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The Unhappening of Genesis Lee

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  427 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 18th 2014 by Sky Pony
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Shallee McArthur Not a silly question at all! :) It's hinted at a few times that Mementi physical relationships are based on an enormous amount of trust. Though this i…moreNot a silly question at all! :) It's hinted at a few times that Mementi physical relationships are based on an enormous amount of trust. Though this information never made it into the book because it wasn't directly relevant to the plot, Mementi couples take a few different routes. Either they develop such a deep trust that they are willing to share ALL their memories and secrets (which I find incredibly romantic), or they have a few memories they are hesitant to share stored in a single Link that they remove during intimate moments. I admit, I was really fascinated with this and how it would affect Mementi romantic relationships, and I wish I could have explored it more in the story!(less)
Shallee McArthur The book is actually a standalone novel. Sorry to disappoint, and I'm glad to know that you were hoping for more! I actually felt pretty strongly that…moreThe book is actually a standalone novel. Sorry to disappoint, and I'm glad to know that you were hoping for more! I actually felt pretty strongly that Gena's story was complete in this book, so not having a sequel was a very conscious decision. Hopefully I'll have other books featuring other exciting worlds and characters out soon, though. :)(less)

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Shallee McArthur
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, I wrote it, so I kinda love it. :)
Molly Mortensen

In a world where people wear their memories in beads, someone is stealing them.

(Yep, that’s it one sentence tells you all you need to know. Sound good?)

Set Up:

The Mementi (people with memories in beads called links) founded the city of Havendale so they would have a place to belong, since they are ostracized in the outside world. However, in Havendale the Populous (what the Mementi call normal people) are only able to have menial labor jobs and are looked down upon.

The company of Archon
Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi/James
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopia
Review also posted at Ja čitam, a ti?

Welcome to the typical day in my life, when I'm just browsing Edelweiss/NetGalley and suddenly I see a pretty cover and why wouldn't I download it! Right, so yeah week as I am I go for it. I did that countless times and (oops) I did it again with this book. I found The Unhappening of Genesis Lee one day at Edelweiss and well here I am writing a review for it.

First element in this story that grabbed me was the whole eidetic memory idea which was always fasci
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was totally caught off guard by how much I loved this one. It's so creative! I have been craving something new and different in YA fantasy/scifi and this one totally fits the bill. The world is so different than anything else I have read, and so vivid and creative. Gena is a narrator worth hanging out with, and the examination of memory, emotion, and the many complicated things that go along with it is stellar and moving. A must-read for fans of The Giver. And also just people who appreciate g ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it

The Mementi are a group of humans descended from genetically-altered ones who remember everything. Their memories are stored in “Link” beads that touch their body.

Seventeen-year-old Genesis “Gena” Lee is out partying one night when someone steals a Link from her beset friend, Cora, robbing Cora of her last two years and inflicting psychological damage. As Gena looks into the matter more, she discovers someone else seems to be stealing her own memor
Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

The Unhappening of Genesis Lee and I are not meant to be. I thought we were. It’s a young-adult sci-fi, one of my favorite genres, with a great synopsis, a pretty cover, and high ratings. Unfortunately, it’s also heavily Christian, with a saccharine ending, and not enough character development.

Gena’s a Mementi, genetically enhanced humans who have perfect recall of every moment of their lives, but only if those memories are stored in Links,
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has an interesting construct of a future society. I don't think I read about externally stored memories before, so it was nice to experience something new.

The story was quite exciting, never got boring and had some great turns and not too predictable revelations.

I also liked the characters. Especially the fact that Genesis is not one of those awful teenage-heroines that tend to make only stupid decisions. On the contrary, her actions mostly made sense.

