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The Hidden Memory of Objects

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Megan Brown’s brother, Tyler, is dead, but the cops are killing him all over again. They say he died of a drug overdose, potentially suicide—something Megan cannot accept. Determined to figure out what happened in the months before Tyler’s death, Megan turns to the things he left behind. After all, she understands the stories objects can tell—at fifteen, she is a gifted collage artist with a flair for creating found-object pieces. However, she now realizes that her artistic talent has developed into something more: she can see memories attached to some of Tyler’s belongings—and those memories reveal a brother she never knew.

Enlisting the help of an artifact detective who shares her ability and specializes in murderabilia—objects tainted by violence or the deaths of their owners—Megan finds herself drawn into a world of painful personal and national memories. Along with a trusted classmate and her brother's charming friend, she chases down the troubling truth about Tyler across Washington, DC, while reclaiming her own stifled identity with a vengeance.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published March 21, 2017

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About the author

Danielle Mages Amato

5 books69 followers
Danielle Mages Amato works as the dramaturg for a theatre company in California. When she's not collaborating with playwrights on new work or researching obscure facts about theatre history, she writes YA novels about the places where the past and the present collide. Her debut THE HIDDEN MEMORY OF OBJECTS has been optioned for television, and is coming from Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins in March 2017.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 192 reviews
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,922 reviews35.4k followers
December 30, 2016
This is a beautifully written young adult mystery with historical ties with Abraham Lincoln, and John Wilkes Booth.

Megan Brown, 15 years old, is suspicious from what she was told is the cause of her brother's death. They say Tyler, died from a drug overdose. The police and parents believe his death was suicide.

Through Megan's personal detective work....we enter an outlandish world.
You really need to get out of your head - with reason - when you read this novel....
Megan can see memories.....and when she just touches things she creates pizzazz
bold beautiful colors. Tyler's nickname was 'Red' for his red hair and vibrant spunky positive disposition. Being an artist, Megan can recreate memories of her brother just by touching his belongings--giving clues to his death and brightness through new discoveries.
Nathan and Eric are two other supporting characters..... Nathan being a friend - Eric o 'more' than a friend.....( sweet romance blooms).

Megan is a fascinating character..... sarcastic and testy...with visions that blossom as we turn the pages.

A little American history - family loss and grief -a mystery to solve ....but best of all is
Megan Brown herself. She's a little cynical at times....but she shows us how to make something out of nothing.... a natural born leader...teaching ways to value the world around us. A brilliant charming creative artist!

Thank You HarperCollins and Danielle Amato
Profile Image for Kate Quinn.
Author 54 books557 followers
July 3, 2016
Danielle was my PitchWars mentee and even though I've read multiple versions of this book multiple times (with it getting more amazing with each round of revisions) I cannot wait to read it again once it comes out in hardcover. Not only does this book boast a really cool mystery, touches of the supernatural, a brilliant and snarky main character with a voice that shines from the first page, and a super sweet romance - but it also ties in Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth in a way that is both surprising and yet works perfectly with everything else that is going on. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone - truly it's wonderful and I cannot wait for other readers to discover it.
Profile Image for Carlie Sorosiak.
Author 8 books259 followers
August 1, 2016
This is one of the most compelling YA mysteries I've read in years. The historical elements are tied in so skillfully that it really left me in awe. Fantastic writing, original voice, arresting concept. You're going to love it!
Profile Image for Rosalyn Eves.
Author 9 books648 followers
September 19, 2016
I have wanted to read Amato's book since I first heard of it, nearly 2 years ago! I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of the book and I tore through it--I loved it.

Megan Brown is reeling from her brother Tyler's unexpected death. Yet as the police reveal more information around the circumstances of his death, things don't quite add up. The Tyler that the police see is not the Tyler that Megan remembers. So Megan takes it upon herself to do some sleuthing into Tyler's things.

But events take an unexpected turn when Megan finds that she can see memories attached to some of the things she touches, and her search for the truth behind Tyler's death will take her deep into the bizarre world of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln, and murderabilia.

