looking forward to the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy) and would be enjoyed by fans of near-future science fiction and possibly also readers who enjoy books about kids in high school that are just a bit out of today's reality.

SPOILER ALERT!!!--facts I want to remember about the book--
--Nora's dad has been abusing her mom for a long time. He used to make her cocoa with the forgetting powder in it so she didn't remember and her mom would go to TFC.
--Nora and her mom visited the beach back when she was a defense lawyer--she was defending Winter's parents actually. Their vacation was cut short when her dad came along unexpectedly and said her mom's job was changing.
--At the end of the book her family is moving into a gated community, which means she will have an ID tag implanted into her.
--All 3 of the teens are arrested for distributing their comic--they do it on purpose to get some press. They all have to make a full confession and take a "big pill", which wipes out in their memories everything that has happened in the book, basically. These confessions form the book.
--Nora and her mom are again on the beach, and her mom tells her everything that happened. She doesn't believe it.
--Before the confession she wrote something in her history book to help her remember--I think it was Your dad beats your mom.
--Winter is a classic bipolar artist who refuses to take medication. She is very well portrayed--realistic, a bit sympathetic, but not overly so. I was impressed. She also is a lesbian, in love with Jewel (I think) who is a tattoo artist and has a girlfriend who is the reporter that covers the teens' arrest.
--There is a police officer who is a security guard at the HS and also a member of an underground group.
--He is in love with the librarian, who ends up being a mole/spy in the underground group. I think. It's complex.
--Micah lives with his mom in a community of transients (kind of) behind some business. It's a beautiful family community thing that is obviously fragile.
--The teens publish a comic called Memento that tells the stories they experience. Winter sets up a dot matrix printer/printing press thing. They carry them into school in library art books that they took all the insides out of. (Carefully of course and they still have the insides.) They put them in bathroom stalls because those are the only places not on camera.

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