C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Memory Book

The Memory Book by Lara Avery
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, contemporary, read-2016, young-adult


Okay, truly, this was such a good book. It made me sniffle. I could actually feel the ghosts of tears deep in my eyeballs (spoiler: I do not actually cry while reading; but sometimes I feel like it). It was so so SO well written and emotional and the characters....ohhhh my gosh. You know how complex, dimensional, interesting characters can absolutely MAKE a book? They made this book. I wish to hug it MANY MANY TIMES.

Yes this is an "illness" book. It's about Niemann-Pick Type C which is a disease that affects your memory and gradually shuts down your body. So it presents a little like dementia at first, but then your body is failing and the symptoms are catastrophic. So you know, right away, this book is going to be SAD. But it also wasn't majorly depressing the WHOLE TIME. Which was a relief. A TON of the story is made up of making memories and friendship and food and chocolate milk and falling in love and being super smart and being super nerdy.

PLUS IT WAS JUST SO RELATABLE TO ME I SHALL SHRIEK! I mean, obviously, I do not have this disease. But Sammie was just such a relatable and adorable character.

A Brief List Of Things I Particularly Loved:
• Sammie goes to a party and...READS A BOOK.
• She cares more about Middle Earth than actual earth sometimes.
• She is a huge nerd and likes complicated things.
• She's accused of being very intense.
• She sometimes fails at social cues, precious cucumber. <3
• She can drink a gallon of chocolate milk in one sitting (while reading a book preferably)
• She frequently tells herself "you are not a robot" when she's trying to make friends.
• She has a self-depreciating sense of humour that is wry and fabulous.

Also there is FAMILY IN THIS BOOK. Awesome, epic family. Sammie has TWO FREAKING AWESOME PARENTS and 3 younger siblings who are equally cool. I'm just impressed, okay??!! More family orientated books! HUZZAH!

And then of course there is the ROMANCE. And I was really really sold on it at first. She's had this crush on Stuart FOREVER and finally she spills to him that she likes him and oh my gosh. I'm not even a romantic. AND IT WAS SO SUPER CUTE. Their dates! They go out for iced coffee!! He kissed her on the cheek! They talk books and philosophy and about silly things! Stuart is a writer! Stuart is fabulous! Then...hahaha....okay. No spoilers. But the initial romance was my favourite.

Friendship was handled very interestingly too. I'm saying "interestingly" which is a very polite way to truly be saying "WHAT THE FLIPPITY FLIP IS GOING ON HERE YOU DOLTS." Pardon me. Firstly Sammy has this friend, Maddie, who she's on the debate team with. Maddie gets super offended when Sammy doesn't tell her she's sick. I mean, what even, woman. Get a grip. And then we have Cooper...a sort of ex-childhood friend who starts to get closer to Sammie and help out now that she's sick. Cooper's like the dorky stupid pothead...but who's actually really sweet and dimensional. I LIKED COOPER MOSTLY.

Also I liked the message that your business is YOURS TO TELL. Sometimes people assume that if you have an illness/disability you should be telling people. Well you know what? Labels do suck and people WILL treat you differently. So I think it's 100% okay to not always tell people things straight away. Sometimes you need to digest and figure out how you're different for knowing before you're reading for other's to treat you different for knowing. #RandomButThereItIs

"So why not 5-stars, Cait?" you ask. "What are you grumpy about exactly?"

Excellent question, fiend. I shall give you a small list:

• Firstly because it has a love triangle. Like I won't go into DETAILS but this disappointed me because (A) why can't a guy/girl jus be friends? and (B) I felt like both boys did kind of romanticise Sammie's illness a bit there, and (C) while I liked BOTH sides of the triangle and it was a VERY WELL WRITTEN one...it did blindside me. I didn't think it'd go there. (view spoiler)
• It featured debates a lot at the beginning. I doooooon't caaaaare.
• I did wish it would've gone into more detail about the illness because I know literally NOTHING ABOUT IT and wish I could've known more. Plus since Sammie is writing this book to remind her of stuff she might forget...she doesn't really catalogue her decline, so it came REALLY FAST for me.