The twists of the story kept me reading, but it was the heart I really loved: the slow, strong arc of Megan's character, the sympathetic and honest way her grief was depicted, and an ending that moved me profoundly.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,690 reviews1,267 followers
March 2, 2017
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

"And that was the moment. The moment Tyler died all over again. It was bad enough that I'd never see him again, but now... he wouldn't even be the person I remembered. My brother wasn't just going to die; I was going to lose everything I had left of him."

This was a YA story about a girl who saw flashes of memories from objects associated with deaths.

Megan was an interesting character, and she certainly went to great lengths to try to work out the mystery surrounding her brother's death. I did find it a little odd when one of the first things she did was to cut up his clothes to make a collage though.

The storyline in this was about Megan wanting to know what had happened to her brother Tyler to cause his death, as she did not believe that he died from a drug overdose, whether accidental or suicidal. Megan then began to experience what she thought were hallucinations, and then realised that rather than hallucinations she was seeing images of the past. Using her new ability Megan then tried to work out what had happened to Tyler, along with the help of another man who had the same gift, and two boys that she went to school with. This was quite an interesting idea, although the paranormal element at times seemed a little out of place.

The ending was okay, and I was pleased that we got to find out what really happened to Tyler.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Katie Nelson.
Author 2 books52 followers
August 29, 2016
I was lucky to get an ARC of this gorgeous book!

Megan Brown's brother just died. Nicknamed "Red" for his red hair and charismatic personality, it's hard for Megan to believe he's gone. When details about his death emerge, the police, as well as Megan's parents, are quick to call his death an overdose or suicide, but Megan can't accept that. With the help of two friends, she tries to unravel the mystery, but finds so much more in the process.

This book pulled me in from the first chapter. The descriptions of Megan's grief were heart-wrenching. She was a compelling, interesting character and I found myself invested in her personal journey, as well as the mystery surrounding Red's death. The supporting characters were well crafted, each hiding their own secrets, none of them perfect. Danielle shows the contrast between Megan's privileged life in Virginia and the streets of D.C. with sensitivity.

The novel weaves in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the people involved in that tragedy in a clever way. THE HIDDEN MEMORY OF OBJECTS will have you looking at and thinking about the everyday items in your own life in a new light. I highly recommend it!
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 2 books101 followers
August 29, 2016
This ARC was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
Megan Brown, 15, has been led to believe that her beloved big brother, Tyler, has died of a drug overdose. The problem is, knowing Tyler - as well as digging up a host of clues that don't add up - Megan begins to become suspicious. In doing so, she discovers more about her brother than she had originally bargained for - as well as hidden revelations about herself. A gorgeously written roller-coaster ride of a debut. Highly and enthusiastically recommended.
50 reviews
September 6, 2016
The premise was so cool, I couldn't wait to dive into this book. I was thrilled that it delivered on the coolness front, but on many more, as well. Megan's quest to find out what happened to her brother was also a quest to discover herself, and I found the way that both storylines played out to be immensely satisfying. Eric was a fabulous friend to her, and the texts between her and her BFF were hilarious and real (seriously, the author threw in the funniest 80s/pop culture references--they may as well have been meant just for me). The relationship between her and Nathan was equally enjoyable.

The mystery at the heart of the story had me on the edge of the seat, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. And yet the writing was so beautiful and visual that my eyes didn't skim ahead like they normally do when I read. I wanted to enjoy her words just as much as the story.

