When I picked this book up, I was a little bit worried it would become another The One Memory of Flora Banks situation where the whole memory loss thing becomes a weird plot point. I was, however, really pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book!

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is The Memory Book by Lara Avery.

The story follows Sammie, a girl who always has a plan. After high school, she is going to NYU to become a human rights lawyer. She's a pro on the debate team and while her family life isn't always amazing, she has a loving family. When she is diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that causes her to lose her memory and could affect the picture-perfect future she has set for herself, she begins to write her life story to Future Sam, so she won't forget what is going on. After an old crush comes back into her life, Sammie thinks things are going to work out - that is, until she has her first episode and gets a chance to get to know her childhood best friend again.

First of all, I know next to nothing about Niemann-Pick, so I really cannot speak to Avery's accuracy in the portrayal of the disease. I will say that she did a really good job portraying her memory loss as an integral part of the story, not just tacking it on as a plot point, something I've noticed in similar books. Not only is the memory loss a part of the story, but it is a part of the disease and Sammie's personality and character is built around it.

I also thought the way Avery handled the way the story was written was really well done. It's told basically in the form of a letter, or a first-person narrative to a second person audience. Sammie is writing to Future Sam, who can go back and re-read the passages to try and make sense of things. I think this was a brilliant way to set up the story, to focus on the need to repeat and remember things without becoming too tedious.

I really enjoyed Sammie as a character, she was such a strong lead but still showed emotions when she needed to. She was also a refreshingly feminist character who truly embodied all the positives of what that label means. Her idols were amazing female role models who made a difference and I really loved reading about them and her connections to them.

I think the only thing that brings my rating of this book down just a little bit was the romance. I just don't think the relationship between Sammie and Stuart was super necessary for the story. I don't think it took anything away per se, but I also don't think it really added too much. Plus, I'm always a sucker for an underdog, so I was rooting for a different ship.

What struck me most about this book was how real and emotional this book was. I knew it was going to be hard going in, but by the end, Avery had really sucked me in. It's been a long time since I sympathized with and related to a character so much and I really appreciated that aspect of the story.

Overall, a really surprising and great read!