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The Sudden Appearance of Hope

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  9,626 ratings  ·  1,515 reviews
My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. But we've met before - a thousand times.

It started when I was sixteen years old.

A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A friend who looks at me and sees a stranger.

No matter what I do, the words I say, the crimes I commit, you will never remember who I am.

That makes my l
Hardcover, 476 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Redhook Books/Orbit
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,626 ratings  ·  1,515 reviews

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May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Ugh, Claire North is just too good
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
A beautiful book that simply wasn’t for me.

Everyone forgets about Hope as soon as she leaves the room. 30s without seeing or hearing her and you start forgetting her existence…. The premise instantly attracted me but I went into this book expecting more sci-fi elements which is my fault.

This book is more of a literary fiction with social commentaries and stream of consciousness. Just not what I enjoy!
Dannii Elle
So I am definitely in the minority with my opinions on this book. I really wanted to love the story, as so many people seem to do, but there was something lacking in it for me and I can't quite pinpoint what that is exactly. I felt a disconnect from the characters and the plot, as if the author was keeping me at arm's length away, and, despite the beautiful lyrical quality of the writing, this hampered by enjoyment of the book.

The story follows Hope Arden, a teenager with the ability to disappea
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
Freedom and Slavery, as written by one of the most dauntless minds in literature, today. :)

Of course, it's also a very clever novel of freedom and slavery, written within a couple of very interesting premises, but by this point, I'm willing to assume that this great author is always going to push the hell out of boundaries.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August brought out being different lives by reliving the whole damn life within one person, and Touch polarized the concept of identity by ho
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I loved the premise of this book. Hope, our main character, cannot be remembered once out of sight. The wondrous possibilities of this occupied my mind while reading the book, and continue to do so. I have decided that I am one of two things, lucky or boring. For if it were me, all I would do is travel and read more. Essentially, what I do now, but, you know.....more... Showing a much greater capacity for imagination, the author has made Hope an international jewel thief. In fact, North has two ...more
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and very cleverly worked out premise. Hope is a young woman who people just cannot remember. You can talk to her, even have a long intellectual discussion with her, but then if you turn away from her you will forget her. Turn back and see a perfect stranger.
This of course has huge implications for how she exists. She cannot hold a job. In fact she can’t even apply for one because as soon as she leaves the interview room she is forgotten. When she is obliged to go to hospital
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I put this one on hold after seeing my friend Christopher’s very concise review and glancing at the synopsis enough to see that Hope is someone who no one remembers. Literally. That was enough for me. And now?????

It appears that Claire North has quite the cult following so please don’t troll me. Although this was my first experience with Ms. North (or Ms. Webb, depending on the book), I think it’s pretty safe to say her writing sty
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Very late in reading this book. This ones been taken from my past TBR list.

I’ve given it 3* but don’t be mistaken it’s not a good book, it was. It was well written and exquisitely done.
And yes I would recommend it to certain book readers but not to others.
I’m just not sure what shelf to put this on. It’s a strange one.

Hope is not invisible and she doesn’t have powers to maker herself vanish, soon as she leaves a room or a persons presence she is immediately forgotten like she doesn’t
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extraordinary in every way. Another masterpiece by Ms North.
As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher’s blurb/summary of the book. Thank you.

Who am I? What makes me, Me? ... and much deeper thoughts I cannot yet express ...

Claire North is a philosopher, a teacher, a young miracle of wisdom. To become her protagonists is to discover hidden parts of who we are, who we might be. She reaches inside us, she opens us to who we really are, and then asks us, "Why?"

Again and again, she
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Claire North’s books tend to be very hard to categorize, and describing them always makes me feel like I’m talking myself through some fascinating thought experiment. Last year, I discovered the author when I picked up her novel Touch, a thriller about an immortal character whose consciousness could jump from body to body, choosing to be anyone they want, live any life they want, for however long they want—and their hosts
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A relatively simple idea, but played out to perfection.

What is a person? How do you define yourself? By how others perceive you? What if they can't have a perception of you in any lasting way? Even scarier, what if your person was defined by the perceptions of other people and only by the perceptions of what other people think of as perfect?

No-one remembers Hope Arden which makes her day-to-day life hellish and lonely and she's forced to rely on theft to make her way in the world. Any human conn
Lindsey Rey
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
[3.5 Stars]
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
4.5 stars. Just what I expected from Claire North - a fascinating concept, far flung locales, musings on the nature of life, being, and memory, and some game playing. Lots of fun.
5 fully-impressed stars

Having recently read The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and heard that the author's other title, Touch was even better, I had lower expeditions for this one. My skepticism was purely mathematical, I mean what are the odds that 1 author writes 3 incredible novels over 3 years? Miniscule, right?

Claire North, defies the odds. The First 15 Lives of Harry August had a fascinating fantastical element that was explored in a comfy, cozy British mystery style. Here Claire has
Allison Hurd
Mar 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fem-author, fantasy
I woke up early and was able to finish this in time for today's shower thought to be "This book is like the unedited full version of 'Nights in White Satin' by the Moody Blues."