I loved this book, and I will absolutely read whatever else the author puts out next.
1 review29 followers
September 18, 2016
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this book. It’s an absolute rainbow of delights: a time-hopping mystery, a super-hero origin story, and a throat-tightening example of how quickly everything we know unravels when someone we love dies. But mostly it’s about how a girl discovers that, beneath all her protective brown feathers, she’s got a whole palette of vibrant colors to share. Watching Megan paint her freak flag in cerulean and heliotrope and, best of all, bright, bold red, is almost as satisfying as seeing her hoist that flag and let it fly. Geeks of the world unite. Make a tribe. Put on your wingtips and bowling shirts and sing Sinatra at underground DC parties. Fall for the coolest Oolong-drinking raver on either side of the Potomac. Life your life in technicolor and find the true tints behind the sepias of America’s tragic past. Be sure to say hello to Mr. Lincoln before the curtain falls on this sparkling, action-packed, enthralling debut!
Profile Image for K.A..
Author 5 books248 followers
September 9, 2016
I loved this book from beginning to end. From the history to the mystery, the characters, and the prose, it was beautiful and kept me guessing the whole time. I cannot recommend it more.
Profile Image for Amanda Searcy.
Author 2 books80 followers
September 5, 2016
This book grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn't let go! It is part mystery, part political thriller, part ride through some of the darker (and stranger) parts of U.S. history. It is a one-sitting read. You will absolutely need to know what happens next and how it will all resolve. (Plus, it will make you want to plan a trip to Washington D.C. to check out some of the things mentioned in the book!)
Profile Image for J.C. Davis.
Author 4 books65 followers
October 26, 2016
I have wanted to read this book from the moment I read a summary months and months ago. When I finally got my hands on an ARC, it didn't disappoint. Amato weaves a beautiful, intriguing, heart-rending mystery and then gives us unforgettable characters to bring it all to life. The main character, Megan's, grief and determination come across from page one. This is such a unique story! I love how beautifully Amato shows us Megan's perspective on the world around her, how Megan's art influences so much of her world view. The voice in this novel is perfection. More than once I wanted to dive between the pages and join Megan on her adventures. I found myself longing to reach out and touch an object and see the history, the memories, hidden just under the surface. From first page to last, I couldn't put THE HIDDEN MEMORY OF OBJECTS down.
Profile Image for Nic Stone.
Author 36 books4,031 followers
November 1, 2016
So this book.

Summary (in my own words): Megan's brother, who she always saw as perfect, has just died under mysterious circumstances. At his funeral her father is approached by the detective working the case, and she learns the cause of death was a heroin overdose. This of course throws her whole world into chaos: was her brother really doing drugs? What else did she not know about him? Thus the journey begins to find out not only what really happened to him, but who he actually WAS.

What I loved most about this book was the way it highlighted the connection between objects, memory, and the emotions attached to those memories. Ever since I finished it, I find myself looking around at items I own just to see what memory pops into my head when I see different things. I was pretty blown away by how Danielle used this totally biological thing to craft this sort of magical element in the story. It was awesome.

I also really loved the relationships. Megan's best friend lives across the country, but she develops a couple of other really great relationships while working to solve the mystery: one is with Eric (which is actually a REdevelopment since he and Megan had been friends in the past), who is so fun and quirky and genuine (also totally loved seeing a strictly platonic male/female friendship, won't lie). And then there was Nathan. Be still my beating heart. HE was amazing and I would like to date him, please and thank you. ALWAYS fantastic to see well-crafted characters of color on the page.

Overall, my favorite thing about this book was the way it whispers "BE YOURSELF! ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO SEEM PERFECT? THEY'RE PRETENDING!" in a way that makes it feel like a shout. Totally nuanced, and you don't even realize that's one of the takeaways until you flip the last page. (Well, I guess you do now because I just told you, but it's not really a spoiler I don't think. I'll hide it just in case?)

Anyway. I loved it. Still thinking about it. Probably will be for a long time.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Breeana Shields.
Author 5 books416 followers
February 6, 2017
I loved this book for so many reasons--beautiful prose, fantastic characters, a compelling mystery, and little tidbits of history that are both wonderful and strange. But it’s the honest, aching portrait of grief, along with the exploration of the way we remember the people we love, that will stick with me for a long time. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Megan.
12 reviews2 followers
December 13, 2016
I’ve been wanting to read this book since I first read a summary ages ago and it didn’t disappoint! It’s captivating and unique with a well-drawn plot and unforgettable characters. I can’t say enough good things about it—just read it!
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews186 followers
November 19, 2016
Amazing debut with gorgeous writing, a gradually unfurling mystery, and masterfully handled relationships. Really loved Megan, Eric, and Nathan.

Longer RTC!
Profile Image for McCall Hoyle.
Author 6 books316 followers
December 18, 2016
Genius! Pure genius! Fresh concept and beautifully written.