The ending was a little too hmm.
Jessie Humphries
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book as a critique partner, and loved it. I can only imagine how much more awesomer (great CP, right) it is now that it's been through agent and editor revisions. From the fascinating and unique premise to the characters worth falling for, this book is definitely worth a read :)
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This and other reviews can be found on The Psychotic Nerd

I received an ecopy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

There are so many great things about this book!
The most interesting aspect of this book definitely has to be the idea.
This book revolves around a society where people's memories are kept in Links, which are beads that people generally wear as necklaces or bracelets (as the memories only stay with you if you touch/wear them). This allows them to
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Long story short: fantastic story, frightening problems to face, real characters, an exciting don't-put-it-down read!

ARC to the rescue! I couldn't have waited until this book was released, anyway!

Where do I start? How about—coolest. plot. ever. And genuinely frightening. Uncontrollable loss of's your worst nightmare, but you just didn't realize it until reading this. There is nothing worse than losing your memories because it's a loss of LIFE. Time that you can never get back. It's e
Sep 11, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-read
Thank you to FFBC for providing me with an ARC for the blog tour!

There's a lot to be said about The Unhappening of Genesis Lee. It's one of those books that sticks with you for awhile simply because our main character has the ability to remember everything with the help of her "links". But then on the other hand, because of that, plus the added romance and huge plot going on for the book, everything seems a bit disorganized and half-developed.

So before everything gets confusing, let me lay out
Apr 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bought-2016
You know that feeling when you're walking and you think you see a shiny toonie but when you go to pick it up it's actually a bolt or a button and you just feel this overwhelming sense of disappointment? YA WELL THAT'S ME MY FRIENDS.

Where do I even begin with this book of overwhelming disappointment? Not only was the plot so basic and so predictable, but Genesis Lee (the MC) was annoying to the point of "shove my head in the oven" in Glory O'Brien's History of the Future. Like wow. I didn't think
Jenni Elyse
I thought The Unhappening of Genesis Lee was a bit frustrating at times, but I still enjoyed it. It had a very intriguing and interesting premise that kept me reading to the end.
Cali Bakker
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: would-read-again
What a fantastic read! The characters felt real and the plot/conflict was interesting and thought provoking. Definitely a book to read when you have binge reading time because you will not want to put it down!
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
Well, well, this was quite the pleasant little surprise! I was almost afraid to read this one, because I didn't know if the whole "memory link" thing could be believable, but it was. The idea of the Mementi having to literally guard their memories as they wore them on their body was unique and frightening, but explored quite well!

What I Liked:

Genesis and Kalan The main character, Genesis (who often went by Gena) is likable, but flawed and often has a bit of trouble thinking and acting for her
Nicole Wang
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
The premise of this book had me in some chills. It's weird enough to have photographic memory (as awesome as it'd be there are so many drawbacks), but being able to have your memories stolen? That's just creepy--especially since you wouldn't be able to know what memories were stolen or even that they were stolen. The entire concept of The Unhappening of Genesis Lee appealed to me and when I got a chance, I downloaded it and read it practically the same day.

The science part of this book is absolu
Jun 20, 2014 marked it as to-read
The first thing I noticed about THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE is the cover, which just happens to be really cool. It's intriguing and different. Just... what is it?

the unhappening of genesis lee

In the beginning, THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE had me totally hooked. I loved the writing style, the premise and the way that Shallee McArthur wrote so many of the themes and elements.

oh yes loki gif

I do have to say though that after awhile, the fact that the MC keeps getting her memory taken away from her was really annoying, but I could see why
Pam (YA Escape)
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
*ARC received from publisher via Edelweiss

Whew, that was intense! I really enjoyed this unique and creative book about genetically altered humans with memory links who are called Mementi (the regular population is called Populace). Mementi can remember every second, including feeling the emotion, tasting what they were eating, etc. They wear their links and there is someone stealing the links, which means they don't have those memories. Years, even their whole lives, can be taken. Then Gena star
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book, to say the least. It’s original and makes you want to read on and get to know this world and it’s inhabitants. The main character, Gena, is one of the Mementi- a group of genetically enhanced humans. They rely solely on their links (bracelets) to remember everything. Well, someone is now stealing these links and lives are lost.

