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The Memory Wall

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  43 reviews
There’s a fine line between real life and video games in this engrossing novel that’s part Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird, part Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.
Severkin is an elf who slinks through the shadows of Wellhall’s spiraling stone towers, plundering ancient ruins and slaying mystical monstrosities with ease.
He’s also a character in a video game—a character tha
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  148 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Jeff Raymond
It was probably about two-thirds through this book that I broke down sobbing on the couch.

My mother has Alzheimer's. I was very close with her, my family moved back home (at great expense both personal and emotional) to help take care of her, and, as I write this, she has been in a nursing home for well over two years after having been given less than half of that to live.

The Memory Wall is about a kid, Nick, having to deal with a similar situation. He's very young and his mother also has Alzhe
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.
I was unsure about this when I read its description. Half A Monster Calls sounded like something I wouldn't want to miss, but also unlikely, or at least like I would possibly be setting myself up for disappointment. Still I went for it. And I'm happy I did.

I find it slightly disturbing because I have this fear that one day I'll suffer from early onset Alzheimer's, and I find the notion quite scary. Otherwise it a wonderful story, very compassionate and believable. I liked it a lot. I
Book Riot Community
The story begins on the day twelve-year-old Nick Reeves and his father take his mom to a new home. Doctors say his mother has early-onset Alzheimers, and apparently Sunrise House can help manage her symptoms. Nick struggles against his mother’s diagnosis, believing that his father and the doctors are going too far. He finds a chance to help her when he starts a new online multi-player game, Wellhall, where he plays a gray elf named Severkin who is a fierce fighter and savvy problem solver. In th ...more
Alice, as in Wonderland
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julian Valle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, but I would only give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The good side of this book was that it was humorous and I liked how it went back and forth between real life and Wellhall. This book made me want to play Wellhall! It seemed like some of the video games I've played and enjoyed. The story line was an emotional roller coaster and was a lot of fun to read. But, in my library system, it's marked as a children's book, which I would be fine with if it weren't for the amount of cu ...more
Eyke (he/him)
I liked this book much more than I thought I would! To be honest, the description didn't sound too interesting, but I was still interested in the fact that a chunk of the book is from a video game character's POV. Glad I tried this book out, though.

Did I almost cry a few times? Yes. It was a really touching read though. I enjoyed it, and there was only one time (towards the end) when the video game POV felt boring. To be honest, with how real Nick's story felt, I was surprised that the video ga
Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A boy in denial about his mother's early onset Alzheimers. Check that strong denial. Double-check that extreme-mind-numbingly-I-will-refuse-to-believe-anything-you-say-denial. But then thats how people hope with that sort of news. There's a double narrative of him playing the video game which does tend to drag on. I started skim it when it started to get too lengthy so I really feel that whole bit could have been skipped. There's also the side aspect of him being mixed which I really liked how t ...more
Ms. Yingling
There are lots of books out that have to do with video games now, but this one is more YA-- off to a slow start, very introspective. I'll stick with Insert Coin to Continue, Slacker, and Pete Baxter Levels Up for middle school. ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Long ago, an author had told me the only difference between YA and adult books was the length of the story. This book is further proof that that is the truth. Though this was a middle grade book, it was outstanding for adult-reader me!

Set in the current time and current world, Nick's mother has early-onset Alzheimer’s. His parents make the (understandable) mistake of trying to hide just how sick she is, which means when she has to be moved to a care facility, Nick doesn't believe she's actually
Keshav Mohta
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memory Wall is a very unique book written by Lev A.C. Rosen. It is split in two parts with every alternate chapter switching between them. One is the life of an 11 year old boy Nick Reeves and the other is of Severkin a gray elf played by Nick in a video game called Wellhall.

Nick’s mom has been diagnosed of Alzheimer’s after an 'incident' which happened at his school a year earlier. Nick’s mom’s father also had Alzheimer’s and a few weeks later, disappeared. Nick does not want to believe that hi
The Keepers of the Books
When his mother is put in a long-term care facility for early-onset Alzheimer’s, Nick’s only escape from reality comes in the form of the video game Wellhall. As he plays his character, Severkin, he meets a dark elf who he could swear is his mother. Her mannerisms, speech, and skill reminds is very similar. Unfortuantely, no one in the game uses their real name. Could his mother’s diagnosis be a mistake? Is his mom trying to reach out to him?

