Saturday, June 25, 2011
by Angie Smibert
In the future, it doesn't pay to remember.
In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. 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 called Memento. It's 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? (description from Amazon.com)
Short. Succinct. Intriguing. Well Done!
Though this book was smaller than I'd imagined, (which originally made me nervous) Smibert packs a ton of punch into this little book. The world is close enough to our own, that once the TFC centers were described and you understood that taking pills made you forget...well, whatever...you were pretty much all set. So simple, and yet so freaking scary. This is the type of book that seems utterly plausible. Both terrifying and absorbing.
With short chapters that jump between the three main characters' points of view, you had to pay attention to who was speaking and how things all played into the larger picture...and yet, that was not at all hard to do. Each character felt distinct and had their own easily discernable motives for their part in creating Memento.
While I loved each character, what struck me even more once I'd finished the book was the adults around them, in their lives. For the adults play a much stronger role in this story than you would originally think.
When each teen forgets the existence of Memento, it is the adults in their lives that continue the story. Even if Nora, Micah, and Winter never even realize it.
Each teen greatly influences the adults around them...inspiring them to solve their own issues, to stand up for what they believe in, to truly see the others around them. I found inspiration in that. In today's world where we've become self-absorbed, it is rare for an adult to admit that another adult has greatly influenced them...let alone a teen. Too often they get written off...
Kudos to a fantastic debut by Angie Smibert.
2011 Debut Author Challenge