Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ARC Review : The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Title : The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author : Emily Barr
Genre : YA contemporary
Release Date : January 12th, 2017
Publisher : Penguin UK


Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora's brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life. 

With little more than the words "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

*I receive an eARC via Netgalley in exchange of honest review. Thank you Penguin Random House UK for the book!

"Flora, be brave"
When I first saw this book on Netgalley, it reminds me of the movie 50 First Dates, which I've watched several times and loved. So naturally, I requested it. I didn't really have a high expectations on this one other than hoping to enjoy it, which I, unfortunately, didn't.

Here's the thing : I think it was a "it's not you, it's me" case. Given that Flora Banks has anterograde amnesia, I should've expected that there will be a lot repetition in this book. And by "a lot", I mean A LOT, like a scene could be written 5 times. Sadly, I didn't expect it, which makes me extremely bored while reading this book and end up skimming like, two third of it. Also, the repetition made this book kinda pointless in my opinion. This really saddened me because Emily Barr has such a beautiful writing, but because of the repetitive nature, I couldn't enjoy it like I want to.

Another thing that made this book didn't work for me is the MC herself, Flora Banks. Not because I hate her, but more because I couldn't connect with her at all. If she's a normal teenager without anterograde amnesia, I'm pretty sure I would hate her. Not to mention, the whole I-kiss-someone-so-he-must-be-my-true-love thingy is annoying. But then, she's not, so whenever I feel annoyed about her (which is almost all the time, by the way), I feel really bad. Still, that doesn't change the fact that I couldn't understand her.

In conclusion, there were some good things that I actually like from this book. I do love Flora's relationship with her brother (eventhough there's only a little of it) and the time Flora spends in Norway. I honestly didn't know whether to recommend it or not. So I guess it depends, if you don't mind repetition, I think you'll find that this book is beautiful. But if you're like me (who gets bored easily, I guess?), then I think you better skip it.

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