The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
A cross between Memento and Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, this is a unique, breathtaking page-turner about a girl with no short-term memory and her remarkable journey to find the one boy able to penetrate her fractured mind.
Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. She lives under the careful watch of her parents, in a town she is familiar with, among people who are equally familiar with her story. She has not been able to recall any part of her past since she was ten, when the tumor that was removed from her 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 singular memory pierces Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake and their shared kiss are 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 in reclaiming her life.
With little more than the tattoo “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is, how old, where she lives, and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to the land of the midnight sun–Svalbard, Norway. There she is determined to find Drake, and to explore the romantic possibilities and hopeful future that their reunion promises her. 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.
Rich with psychological twists, powerful moments of hope, despair, and confusion, and a landscape very much a character unto itself, The One Memory of Flora Banks is an emotionally compelling and immersive read that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the depths of the human heart, and the power of the human mind.
Published May 2nd 2017 by Penguin Teen
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This book made me feel so many different feelings. I really liked it but I was also a bit frustrated at times.
I liked Flora even though she was a little slow at times and pretty naive. I thought she was a very interesting character. I did kind of annoy me that the one thing she could remember was a boy. This book did tend to be more about the boy than Flora and I would have liked it to focus more on Flora and her well being.
The One Memory of Flora Banks reminded me a bit of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver in the sense that it was repetitive. I honestly can’t think of a better way to represent Flora’s disability and situation but if you’re easily annoyed by a tedious plot, you might want to skip this book.
I did really enjoy the writing style. I thought this book was really well written and I also really liked Flora’s friendship with Paige.
Overall, I had some mixed feelings when reading this book but in the end, I enjoyed it. It’s pretty different from most books I’ve read and I really appreciate the originality.
Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (ARV: $17.99 each).
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About the author
Emily Barr (www.emilybarr.com) began her career as a journalist at the Guardian before realizing that she was drawn more toward books. After taking a year to go backpacking for a column assignment, she returned home with the idea for her first book, the New York Times bestseller Backpack, and never looked back. She has since written 11 additional books for adults. The One Memory of Flora Banks is her young adult debut. Emily lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. You can follow her on Twitter @emily_barr.