Author: Angie Smibert
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
ARC, 184 pages
Date Published: April 1, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
A teen struggles to hold onto her memories-and her identity-in a world that wants everyone to forget-and keep on shopping. Three dynamic teens come together to create a comic book of their memories. Ages 13+
Set in the not-too distant future, Nora, Winter, and Micah are three teens held in Detention, telling their stories just before their memories are to be erased. We get to see how these three teens wound up on the receiving end of a power-hungry government's wrath.
Smibert has layered this story with three strong, intelligent, and remarkable characters that, together, stand up to expose the truth, but separately, have their own stories to share. Nora's pretty, rich girl life is contrasted by Micah's poor, skater boy lifestyle, and Winter's bitter and socially abrasive attitude, but work together to create this powerful force. In making a comic (titled Memento) that depicts what's really happening in their world, Nora, Micah, and Winter are able to connect with people in ways no other groups have.
Somewhere along the way--you'll know where when you read it--these three refused to take the forgetting pill. They decided that their memories and some things, needed to be remembered, were worth remembering.
Angie Smibert's writing is simple, fluid, and absolutely clear. There's suspense, confusion, anger, a feeling of building tension and resistance, and even a smidge of romance thrown in. Each character plays an important role, some more important than it seems possible at first. And even though this future society resembles our own, Smibert ties it back to the present day with references to actual events, publications, and even pop culture. The geek in me jumped up in down when Harry Potter appeared, then Maus, then a Ninja Warrior reference.
This debut is taut with tension and suspense. The reader knows the end outcome, but can't help but fly through the short number of pages to see exactly how Nora, Micah, and Winter get there. It's a little terrifying to consider that this could be a reality, but it could. It's not unimaginable to have a controlling government and a little pill that will make you forget all your troubles. It's not unimaginable, but if I were ever in that position, I only hope I'm strong enough to fight to remember.
Opening line: I'm about to forget everything I'm going to tell you. ~ pg. 1
Favorite lines/passages: "It comes back up on you sometimes," he said as quietly as the breeze rustling through the trees. "The things we're supposed to forget." ~ pg. 84
*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
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