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The Reminders

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,392 ratings  ·  434 reviews
Grief-stricken over his partner’s death, Gavin sets fire to every physical reminder in the couple's home. A neighbor captures the ordeal on video, turning this unsung TV actor into a household name. Now, Gavin is fleeing the hysteria of Los Angeles for New Jersey, hoping to find peace with the family of an old friend. Instead, he finds Joan.

Joan, the family's ten-year-old
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 30th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,392 ratings  ·  434 reviews

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Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: xx2018-completed
There is a scene in the book where an email is written and sent out by Joan, the little girl in the book, to her partner in a song-writing contest. I read through it and it was sweet and endearing. Then I set down my eReader and went to get something in the kitchen – and the tears started streaming down my cheeks. Round, warm tears – the kind that are like hot fudge on an ice cream sundae.

From that point onward to the end of the book, tears and I kept frequent company. I’m imagining the 5 Stars

4.5 Stars

Joan Lennon Sully, age ten, has HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory) and wants to be remembered. Her grandmother forgot her toward the end, despite Joan’s attempts to get her to remember her. It never worked.

“Grandma, it’s me.” She tries. She really tries. But I’m not there. Grandma Joan had to throw me out of her brainbox so she could have enough room for the lyrics to all her favorite songs. She remembered those until the day she died (Saturday, October
Larry H
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

"...for most people, memories are like fairy tales, which means they're simpler and funnier and happier and more exciting than how life really is. I don't understand how people can pretend something happened differently than it actually did, but Dad says they don't even realize they're pretending."

Ten-year-old Joan Sully has HSAM, or highly superior autobiographical memory. She can recall every day in her life in explicit detail—she knows what day of the week any day was,
3.5 Stars.

THE REMINDERS is a delightful story and Joan Lennon Sully is an amazing, amusing and serious minded little ten year old protagonist.....with HSAM. (Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory) She is one of very few people in the world who can remember exactly what she did on any particular date in "her" life...who she was with, what they were doing, their exact clothing, and most important to this narrative...their conversations...word for word.

With music always on her mind...The Beatles.

Elyse  Walters
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Library ebook.....
My all time favorite part of this book was towards the end...there was a funny scene.... which took place on a TV network show - hilarious! By far - the best scene!
Mandy/Mindy..... Gavin.... “ you guys are ok”! Cracked me up and genuinely warmed my heart.

Most of the book is a little schmaltzy- and I never believed for one second that ten year old Joan would speak in many of the ways she did. Was she really sad that people couldn’t remember her ‘half’ birthday? There were many
Diane S ☔
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Sweet, a little too sweet but oh so charming and readable. Quite fell for young Joan, ten years old with a memory very few in the world have, and she the youngest by far. She literally remembers every detail of every moment since the age of three. She realizes others, including her mom and dad, don't have anything close to her memory, and she is afraid of being forgotten. Enter Gavin, whose partner Oliver has died at a fairly young age, mid fifties, of a heart attack. Gavin is a star of a te ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
**Val Emmich is one of the authors who will be at the National Literary Festival at St Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN, on November 8 and 9, 2019:

I loved this novel whose main theme is memory and its importance in life. Joan Lennon Sully is a ten-year-old girl with HSAM--highly superior autobiographical memory--meaning she can recall every detail of her life from the time she was three. She really wants to be remembered by other people though and to that e
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joan Lennon Sully is not your usual ten year old girl. Sharing a love of music, that of John Lennon, in particular, with her musician father, she lives with dad Ollie and teacher mum, Paige, in New York. Joan also has Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (or HSAM for short). This is not a photographic memory, but she can recall memories which are personal to her. So, although she cannot recount endless lists of facts and figures that help her ace tests, she can tell people what she was doing ...more
Dale Harcombe
Imagine having a child, who at ten years old, can remember every day of her life in detail? That is the case for Ollie and Paige Sully. As a result they sometimes have difficulty understanding their daughter. Joan Lennon Sully has something special in common with her father though. It is a love of music and in particular John Lennon, after whom she is named, and the Beatles. Ollie has a recording studio in the bottom of his house and Joan loves nothing better than to share that space and music w ...more
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Memories and remembering are at the heart of Val Emmich's first novel The Reminders. The Beatles music provides the thematic structure. The heart of the novel is love.

Nine-year-old Joan Lennon can't forget anything that has ever happened to her. When her grandmother Joan's Alzheimer's disease took away her memory it frightened Joan to be forgotten. Now she wants to create something so no one will forget her again: she wants to write a song.

Joan's father is a struggling songwriter; her mother wor
Cody | CodysBookshelf
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Release Date: 05.30.17

Val Emmich's debut novel, The Reminders, is a Beatles lover's fantasy. This one is filled to the brim with song references and nods to John Lennon's New York City life (where, incidentally, a large chunk of this story takes place), I was almost too distracted by the shout outs to focus on the characters and their goings-on.

Told in alternating first-person POVs, The Reminders is the story of two people: Joan, a young girl with the rare ability of being able to recall in viv
Book Riot Community
When Gavin’s partner Sydney dies, he literally sets fire to their life together and flees Los Angeles for New Jersey, hoping to be reunited with old friends. There he meets Joan, a ten-year-old girl who has the rare ability to remember everything. Gavin agrees to help Joan win a songwriting contest in exchange for telling him her memories about Sydney. Told from alternating narrators, this is a sad, sweet story of the pain and joy of the past, the curse of remembering everything, and the importa ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
You can find my reviews here:

“There’s this idea of the phantom limb. A man who’s lost his arm still feels the arm and behaves as if the arm is intact. What I have, then, is a phantom love.”

