Feb 28, 2011

Review - Memento Nora by Angie Smibert


Memento Nora by Angie Smibert
April 1st 2011 by Marshall Cavendish Children's Books

From the Publisher:
Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.


Review:
Set 30-40 years in to the future, New York City isn't exactly paradise. Police patrol the city and there are mandatory curfews in place. People try to stay "glossy" by shopping from their cars and phones, but the truth is, unless you live in a compound with high security, the city is not the ideal place to live. After seeing a gruesome murder, Nora takes her first trip to the TFC - Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. With one tiny pill, Nora can forget the incident ever happened. The TFC is the first time she meets Micah, a boy who spells trouble with a capital T. Micah lives in a seemingly abandoned building inhabited by the cities mutts, and at one point was homeless. He isn't exactly a boy you would want to take home to meet your father, but soon Nora and Micah, with the help of Micah's friend Winter, begin to wonder why everyone needs to have their memory erased at the TFC. Why would a city that abides to a curfew witness so many events that memories need to constantly be erased? Soon, with the help of memories they refuse to let go, they begin to make connections to the pill, city violence, and the TFC. Only problem is....who can they trust, and how can they pretend to be "glossy" when the world around them is literally being blown apart. 

Memento Nora is a great blend of violence, mystery, suspense, and romance. We aren't smothered with futuristic terms and devices. Instead, Smibert spends her time painting a dark and gloomy picture of a decaying New York City. Abandoned buildings, ram-shackled houses, and boarded up businesses are described with ominous detail. It is something no wants to see in the future. When she isn't horrifying us with descriptions of a destroyed city, Smibert spends her time shaping the personalities of three young people. Nora, Micah, and Winter seem to have few things in common, but when their lives overlap, they are unstoppable. Told from their point of view, we jump from the three friends perspectives at just the right moments to keep us staying tuned and the pages turning.

There are a few side characters, Winter's grandfather and Nora's mother, for example, that are notable in their own right. I loved the way Nora's mother's story unfolds through the eyes of her daughter, Nora. We sense something isn't quite right after her first confession at the TFC, but I didn't want to imagine what was eventually uncovered. Oh, the secrets...the lies! Not everything is predictable. This novel goes by quickly, it's not even 200 pages. I'll be honest, I wanted more, but I so love that this book is a stand alone. OR, I should say, could be a stand alone. Either way...it's a winner!

Sidenote: Book #2The Forgetting Curve is a go!

4.5 Stars

21 comments:

  1. I can't wait to read this book. It's so wierd that it seems the most likely (of the futuristic novels I've read) to actually happen. At least to me. Thanks for the review.

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  2. I've heard great things about this book and I really can't wait to have it between my hands =) !! I really like the cover too : it's really simple but I don't know, the colors are so pretty !!
    Thanks for your review Jen ;)

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  3. This one sounds good. I have seen the cover floating around in blogland, but have not actually read a review yet. Thanks!

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  4. This book sounds awesome. I can't wait to read it & less than 200 pages will make it a fast read. I can already tell that I will want more! haha. Great review!

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  5. Great review--I can't wait to read this book! Looks like a good one.

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  6. I LOVED this book! So glad to see that you did, too. Can't wait to see what everyone else things! Very spot on review!

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

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  7. I love dystopian books! There seem to be a lot more of them lately and this one is definitely one I would love to check out!
    lexie.bookbug(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  8. Great review Jen! I loved Memento Nora as well. And I hope there will be a sequel!

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  9. I'm really glad to read you enjoyed this one though I hate that it's so short. Thanks for the honest review. Can't wait to grab my own copy!

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  10. Wonderful review. I can't wait for another great dystopian read. This really does sound fantastic.

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  11. Thanks for the review. I just recently heard about this book and have been curious to learn a bit more. The premise sounds quite interesting.

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  12. Hm, this is a very inetresting review and a very interesting book - I like the idea of the power of memories, I am not sure exactly why, but it seems to be a very powerful concept that is worth looking into. Thank you for the review!

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  13. I'm really excited about this book! Can't wait to read it. Great Review!!

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  14. I'm totally adding this to my wish list! :D

    --Brielle

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  15. Great review! I really enjoyed this one!

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  16. Great review! I can't wait to read this one, really looking forward to it!

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  17. This sounds so good and different. Love the cover

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  18. i've heard so many things about this book, it sounds awesome!

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  19. This sounds a bit like Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse". I can't wait to read it!

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  20. I wonder what the world would be like if that kind of pill existed, I'm eager to read this book :)

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