The protagonist, Megan, wants to know the details surrounding her brother's death. She's a collage artist with the unique ability to "read" certain objects. She uses the things her brother left behind and enlists a couple of characters readers will love to answer the questions surrounding her brother's death.

I feel so lucky to have gotten a sneak peek at this work of art!

Kudos, Danielle Mages Amato!
Profile Image for Madison.
1,065 reviews59 followers
November 21, 2016
The Hidden Memory of Objects is a modern-day mystery with a grounding in American History, a touch of the paranormal and a bit of romance. But it is ultimately a story about a girl's quest to uncover the truth about her brother, how he really died, and the events leading up to his death, and maybe even discover who she is outside of people's, especially her brother's, expectations of her.

Megan's brother is dead. The police say he died of a drug overdose and Megan can't reconcile the images she has of her fun-loving, positive brother with those from the story the police are weaving of a boy who saw no other option than to deliberately overdose in an abandoned building. Heartbroken and confused, Megan decides to do some investigating of her own, starting with the things Tyler left behind. But as Megan collects and then starts creating artwork from her brother's things, she begins to have strange headaches and blackouts, triggering memories of her brother that she couldn't possibly have.

Megan is an artist and it's obvious in everything she says and the way in which she views the world, always noticing colours and patterns and endlessly collecting scraps of paper and small objects to add to her collages. It is her love of things that prompts her to turn to Tyler's belonging to uncover what happened to him. But she is surprised to discover among his effects historical artefacts connected to Abraham Lincoln, a book on John Wilkes Booth and a roll of cash. Some seem to support the police's theories while others suggest there is more to the story.

Working through this mystery with Megan are two other main characters. The first is Nathan, Tyler's friend who Megan first meets at the funeral. He is gorgeous, quirky, and agrees with Megan that it seems unlikely for Tyler to have taken drugs let alone his own life. But Nathan brings his own set of mysteries, like how he know Tyler and how he fits into the life Tyler seemingly kept hidden from Megan. Then there is Eric, a classmate and old friend of Megan's. They reunite just as Megan starts to see strange things when she touches Tyler's belongings. Eric brings a sense of humour to the story, insisting her strange visions are some sort of cool superpower or supernatural haunting. He is honest and charming and loveable. Eric is also supportive of Megan developing a romantic relationship with Nathan, so there is no conflict, drama, or messy love triangle, just good friendship.

One thing I particularly liked about this book was Megan's first reaction to her new powers, for want of a better word. She thinks she has a brain tumour or is having a stoke. Her visions develop slowly and a reasonable explanation is given, which I thought made the whole thing believable. Eric's reaction and support also helped to create a realistic reaction (or at least make Megan's reaction look more realistic).

At times this story felt a little all over the place. I wasn't expecting the American history aspects. At one point Megan says, "Lincoln, Lincoln everywhere."And I have to agree. But it gives the story a nice twist, intertwining the mystery of Tyler's death with Tyler's interest in the Lincoln assassination and John Wilkes Booth. It also created the opportunity for some interesting settings. And all those seemingly random things and reactions that happened throughout the story were nicely brought together in the end as the mystery is resolved and the tension ramped up for a final showdown.

The Hidden Memory of Objects brings together family and the grief of loss, mystery and paranormal sleuthing, a strong cast of memorable characters, friendship, romance, and even a bit of politics.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Find more reviews on my blog Madison's Library.
Profile Image for Destiny.
133 reviews13 followers
November 10, 2017
Man oh man! Fast-paced, awesome historical intertwining, fantastic characters... this book has it all! I loved it!
Profile Image for Sonia.
Author 2 books49 followers
November 18, 2016
I loved this book! It is so many things: a fast-paced and exciting thriller; a moving portrait of grief; an off-beat and adorable romance; a fascinating history lesson; an awesomely cool piece of world-building. Also, it is set in DC! As a native Washingtonian myself, I wrote a YA novel set in DC partly because I was sad there were so few of them in the world, and I'm delighted to see DC get its due here. Not many books are able to show DC for the complicated/bizarre/amazing place it is: both politician's playground/industry town and a real, living, breathing city with astounding diversity and history and its own unique culture.