The characters in this book are easy to sympathize wi
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Memory Wall tells the story of Nick, a biracial seventh grade boy who's mother has just entered a memory care facility for early onset Alzheimers. He uses video games as a way to escape from his grief but after awhile the video game seems to start mirroring his real life. This is a beautiful story about family, grief, and legacy told through the lens of a high fantasy video game. Because of the video game element, this book is a mixture of realistic fiction and fantasy. It is suited for stud ...more
Molly Cluff
I loved the premise of a gamer trying to solve a family mystery inside the game. Some of the storytelling just felt weird to me--like that we got the gaming chapters from Severkin's point of view, so we didn't get to see Nick's reaction to key revelations. Also the gaming chapters just felt like someone's D&D campaign or something--like the author really just wanted to write a fantasy book instead. I did REALLY love the Games Con chapter though. That was the best part for me, because it perfectl ...more
Cecilia Rodriguez
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Twelve year old Nick Lamont is struggling with his mother's diagnosis of early
onset Alzhiemer's and the fact that she has chosen to move into a care facility.
As a way to escape, Nick plays: Wellhall, an online multiplayer game.
While in the game, Nick meets Reunna, and is convinced that she might be
able to help "cure" his mother.
The story has a good message about bullying and dealing with a family member who has
a serious illness.
Sarah W
This was an interesting read on how one teen deals with his mother's diagnosis of early Alzheimer's and her move to a care facility. Part of the story unfolds in an immersive computer game he used to play with his mother. The book also ties in elements of bullying, standing up for one's self and growing up biracial. East Berlin and the fall of the Berlin Wall are also elements in the story. ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: byl-crate
This was a "can't put it down" book for me. I was wrapped into the 2 story lines (real life & video game) and so curious how/if/when they would intersect. I could see this book being very difficult for a person with close ties to someone with Alzheimer's. ...more
Malia Dorsey
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply picked up this book and checked it out of the library by accident.

morale of the story....

Best accident I've ever made.

Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish it was a little more condensed -- it got sort of slow and faltered a little at the end.
Brittany Garcia
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG. THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. Audiobook was amazing. My favorite audiobook and book of 2018 and this is my 50th title I've read this year. ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very relatable. Like the twist about the game and the delicious description about it. Good job, author!
Maci Dierking
This was interesting. Definitely very heartfelt and emotional. I was hoping more a bit more video game fun. But overall it was a decent read.
Karen Hornyak
Mar 07, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finished
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edwin McRae
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most touching and thought-provoking gamelit book I’ve read so far. Memory Wall is a wonderful step forward for the genre.

The Memory Wall by Lev AC Rosen walks the line between reality and fiction. Nick Reeves is a twelve-year-old boy of mixed races who faces everyday problems like bullying, starting middle school, and making new friends. But he also has a very atypical problem. Nick mom has Alzheimer’s, or at least that is what they tell him. Nick doesn’t believe his mom is forgetting him and tries to convince everyone that it must be something else. But no one believes him
This was an interesting way to present Alzheimer's to young readers. However, I think that there is a definite audience for this book and many readers may not connect with the characters or the gaming aspect of the story. ...more
Nick is a young boy who's mother is leaving home. Not for an adventure or fun, but because she's suffering from early onset Alzheimer's, except Nick thinks everyone is wrong. He sets out to prove that his mom is still there and he's going to use his video game to do it. Convinced that one of the NPCs in the game is actually a real player and his mom, he does whatever he can to try and prove it. When he's not playing the game he's struggling with starting seventh grade with a crazy mom and fighti ...more
Interesting plot - early on set Alzheimer and video games. Honestly didn't think it was going to peak my interest but it did.

I think gamers will be drawn into the story.
Mar 30, 2019 added it
First of, FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK THIS MONTH! I was so busy that I wasn’t inspired to pick up my books.

So...This might be a biased review because, well... I really like games and especially RPGs. The game theme is why I got the book in the first place.

It was an interesting and touching read. I enjoyed the adventures in it and I can almost see an entire book just about it~ I sometimes relate to Nick because I also get lost in the storyline of the games I play. I really like when it incorporat
Dec 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: with-my-ears
The Memory Wall
By Lev AC Rosen
Narrated by Prentice Onayemi
Blackstone Audio, 2016

Prentice Onayemi’s subtle character creations intensify the complex life of biracial middle schooler, Nick Reeves, whose mother has moved to a memory care facility due to early-onset Alzheimer’s. Denying the reality of his mother’s illness, Nick takes refuge in a video game, playing the role of Severkin, a gray elf adventurer. Differentiating characters through accent and vocal pitch, Onayemi transitions between Nick
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LEV AC ROSEN sometimes is sometimes known as L.C. ROSEN. He is the author of books for all ages.

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