Michelle Wrona's Reviews > The Memory Book

The Memory Book by Lara Avery
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This review can also be found on A Thousand Lives Lived, check it out for more!

Holy gumballs and watermelons. (Excuse me, but I'm currently chewing on a piece of watermelon gum, so don't mind me) I'm trying not to sob and break down all over again in front of my computer again, so let's just get this started once more. Never did I ever expect to adore Lara Avery's The Memory Book as much as I did. Seriously? It is the best 2016-published book I have read, yet. It is one of my most favourite books ever. Why? Because it changed my life and made me want to write, aspire to follow my dreams, fall in love, appreciate life and appreciate memories, because they don't always last. And I'm not referencing diseases necessarily. Yes, our heroine, Sammie (who I adore and want to be my best friend and antisocial activist), does have a disease, also known as Niemann-Pick Type C, but not every person needs to lose their memories like that. I love books that are researched, raw, real and emotional. Lara Avery just explained Sammie's story well, and not in a 50-50 scientific-emotional split for YA readers. It was more than that, perhaps more emotional or more scientific and I can't even imagine how this was all constructed.

I rarely (okay, occasionally) say this, but this book is perfection. There is not a single thing wrong with it, there are no flaws. Okay, perhaps I missed a grammar mistake, but even though I read an uncorrected proof, I saw no flaws. The Memory Book left me aching for something more, something to turn to the next day (I finished this at midnight) when I felt sad. Okay, this book was already sad, so I don't think things can get sadder.

This book is a teenager's worst nightmare. Or at least, my worst nightmare. We have a protagonist (Sammie) who has her whole future planned out, kind of like I do. She wants to go to NYU (well, it's happening), become a lawyer and live in New York City. She's valedictorian, has worked so hard for that role, and things are becoming the way she wants. Most of all, she wants to leave her small town outside of Hanover, New Hampshire. (DARTMOUTH, GUYS!) It's our worst nightmare when something gets out of hand and your life automatically changes and heads in the worst direction. I felt so much pity, guilt for Sammie, knowing that her future is at stake, that things that she wants to happen won't ever happen because of her condition.

This book is what you think it is: it is a memory book of Sammie's. She unexpectedly discovers that she has Niemann-Pick Type C after being unable to move her eyes up, and this book is written from her perspective where she records her daily life in a document in her computer. She falls in love with her longtime crush, Stuart, and becomes friends with her old friend again, Cooper. THERE IS SO MUCH MORE, THOUGH. The plot was fast-moving and things couldn't stop happening. There were moments where I had to take a breather and actually calm down after what was happening all the time. I read this in a sitting or two (because of interruptions), GUYS. THIS IS A GOOD SIGN.

"Sometimes life is really terrible. Sometimes life gives you a weird disease. Sometimes life is really good, but never in a simple sort of way. And when I look back, I will know I have tried" (70).

So yeah, there's a love triangle: Sammie is torn between Coop and Stuart. I kind of saw what occurred coming, but I wasn't sure. I WOULD BE TORN, MY FRIENDS. Coop is the adventurous, hot, caring guy who will always be there to give you a ride somewhere and make out with you on the way there. *twiddles eyebrows* Stuart is the mysterious writer (who I also love) and he's so smart, philosophical and agh, I'm in love.

The Memory Book is written so lyrically and so realistically. I felt Sammie's strong voice speaking to us readers. Avery informed us about Sammie's condition in such a way that is not like reading an article on the internet; it's coming out of a victim's heart/mouth, being written with so much realism. I also loved the setting of this whole story—it makes me want to go to Vermont/New Hampshire even MORE. I've always been thinking about Dartmouth University, and this is the best experience of reading about a university—in a YA novel.

We see this transition of Sammie's condition throughout the book. She undergoes these scares that literally scares us readers too, because we know that the worst is yet to come. Things became drastic, and my feels went out of control. I was so intrigued/tired by the time that I finished this book that I couldn't cry even when I really was in the mood for. MY LIFE WAS OVER. I COULDN'T DO IT ANYMORE.

"It's like, take my body, fine. I wasn't really using it anyway. I've got this enormous butt on ostrich legs, the hair of a "before" picture, and weird milky brown eyes like a Frappuccino. But not my brain. My true connection to the world" (12).

The Memory Book has been anticipated by me for a long time, and I can see why everyone is awing over the emotion. This is simply gorgeous, perhaps the most gorgeously written book ever. It's poetic, and has this vibe that many emotional books struggle to maintain. John Green and his lookalike authors (by means of writing, I mean) need to take a few tips by my new favourite, Lara Avery. I need to read A Million Miles Away. STILL SOBBING HERE.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

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Reading Progress

April 29, 2016 – Shelved
April 29, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 29, 2016 – Shelved as: physical-arcs
July 13, 2016 – Started Reading
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-favourites
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: chick-lit
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: cute
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: 50000-stars
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-reads
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: death-sickness
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: gorgeous-male-character
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: i-feel-it-in-the-heart
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: in-high-school
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: freaking-amazing
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: favorites
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: expected-worse
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: love-triangles
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: made-me-fangirl
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: sad-depressing-read
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: kept-me-up-late-at-night
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: male-perspective
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: something-special
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: too-good
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: yum
July 16, 2016 – Shelved as: tough-subjects
July 16, 2016 – Finished Reading

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