All that aside: the characters in this are so real and vibrant, from the conflicted, super-powered protagonist Megan to the charming and elusive Nathan to the goofy, loyal Eric. Even though he is only rendered in flashback, Megan's brother Tyler is vivid too - so vivid, in fact, that the reader mourns along with Megan for her loss.
Profile Image for Dayla.
2,032 reviews200 followers
March 15, 2017
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

If there is one sentence I could confidently put as a tagline for this book it would be "The Book that Tried". The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato has so much going on that you're either torn between trying to figure out what is actually happening with the protagonist's psychic ability, or just trying to figure out what is happening in general. This book was insanely hard to take seriously.

And that's without throwing in how many ways certain topics explored in this book may be taken as offensive, or just under-developed.

According to this book, the visions that Megan, the protagonist, starts having shortly after her brother's death are prompted by The explanation given in the spoiler is flimsy and under-developed.

Much like the "mysterious" and convenient power, Megan is a hot mess. She is constantly jumping from one sense of purpose to another, almost as much as her random mood swings. One moment she's consoling her mother, the next she's yelling at her. One moment she's arguing that the police is wrong about how her brother died, but then only pages later, she's trying to convince her mother to accept the police findings. It just read very, very messy, kind of like several characters.

Oh man, but that just opens up a whole can of worms when it comes to the side characters. This is an instant where the aforementioned tagline for this book comes into play. This book tried to be different. Megan's best friend who actually has lines in person beyond the epilogue? A comically weird dude who she stopped talking to after his dad died because she couldn't really understand what he was going through. God. Eric could have been a great character if he wasn't a walking trope. He is like a manic pixie dream boy, but without the romance. He's the type of character who made my anxiety have all sorts of fun because he went ahead and told Megan's secret and talked to people that made Megan uncomfortable. He was that guy who's so weird, you can't help but fall for him. Except you know, he is only Megan's platonic best friend, which is perfectly fine, but I mean, they're strangely touchy-feely? Also, Megan asks him right away, after years of not talking to him, if he is gay because he's so quirky.

Answer: .

Continuing on Eric though, he conveniently waltzes into her life like a hilarious cliche just when her world is about to get weird. Not only that, but he suddenly becomes her partner in crime? Yeah, I don't understand the concept of time in this novel, either. AND he himself has a weird, random angry moment over something really, really small? I guess they needed to have an argument to move the plot along?

While all of that is happening with Eric, Megan has a female best friend who occasionally chimes in via text by sharing obscure 1980's movie quotes and perfectly timed "How are you" texts. We get a short history of her story, but sadly, this friendship feels like an afterthought. I guess this story only has room for one "fully developed" (Will we ever meet Eric's uncharacteristically accepting mother?) quirky friend.

Now, let's talk about Nathan, the love interest, and why he both bugs and saddens me.

Nathan is a black teenaged boy Here's the kicker though: He feels like the minority meant to enlighten Megan on her ignorance. In any other novel, this might work, but in this particular book, he feels like a checkmarked box in a society that demands more diverse books. I hate saying this, but I felt really uncomfortable reading the times where he corrects Megan. THERE IS NO REASON TO HAVE MEGAN'S CHARACTER SAY THE THINGS SHE SAYS AND THINKS. For instance, he comments on how he goes to a school in D.C. and Megan comments on how she didn't expect him to live in such a nice house. He asks her if she thought that he lived in one of the bad neighborhoods in D.C. because he was black, to which she confesses that yes, she did. Like, was this really necessary? How is this pertinent to the story? His race doesn't affect the story, or how her brother died. Like, why couldn't the mention of him being black be enough? Why even bring up that cliche idea of just because he's black he lives in a bad neighborhood. Why?

What also bugs me is the high concentration of diversity in just the one household. It's like that one particular home fills the quota of diversity for the book. Everyone else in the story is white and the underlying issue of race raised by that single conversation made me wary--which is why I'm questioning the concentration of diversity in Nathan's household (it's not just black), and why there aren't really any other diverse characters. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth.

Tyler, Megan's brother isn't just a mystery to her, but to us as well. But as Emma finds more and more evidence about who he really was, I'm still left with questions. He felt so cliche-- and as horrible as it sounds, he just came off as a plot device. He was the person who gave Emma a reason to be better and bolder because she wasn't in his shadow anymore.