Firstly, this concept intrigued me to no end. I’m actually glad that I read this, as I’ve never read this sort of science-fiction before. Genesis,
David King
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Turn a concept that's as intricate and mysterious as a memory and change it to something tangible and everlasting, with a caper thrown in, and you have The Unhappening of Genesis Lee. Just the thought of losing your memory is scary, so when there's a society who can store their personal memories in jewelry, which can be easily stolen like any other item, it makes McArthur's sci-fi concept even more terrifying. The solid pacing, likable characters, and excellent psychology made this a blast to re ...more
Richard Stubbs
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic debut Novel. I am very excited to see what else Shallee McArthur writes. I don't want to give any spoilers because this book is a must read! My Wife was lucky enough to win an advanced reading copy of this book, so I got to read it before it hit the shelves. It comes to stores in November, and I hope it does really well. Hands down the best book I've read this year.
Chantele Sedgwick
Jan 19, 2014 added it
Shelves: own
This book was SO unique! So many twists and turns, a great mystery, awesome characters and a great concept. Read it!
Jessica (Books: A true story)
The writing was good but I just couldn't get into the story. I didn't care that much about the memories being stolen.
Dec 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
1/5 stars

My review:

Hahahaahahahahahahaahaha! Really? No. Really!?!?!

*closed book.*

December 2015
Did Not Finish
page 6

Madeline Worcester
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
REVIEW: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee, Shallee McArthur
RATING: 3.5/5 stars

This novel was a roller coaster to say the least. I'll admit that the text was far from perfect, but as far as YA Science Fiction is concerned, it wasn't too bad. The writing was more colloquial than I prefer in novels; however, the pacing was actually decent and the instances of Genesis losing her memories were pretty well-timed. My feelings on the plot as a whole - along with a few other factors - are pretty mixed, thou
Melanie Thomas
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is more of a 3.5 star book really, but the ending made me round up to 4 rather than down to 3.

I loved the concept of this book: experimentation on human memory which led to some humans needing to store their memories in inanimate objects and this being passed on genetically to their children. This group, known as Mementi, wear strings of beads on which their memories are stored but someone has started targeting Mementi and stealing their beads, leaving them with no memories or gaps in their
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This was not at all what I expected. I don't know what I expected exactly, but not something this complex and engrossing.

It's somewhat heavy to read, mainly because Gena deals with quite a bit of pain, but she's a very strong character. The plot is pretty incredibly detailed and I found it VERY hard to put down. The mystery weaves through so many unexpected twists and is thoroughly interesting and surprising. And the ending isn't necessarily happy so much as it is a new beginning, and a very bit
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From the very first page, I was hooked, and I am not normally a sci-fi enthusiast. Somehow McArthur managed to write a sci-fi YA book that can appeal to just about anyone! While the story is anything but slow, the introduction of characters is such that you feel as if you are actually getting to know them. Something about the gradualness of their introductions and the changes you see in them endears them to you that much more throughout the book.

I enjoyed the tension of a city divided and the t
Nacolynn Begay Tanielu
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 / 5 I totally suggest this book. It's an interesting concept about certain people being able to save their memories to tangible things and what happens after some of those memories are stolen and pieces of people's life are suddenly missing from their memory-completely. That explanation should let you know that it's definitely sci-fi. There is a love interest in the story, I didn't hate that. There's still a lot of storyline without it just being about the couple. I had mixed feelings abou ...more
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've had this on my shelf for awhile, but with grad school the only things I read now days are books on higher education. Currently I'm in a super intense class and I needed a break. This book was a great break. I liked the nod to Asian culture, thought Kalan was awesome, and enjoyedd Genesis's character growth. Any book that I can get through with my current heavy reading load and still smile deserves five stars. Thank you to the author for giving me an enjoyable, refreshing break.
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Shallee McArthur is the author of THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE. She originally wanted to be a scientist, until she discovered she liked her science best in fictional form. When she’s not writing science fiction and fantasy for both the young adult and adult markets, she’s attempting to raise her son and daughters as proper geeks, playing video games, or sewing her own clothes. She has a degree i ...more

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