Book Review: The Memory Book by Lara Avery

25988934.jpgTitle: The Memory Book

Author : Lara Avery

Publisher : Poppy / Hachette Book Group

Release date : July 5th, 2016

Rating : 4.5/5

☯ Synopsis (from Goodreads) :

Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way–not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart–a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.

⚜ Review :


Avery constructed the book in the form of a journal. Each entry is an event in the life of Sammie “Sam” McCoy, in which she relates what she thinks, what she does, who she meets, etc. In her own words, it’s quite a “feelingsy” novel. The way she introduces herself and her thoughts to us make it feel personal, even to the readers. It’s not just personal for her, we also feel involved in her life. I really like how she thinks, as I can see myself in the way her mind works.

This person has that smell like they have just been outside, you know what I mean? It’s a combination of sweat and humid air and grass and dirt, and when you’ve been inside air-conditioning all day, you can tell from just one whiff they’ve been outside doing something. (p. 19)

After years of people not understanding what I was talking about, this one sentence got me hooked on the book. I suddenly felt very protective of Sam, as she is the only one who gets what I meant. Although she makes some mistakes in her geek culture reference (p. 83), I’m willing to forgive her because she actually makes an effort to include Lord of the Rings! Hihihi! She’s such a down-to-earth person, heart-warming, determined, smart and ambitious. She deserves all the respect in the world, for fighting through such a disease and still being optimistic.

Optimism does not have to be blind. (p. 171)

Apart from Sam, I really liked the other characters as well. From her mom, to Coop, to Stuart. Although they aren’t exactly complex, I really liked their presence in Sam’s life. Since her disease made her existence that much more difficult, complex characters would have brought too much weight to the story, and it wouldn’t have been such a good one if it was too heavy.

All in all, it was a lovely and heart-warming read, that I would recommend for people who are looking for an emotional, but strong character.


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