Also, cue the weird scene in the centre of the novel that felt like a weird 90's film where the protagonist gets a makeover on both her looks and her personality. Just wanted to throw that in there.

The Hidden Memory of Objects is full of tropes, cliches, and at-times uncomfortable situations. I wanted to enjoy this because the synopsis sounded interesting. When it came up for review, I considered passing on it and I kind of wish I'd taken a pass. This was just a mess.

Happy reading!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
May 25, 2017
I've always loved books that are multiple genres, especially when mystery is one of those genres. Fantasy suspense novels are my absolute favorite. This book is a historical mystery, and while that may not be my immediate favorite genre, it was definitely an interesting mashup.

But aside from the creative genre, I don't know what this book adds to an overstuffed genre. I mean, sure, there's the genre blend, but there aren't any mind-blowing twists or fabulous characters. There's an archetypal romance and an archetypal dead brother and it's all just pretty cliche for being such a cool concept. It's not bad; there's nothing about this book to hate. But there's nothing all that memorable either. This is a middling three star because it's meh with good parts, not amazing with bad parts.

The first thing you should know is that the main character's abilities are not explained. The reasoning behind her abilities is not the focus. While I'm sure many readers will appreciate that, I found it quite annoying. Ultimately, some of the MC's abilities seemed like plot conveniences to me.

This book should be praised for some truly well-written action. While I found it hard to get into at the beginning, some of the scenes towards the end left me genuinely on the edge of my seat.

VERDICT: A meh book, but with some fairly good scenes. While I don't actively recommend this, I don't recommend against it either.

* I received a copy of this via my local bookstore. This does not impact my review in any way.
Profile Image for Jodi.
Author 2 books49 followers
July 21, 2017
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Such an awesome page-turner! I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, and let me tell you, the hype on this book is well-deserved. Loved all the characters (especially Eric, his banter made me laugh out loud) and couldn’t put this one down! THE HIDDEN MEMORY OF OBJECTS has a captivating, twisty, cinematic narrative that chases secrets and objects across state lines and the sands of time right up to the very end.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,615 reviews160 followers
May 28, 2017
"But remembering is important. You're right to fight for how he'll be remembered."

Rating: 3.5
I think this one touched me a little more than usual because of the brother slant. I, too, am the only sibling left from the loss of a big brother. My loss was also sudden and shocking but, unlike Megan, my brother was older (adult) and I got to know him and the family he created. I never had to wonder who he was.

And that's what struck me the most. The heartbreak I felt for Megan as she learned something new about her brother that shattered the pieces she thought she knew. It was horrible the way so many things made her question what she knew and who he was.

But Eric was right and it was important for Megan to fight, because memory was all that Tyler had left behind and it was important to know.

The angle of adding Lincoln and Booth and the assassination was a great twist that added depth to the story. The paranormal element gave it a bit of an edge that took away some of Megan's grief and loss and gave us, the reader, a lighter story as we worked through the mystery with them all.
I really enjoyed this one and am glad I gave it a chance.
Profile Image for Caitlin (thebookshire).
236 reviews3 followers
April 17, 2017
What a surprising gem this book is! You think you’re getting one thing – a YA mystery with maybe a hint of the mystical - when really you are getting so much more than that. This is a romance, a thriller, a mystery, all tied together with a dash of historical fiction, a pinch of political and social commentary, and a heavy dose of magical realism. Oh, and of course there’s the fact that at its heart, it’s about how we process our grief when we lose someone we love. I loved it right from the start. It’s dark and gritty, but with a flair for the dramatic and a welcome light-heartedness courtesy of Megan’s friend-turned-sidekick, Eric.

The love interest, Nathan, is well-rounded and a more realistic character when contrasted with Eric – he doesn’t just instantly accept that Megan is having visions of the past when she touches certain memorable objects. I liked that we got to have that contrast – Eric, the insta-believer who wants to figure out Megan’s “superhero origin story” and Nathan, the down-to-earth skeptic who isn’t going to blindly follow without more concrete evidence. You definitely need them both in order to feel that the story could plausibly be playing out in the modern day.

