The Memory Book by Lara Avery was a Barnes and Noble find. Honestly, I could get lost in that store. And so could any resemblance of good money management. When I skimmed the back cover of this book, however, I knew I had to get it. The premise was fascinating, and became even more fascinating when I realized that I had misunderstood it initially.
Sammie is ready to conquer the world. It’s her senior year of high school, she’s on the debate team with a shot for winning nationals, her grades are top notch, she’s set to be valedictorian, and she is preparing to go to her dream school next fall. It’s incredible how something as small as hand tremors and and the sudden disappearance of her depth perception can drastically change everything for the worse. A diagnosis: a rare genetic disease that should have already killed her and soon will. But first, it will take her memories, her handle on herself, and her ability to function like a normal teenager. Essentially, she is a teenage dementia patient and there is no cure.
Determined to beat the odds and help herself remember, Sammie starts keeping a memory book. Just a simple Word document on her laptop, this “book” is intended to save her life. She records her day to day life, struggles, triumphs, significant memories, and more through this memory book. As the reader, you watch Sammie go from a bright, driven, hardworking eighteen-year-old with the rest of her life in front of her, to someone facing memory gaps and loss.
The Memory Book was one that I could not put down. It hit close to home, watching Sammie go through an illness no one understood that she could not control. I felt her pain and struggles as she tried desperately to fight against the odds and be the one to beat what was supposed to kill her. I fought along with her as she fought to remember, fought to stay who she was. If you read this book, you will feel every emotion, and you will weep. The ending had me in tears, unsure of whether I could put this book down and still be the same person I was when I picked it up. The Memory Book was just that good.
The Memory Book by Lara Avery gets 5/5 stars.