Grief is a beast, an ugly snarling impulsive monster. When Gavin loses his beloved partner in a terrible tragedy he burns his home down. His ‘reminders’ hurt so bad, his love really is a phantom. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so shocking, how he acted out in grief if it was
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Reminders is the first novel by American actor and author, Val Emmich. At ten years old, Joan Lennon Sully is the youngest known person to have Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). If it happened to her after about age five, she’ll remember it in intricate detail, including the day and date. So it can be annoying when others forget. And they do. Most heartbreaking was when her Grandma Joan (after whom she was named) forgot who Joan was. If Grandma Joan could forget, who’s to say h ...more
Danny Coughlin
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’m not a big reader for enjoyment. I got an advanced copy of this book and it sat on my nightstand for a couple weeks. In some way I started to view it as a TODO item I needed to check off a list. I (finally) picked it up and couldn’t put it down. I typically wake up to run, this book had me waking up to read.

The storytelling between two very different characters made it easy to read and provided an exciting balance of perspective. The Beatles were brilliantly interlaced into the narrative so
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Preface to this review:

I have been a fan of Val Emmich's for years -- while this is his first published novel, I've had the pleasure of reading his written word and hearing those lyrics come to life with every single CD I've purchased, with every live show I've been to. His talent is unprecedented. If you're looking to have your heart ripped out of your chest and your soul split wide open, listen to his music. His honesty about love, life and loss are enough to make you questions everything you'
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I actually found a copy of this ARC in a thrift store and figured since it is still before the release date, I'd go ahead and read and review it!

First off, I could not put this book down once I really got into it. Books with child narrators are either it or miss with me. Especially when they are done poorly. In this case, Joan felt right to me and didn't seem dumbed down, or conversely, too smart/adult to be realistic. The concept felt completely new and Joan's condition is something I'd heard
Marie Caterina
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are very few books that have made me cry. This book touched a place within me and made me truly feel. Part mystery, part love story, part coming of age; I didn't want it to end. I fell in love with Joan, an old soul with a spitfire personality, and the friendship between Gavin and Joan. Connections come in all forms and at all ages and the connection between these two stayed with me. The author made me love these characters and I didn't want the book to end.
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was touching and sad without being sappy. It was funny and happy without detracting from the subject. This unique story made me want to come back to it. The pacing is perfect.
Auderoy Lin
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I’m waiting with my guitar on the hard steps and there’s an ant by my sneaker. She’s just a tiny thing, but I’d rather be that, a tiny thing that no one notices, than a real girl who everyone sees but isn’t worth remembering.

For most people, memories are like fairy tales, which means they’re simpler and funnier and happier and more exciting than how life really is. I don’t understand how people can pretend something happened differently than it actually did, but Dad says they don’t ev
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading The Reminders by Val Emmich. I read half the novel in one sitting and the other half in a second sitting. The pacing was quick enough to allow me to enjoy the story without getting bored (150 pages in one sitting normally makes me fidgety), but Emmich took enough time to add meaning, depth, and foreshadowing to his story, especially when he introduced the situation and his cast of characters.

I thought the characters were really well-done. I genuinely cared about Gavin a
Jeremy Gelade
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Reminders is a heartfelt, beautiful story ... inventive, insightful, and so true to life. The characters, their relationships and the story are so rich and relatable that you're immersed in the world of the book, eager to learn how things unfold.

And it's all of the little details and observations ... like Joan thinking Sydney's earmuffs were headphones. And Joan's sketches. And how she emulates her dad; and knows band names have to start with The ... they all paint such a vivid world.

The tie
Mary Keever
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren Baker
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read and early draft of this novel and sensed from the start that there was something special about it. The characters are unique and endearing -- especially ten-year-old Joan -- and the story is unforgettable.
Erica Baker
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Reminders will make you care about the characters and want to go on their journey. It will teach you a lesson about music, family, love, loss and life. The Reminders will make you laugh, cry and really think about what's important.
Tracy Miller
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2017
This was a lovely little book.
❈*ೃ maria ☽✩❁
"time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted."
- john lennon

Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply loved loved LOVED everything about this book! Delightful and quirky. Thought provoking and heart warming. The characters and relationships all felt so real. I can’t wait to read it again. My last book of 2018 and it’s a 5 star from me!!
Chaya Nebel
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you could choose to remember everything that happened to you, would you? Which is a greater blessing, remembering or forgetting? These are among the questions raised by this very touching, thoughtful novel about two very different people who forge an unlikely connection.

Joan Lennon Sully is a 10-year-old with extraordinary autobiographical memory, which means she can remember absolutely everything she ever experiences. Her unique talent underscores for her the shortcomings of other people's m
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Dubbed a "Renaissance Man" by the New York Post, Val Emmich is a writer, a singer-songwriter, and an actor. His first novel, The Reminders, was a Barnes & Noble Discover New Writers selection and his follow-up, Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel, based on the hit Broadway show, was a New York Times bestseller. He's had recurring roles on Vinyl and Ugly Betty, as well as a memorable guest role as Tina Fey ...more

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“It’s too painful to remember”; “It’s even more painful to forget”;” 3 likes
“I hate going to sleep because adults do so many things when you’re not around, like pack their bags and leave.” 2 likes
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