The best part, for me, was that I didn’t see the end coming. I’m usually pretty good at figuring out the mystery before it all gets revealed in the end, but this time I was shocked to discover the truth along with Megan. It was insane. And the political commentary that underlays it all is particularly compelling. It definitely draws you into the depths of Washington politics and the game of power that people have been playing since long before John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln in Ford’s Theater all those years ago. It’s a game as old as time, and I liked how the past and present collide because of it in this book.

If you are looking for something unlike anything else you’ve read this year, Danielle Mages Amato definitely provides that in this quirky, dark, and gripping thriller. It’s sure to keep you guessing right up until the end, and the delightful prose is sure to keep you enjoying the ride.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Find me and my reviews on www.thebookshire.com and on instagram.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,817 reviews
March 21, 2017
3.5/5 stars

The Hidden Memory of Objects is a standalone YA contemporary novel.

The narrator is 15 year old Megan Brown. I actually thought that she was 16 for much of the book. Since her friends drive. And the book started off saying that she was in 8th grade two years before.

Her 17-18 year old brother Tyler has just died. The police say it might have been a drug overdose.

Megan is determined to figure out the truth about her brother's death.

Megan is a collage artist, constantly finding objects to use in her art. She takes some of Tyler's belongings to try to see if they will help her figure out what happened to him.

Megan realizes that she can see memories attached to some of the things she touches. This plays an important part in the story.

There are two high school boys who play a significant part in the book: Eric (Megan's classmate) and Nathan (a friend of Tyler's). I enjoyed how both of these boys helped Megan.

The Hidden Memory of Objects is about Megan's quest to find out the truth about her brother's death. The Lincoln assassination and John Wilkes Booth play a key part in the book.

The premise was definitely unusual and it makes the book a bit different than most YA stories. The visions are sort of interesting and different. And we learn a lot of details this way. There is a lot of Lincoln history, which is also quite interesting.

Overall this was an intriguing way to tell a story. And it was a somewhat enjoyable read. I guess the best way to describe my feelings are that this book was just alright for me. The mystery was interesting, the characters were fine, but it didn't really make me feel.

Thanks to edelweiss and Balzer + Bray for allowing me to read this book.
Profile Image for Alexandra Ott.
Author 9 books73 followers
October 4, 2016
I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of this book, and I absolutely love it! It's full of amazing elements: a compelling mystery, an emotional exploration of grief, tidbits of U.S. history, a sweet romance, and hints of the supernatural. It's so skillfully woven and beautifully written that it left me in awe. THE HIDDEN MEMORY OF OBJECTS is a stunning debut. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Christina.
558 reviews65 followers
March 2, 2017
Link for full review to come later.

*Disclaimer: An e-copy of this title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

I thought this was such a fun escapism type novel rooted in contemporary. As a lover of history, I found those slices of time included in this book to be very interesting. The plot of the story was original and the mystery of it all kept me flipping the pages... or swiping the screen as it were. However, the highlight of this book for me was the main character and her friends, one of whom turns love interest, though the romance was never one of the key storylines in the book. They felt so real and were bursting with distinct personalities, one of whom we only ever really met through text message exchanges, so that says a lot.

I would say that to me the pacing fell off at the end because some of the scenes felt a little too repetitious, but overall I really enjoyed this book as I made quick work of it and found myself not wanting to put it down. I definitely feel like I'd read something new from this author in the future.

A very special thanks to Balzer+Bray and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.
Profile Image for Summer Spence.
21 reviews1 follower
October 14, 2016
I read an advanced copy of this book and was thrilled to have the opportunity!

I absolutely loved this book! The subtle mix of the United States' dark history with the character's troubled present made for a bittersweet read. The author deftly weaves in the reality of what grief looks like and how we try to process it. I was intrigued by the mystery and moved by the character's plight. I can't wait to get my own copy!!
Profile Image for Joanne O'Sullivan.
Author 29 books54 followers
January 9, 2017
Cool concept and so much intrigue in this DC-set mystery: art, politics, love, and Lincoln! So many twists and turns that keep you constantly on your toes and turning the pages!
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