ARC Review: The Memory Book – Lara Avery

30316954Release Date: 26th January 2017
Publisher: Hachette
Pages: 357
Find it: Amazon. Goodreads.

A gut wrenching story about a young girl with a rare disease.


“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.


Well, that was painful to read. I had to wait a while to write a review of this one. I had to let the book sink in a little bit. The story follows Sammie as she deals with losing her memory and the effects of this rare disease. She’s a fascinating character. A bright young thing with a wonderful future, until that’s no longer possible. She’s a smart girl, and she’s determined to live her life no matter what. She doesn’t shy away from difficulty, and that was one of the many things I loved about her character. She’s an ordinary young girl, doing things most of us have done – she reads a book at a party – I can definitely admit to doing that.

The subject is a difficult one to broach, and the book is certainly a heartbreaking one. I did feel the ending was a bit abrupt, but that did add to the shock and overall feeling of the story. I also found it difficult to get used to the writing style. It’s a mixture of journals and notes, little snapshots of Sammie’s life. I loved the whole family unit in the book. The characters were very human and very life like, they make mistakes and do things wrong, and I think that definitely made the story seem so much more realistic and relatable.

I must admit I wasn’t so keen on the romance aspects of this story. While it obviously plays a large part in the book, I didn’t think it flowed as well as the rest of the story. I was much more interested in Sammie’s friendships and other relationships, as opposed to her romance with Stuart. It doesn’t detract from the story too much though. It is definitely still a tense and worthwhile read.

The Memory Book is definitely a book that stays with you when you’ve finished it. I also stress that you will never at least a box of tissues with you when reading it. This kind of book really isn’t the kind of thing I would normally read, but I’m so glad I did. It’s a wonderful, thought-provoking story. And if you’re a fan of books like The Fault in Our Stars, you’ll adore this one.

Leave a Reply