Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

From Back Cover: On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget. So Nora goes with her mother to TFC - a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take the pill that will erase it. But at TFC, a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora's life. She doesn't take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember. With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories call Memento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Angie Smibert’s Memento Nora is a short but tightly woven debut that will leave readers thinking about issues such as violence and terrorism, medicalization, consumerism and the role that governments and corporations play in society.

The novel is told from the perspective of three teenagers, Nora, Micah and Winter, each of whom has their own reason for collaborating on Memento. Aside from having their own unique story, the characters also had very distinctive voices, which I really liked. I would have been able to tell who the narrator was even without the heading showing whose viewpoint I was reading from.

I also thought that the ending was well-done though I was surprised by it. In hindsight however, I should have seen it coming! I definitely hope that there’s a sequel because I’d like to know what happens to Nora, Micah and Winter now.  

Memento Nora will be released on April 1, 2011 by Marshall Cavendish.

Comments About the Cover: Although it’s a little too dark to see the features of the model clearly, I like that it’s hard to see her because she becomes more indistinguishable from other girls. Memento is distributed secretly and the identities of Nora, Micah and Winter as the authors must remain hidden in the book. 

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received courtesy of Casey from The Bookish Type and Danya from A Tapestry of Words as part of their A Cornucopia of Dystopia event.

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For those of you who are curious: We are very far from creating a pill that can make people forget traumatic memories. Not only would this pill have to be selective for certain memories but it would also have to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain. Using vectors however, a group of neuroscientists have been successful at selectively ablating fear memory in mice. 

13 comments:

  1. I found this one really fascinating as well, and definitely thought-provoking! I should have seen the end coming as well, but like you I didn't:) Really nice review Zahida!

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  2. I loved MEMENTO NORA! So glad there is going to be a sequel!

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  3. I liked this book too and the teens I've been booktalking it to seem excited about its release date. A few weeks ago we celebrated teen tech week at the library and here is the book trailer I made for Memento Nora: http://bookjessicalover85.blogspot.com/2011/03/trailer-tuesday-memento-nora.html

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  4. Great review! I've seen a couple reviews for this book and each one gets me a bit more intrigued by it.

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  5. Fascinating information that you added at the end there! Even if we were very close to creating a pill like this, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to use one. Then again, I've never had anything horribly traumatic happen to me so maybe I would feel differently if I had...

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  6. I must admit, the idea of having my memories erased has always been one of the things that has *totally freaked me out.* I think my biggest fear is of getting Alzheimer's, or of somehow accidentally stumbling into "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and getting hooked up to one of their memory-removal machines.
    Having said that, this book sounds like a pretty neat twist on your standard dystopia (not only repressing people, but removing their memories of it!), so I'm curious to see how it will turn out!

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  7. The idea of this novel sounds amazing. I really do want to check this out for myself. Great review.

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  8. Great review and interview. It sounds very unique. I am excited to read Memento Nora :)

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  9. This book is on my wishlist! I really love it when the characters have distinct voices. And I am also very curious about that ending.

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  10. Wow! Thanks for including that little factoid.

    I'm very excited to read this story. I'm glad to hear that the POV shifts are accompanied by strong characters with distinctive voices. I think that is so important. And it just makes the story more engaging.

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  11. Nice review, I especially like that its told from different vewpoints because frame stories add a unique and authentic tone to a novel. I am eager to read Momento Nora, the whole idea is disturbing but interesting at the same time.

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  12. Thanks for the review! Yeah, I believe I read in her interview that they really are working on a drug to help PTSD sufferers normalize their memories, and that's where the inspiration for this book? Neat idea, but there could definitely be abuses. The government could use it on soldiers to "normalize" their memories of horrible events they were involved in, so that they would be more willingly to continue with the jobs asked of them. Or with child abusers or spouse abusers using it to keep someone complacent with their abuse. Hmmmmmm...I wonder...

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  13. It's such an interesting concept. I think there are a lot of people who would choose to take a pill to delete certain memories. I'm curious about how deleting an important memory might impact a personality, though. Definitely one to pick up and read. Thanks for the thoughtful review!

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