Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Forgetting backward, remembering forward. That is how London Lane's brain works. She is a normal teenage girl who, when she falls asleep every night, loses all memories of that day. She writes herself notes each night with little hints and facts of what happened that day and what is going to happen tomorrow. Her "memories" are actually flash-forwards that provide her with a little help of how to get through each day. Interesting concept right?
Cat Patrick's debut young adult novel is startlingly creative and mind-boggling. I honestly thought it was just going to be a cool contemporary read with a little twist. But as soon as I read that the protagonist remembers forward I started to really try and figure out as much as I could about the story instead of just breezing through it. London starts to "remember" a funeral and the more "memories" she has of this funeral the more details appear. Not only is this a twisted contemporary read, it starts to turn into a mystery as well.
London has always just accepted forgetting what happens everyday and relies on her notes and her best friend to help her through the day. London's mom is a single mother who doesn't really speak of her husband or anything from the past. She helps London cope with the memory loss and is very patient when she doesn't remember trivial details. When she meets Luke everything starts to change. He is the all around cute boy who takes an interest in London. She tries her hardest to not let him find out her amnesia issue. The characters don't appear to be very complex in this book, there isn't much emotional growth evident. This is based solely on the fact that London literally meets most of them all over again every day. The only ones that she can remember day-to-day are the ones she can see in her future.
The story is told through London's perspective so you can only see what she sees. As the book progresses you realize that maybe she forgot something crucial from before the start of the book and we, as the reader, never got to know that because it is all ready lost. Even though the writing is simple and fun, you have to really pay attention to catch any clues that may be relevant later and that London will just forget. There are some cliched romantic moments in this book but that's what made it fun. In my opinion, it was done well as a teen read but I would love to have seen it take a darker twist. The concept could definitely open up a world of possibilities for a very deep, thought-provoking story.
As a young adult book though I thought it was done very well. Definitely one of those books that sticks with you and makes you thankful for something you may take for granted: memory. 4 out of 5 stars, middle of the bookshelf, enjoyable and thought provoking. Ironic that a book called Forgotten can be so memorable.