Basically, though, this book was AMAZING. The writing was incredible. It was feelsy. IT WAS ADORABLE. There was delicious food and fantastic family dynamics and the characters...like did I mention how real they felt?!? Plus Sammie was just a generally awesomely intense, nerdy, intelligent creature. I couldn't stop reading! I HAD TEARS IN MY SOUL.


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Quotes C.G. Liked

Lara Avery
“I picked up a book called Anagrams and started to read. I felt someone's eyes on me and looked up. Stuart. I held up the book like someone would hold up a glass. Cheers. Parties, right? Ha-ha. It's that I don't know what to do or say it's just that I've been to so many parties that I'm tired of them and would rather read this book ha-ha so don't worry about me I'll just be here.
Lara Avery, The Memory Book

Lara Avery
“I don't know, Mom. Now that I'm about to graduate, I plan on being more spontaneous."
Mom opened her eyes and burst out laughing.
I said, "Got spontaneity on the calendar for next Tuesday.”
Lara Avery, The Memory Book

Reading Progress

April 20, 2016 – Shelved
April 20, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
July 19, 2016 – Started Reading
July 19, 2016 –
page 50
13.59% "Sammie is described as (A) intense, and (B) caring more about Middle Earth than our earthy earth.\n I GET ON WITH HER MAGNIFICENTLY ALREADY."
July 19, 2016 –
page 113
30.71% "She went to a party and STARTED READING A BOOK. <3"
July 20, 2016 – Shelved as: 4-star
July 20, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 20, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
July 20, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
July 20, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Emily Mead Yessss can't wait to start this!!

message 2: by Caitlin (new)

Caitlin Love this review!! Can't wait to read it <3

Samantha (WLABB) I wanted to read this last weekend, but my daughter's blogmate had not returned it (cue tears). I am going to read it this weekend, and I cannot wait.


Samantha (WLABB) OMG! Reading it right now (219 out of 350). My heart is breaking

C.G. Drews @Sam: *sends tissues and chocolate*

message 7: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Excellent review, as always Cait!

C.G. Drews @Andrea: Thankyou!

Firefly Just finished reading this! GAH. the tears. *gobbles chocolate while ugly sobbing* I lovedlovedloved it so much - though I agree with you on the love triangle part. Did not appreciate that. Also I felt weird about it because she wasn't quite in her right mind and Cooper should have known better than to do that with her when she could have been, like, forgetting that Stuart even existed :/ BUT ANYWAY. thE feEEEELLLSSSSS. why. my poor heart.

message 10: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Firefly: Yessss exactly! The romance was just (view spoiler)

Firefly Cait (Paper Fury) wrote: "@Firefly: Yessss exactly! The romance was just [spoilers removed]"

uGH yES.

message 12: by Zoe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zoe YES. That darn love triangle. The book could have been perfect if it was removed. Humph. And #BookishTwinsStrikeAgain by the way!

message 13: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Zoe: AHHH I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT!! Such a good book, right?! It's so annoying when romance ruins things. XD

message 14: by Tandie (new) - added it

Tandie I absolutely adore the cute-fun way you write your reviews Cait. Don't ever change it! Reading them makes me feel like you're my long lost secret BFF sister - especially when you mention social anxietyish things and make up words!

message 15: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Tandie: HELLO LONG LOST SECRET BFF SISTER. *shares cupcakes with you*
(Also this makes me ridiculously glad!!)

Debbie My daughter has the disease Niemann pick type C. It is actually much worse than the book shows. As a parent I have been watching my daughter deteriorate over the last 10 years. It is a long horrible disease. Right now there is an internet voting contest through ESPN. if you want to find out more, let me know or ask Lara. She has the information.

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