The parallels: it's got some objectively beautiful, moving parts, perhaps leaning a bit towards pathos but hey, it works. And then it goes on and you think "my, this is a bit longer than I recalled." And then it fades out and you think "I wonder if this was all strictly necessary, but it's over n--" but it is not over now
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The idea that you could be forgotten by nearly everyone around you, mere minutes after they turn away or leave the room, seems, initially, like a wonderful situation for someone who identifies herself as a thief moments into the story she relates. Hope Arden exists momentarily in each face-to-face interaction, then disappears from people's minds once they've turned away or she's left their view. They can't remember her face, or that she was there. This sounds so freeing for Hope, and terrifying ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

I was completely fascinated with the concept of this book about a young woman who can not be remembered. People meet her and forget her within seconds of her walking away. This obviously makes life extremely difficult and she has to resort to all kinds of illegal behavior just to survive. It asks all kinds of identity questions like who are you if no one remembers you, are you real?

I didn't love this as much as I had hoped to. I found it to drag and be repetitive. I felt like everythin
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Such a letdown, here the author had such an amazing main character, she could have gone in a myriad of ways with the story , so many possibilities but instead the author chose a barely cohesive story , a plot that never explained itself and a character that never inspired anything but just the minimum of feelings .... I'm so disappointed.... I really expected much more from this book. ...more
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A big note of thanks to Jenna for pointing me in this book’s direction. This is a memorable and ultimately thought provoking story of perfection as the enemy. When I used to run counseling groups with children I would sometimes get things started by asking each one to name a super power that would like to have. The majority wished to be invisible. Once invisible they became very creative about what they would do and get away with. This story brought those discussions back to me as becoming invis ...more
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one was hard to rate.

First, I wanted to give it 5 stars, but then I remember my struggle to finish the reading, so I felt it will be lying. A 4-star rating seemed kind of fair, even so, there are sections that put the story square in three star territory. So I leave it at 3.5 stars rounded to 4.

There are so many parts in this book that are the perfect example of what 5-star writing looks like (in my opinion, of course), but there are also sections where exactly the same things that make th
Sep 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2016, favourites
I exist in this physical world as sure as stone, but in the world of men—in that world that is collective memory, in the dream-world where people find meaning, feeling, importance—I am a ghost. Only in the present tense am I real.

The whole notion of someone that people cannot remember is both fascinating and horrible. Like all ‘superpowers’, this ability seems at first amazing and liberating, but very soon one can see that it is indeed a curse. North shows us what can be achieved and what is los
Shaun Hutchinson
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Claire North never fails to deliver. Hope Arden is a woman who can't be remembered in a world where everyone wants to be perfect. This is a weird, character-driven book that requires you to think. The plot is fairly thin, but you don't read a book like this for the plot, you read it for the meditation on character. On what it means to be remembered. I definitely recommend giving it a read. ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
And it's another win from Claire North!!! I really couldn't put this down. At first I thought it was going to be a very point A to point B novel but it took a few interesting turns along the way.

Hope is a woman that everyone forgets. Every time she meets someone she's meeting them for the first time. For them, anyway. She's learned to work with this really well and it's incredibly interesting to see her get out of scrapes based on her experience with how this works.

But what do you do when nobody
Nutshell Review;

Interesting, thought provoking read. Loved the generous dashing's of poems and random facts sprinkled throughout the story. The main character was fascinating yet relatable. Great writing, excited to read more by this author.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
** This copy was provided to me by Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

The Sudden Appearance of Hope has an interesting synopsis;

A Girl who you forgot once you looked away, that is hopes gift and curse. Sounds fantastic right? Well maybe it is to others but for me it was just TO DAMN SLOW. SO SLOW, like a Snail riding a Turtle riding a Sloth.

Now I am one for flowery and descriptive writing but I couldn't get into this and because I couldn't get into the writing style me and Hope had no ho
2017 World Fantasy Award winner

I don't know what to do with myself now that this book is done.

Of all the great books I've read this year, this solidly lands in the top three contestants for favorite.

Brad - he's one of my go-to reviewers when I want to know about science fiction - talks about a freedom vs. enslavement narrative happening here and that's absolutely on topic but, for me, this was more about inside vs. outside and how that relates to personhood.
Are you a person, do you
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I greatly enjoyed this book. North took a simple idea, a woman whom no can remember, and wove a wonderful and insightful story around her. My only knock on the book was that there was a stretch in the middle that dragged a bit and it may have been a bit too long. But it was still a stellar and gripping read.
As memory of me faded, so did a part of myself. Whoever that Hope Arden is who laughs with her friends, smiles with her family, flirts with her lover, resents her boss, triumphs with her c
4+ stars

Claire North, aka Catherine Webb, is one clever cookie. Just saying.
She's also a very creative and modern writer.

"The Sudden Appearance of Hope" (great title, by the way) is a wondrous, thought-provoking novel.

It is kind of genre-less. Scratch that. There is a genre called 'urban magic'. Forgive me, I'm kind of ignorant when it comes to all these subgenres.

When I saw that some people categorised it as SciFi and/or fantasy, I was kind of dispirited, as those are not genres I enjoy read
Apr 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-star, dnf
I don't know what it is but I have picked up some very boring and bad books lately.

This book is very boring. DNFed at page 55.
Nothing exciting happens and just couldn't get into the story.

The sad thing is I really wanted to like this book. It sounded so interesting and seemed like something I would enjoy. Obviously not.

Full review:
Ova - Excuse My Reading
If only it was shorter...
Started different, developed into something different, ended like something else entirely.Longer review to follow soon hopefully.
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Claire North is actually Catherine Webb, a Carnegie Medal-nominated young-adult novel author whose first book, Mirror Dreams, was written when she was just 14 years old. She went on to write seven more successful YA novels.

Claire North is a pseudonym for adult fantasy books written by Catherine Webb, who also writes under the pseudonym Kate Griffin.

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