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Review | The Memory Book - Lara Avery

Title | The Memory Book 

Author | Lara Avery 

Publisher | Hachette Children's Group / Quercus Children's Books 

Genre | Teens & YA 

Source | Review Copy

Published | 26th January 2017

Rating | 5/5 


“They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember.”
Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she's going to win the national debating championship, then she's going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she'd planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. 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. Realising that her life won't wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.
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.
A life-affirming, heart-breaking and dazzling novel for fans of All the Bright Places and The Fault in Our Stars.

Lara Emery has written a highly emotive book that tingles your heart strings throughout the book - right until the very last word. I admit that I cried at several intervals throughout the book, but please don't let that deter you from reading it. The Memory Book addresses a highly emotive illness that in it's more well known state touches so many lives. I'm talking about Dementia. But can you imagine that illness taking control of your body when you are just a teenager? 

Sammie is a highly intelligent young lady who thrives on learning - she almost reminded me of Harriet from Geek Girl by Holly Smale - (I believe Harriet and Sammie would have made the best of friends had they been introduced to each other.) Sammie is ValeDictorian, she thrives on debates, on arguing her point, on memorising the most intricate details and statistics. But at 14 years old was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia. 

The story details how she writes a Memory book so that if the dementia takes over (which she believes she can get better from) then she will have a way of remembering everything - and I mean everything!  

The tender way in which Lara wrote about this topic can be only applauded, the delicate approach was clearly evident in the chapters that delved deeper into Sammie's experience. My heart slowly broke over the chapters as I felt that I was almost witnessing Sammie's battle with this rare form of dementia as it slowly took her hostage. 

I urge everyone to read this book, especially if you enjoyed reading The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (click the link to read my review). Without a doubt The Memory Book will move you and touch you deeply. This is definitely one of the books for 2017. 

Congratulations Lara for not only writing a beautiful and emotionally delicate story that touches upon a very important condition, but for raising awareness of this rare form of dementia. Before reading this, I had no idea such a condition for young people existed. 

Easily awarded 5/5 stars. 

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