I got sent The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr via Netgalley for an honest review.
This book was such a beautiful and emotional book. It has changed the way I feel about my own memories and how lucky I am to be able to form successful memories. Reading a novel from the perspective of someone who has anterograde amnesia was eye opening and so upsetting at times. Through this book, I have begun to appreciate the idea of living in the moment and focusing more on the present rather than the past or future.
please note. trigger warning for self harm.
The One Memory of Flora Banks
author: Emily Barr
number of pages: 303
published: January 12th, 2016
my rating: 5/5 stars
“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.
The first chapter in the book was so attention grabbing and literally sucks you in,
“I am at the top of a hill, and although I know I have done something terrible I have no idea what it is.”
after reading this line I knew I was hooked. The first few lines in a book, for me, loose either make me want to continue reading or make lose interest in a book, and from this line, I knew I was going to love this book.
When I read the synopsis of this book and after I started reading the novel it bugged me that her kiss with Drake was the only memory she has been able to successfully create, however, once I’d finished the book I understood why this was so important. I was really glad to see that this didn’t follow the ‘boy meet girl and suddenly everything is okay’ trope.
As the story is told through Flora’s perspective we don’t get to see a lot from the other characters as what they say and do is often forgotten, even though Flora doesn’t remember, their actions still have a huge impact on the story. During the novel we get to see Flora’s character develop and become herself, which was really nice to read.
throughout the book we see Flora make write down everything she wants to remember, I thought this was a really nice thing to see throughout the novel and it really made me appreciate the fact that I am able to remember most things throughout the day, week etcetera.
“If I had a pen in my hand I would write that on my arm to emphasize it: ‘I am older than I think I am’. I should not wear party dresses any more. I should wear jeans”
Emily Barr wrote this book beautifully. She really thought out each and every word, so that in the end everything pieces together so nicely and so that it felt complete. Little things, that appear to be unimportant, that are mentioned in the novel then turn out to be important, and I think this added to the mystery of the novel.
I seriously recommend that you check out this book as soon as you can because it will literally change your life.
let me know if you have or haven’t read this book and what you thought/think of it in the comments