Meet, Flora Banks, one of my new favourite characters. To be honest, I don’t even remember (no pun intended) that I requested this book from NetGalley, but I am so happy I did! The One Memory of Flora Banks is written by Emily Barr and is a story of a very special girl.
Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s 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 one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is 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 toward reclaiming her life.
With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway—the land of the midnight sun—determined to find Drake. 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.
A remarkable and powerful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit—and the mind—against all logic.
Flora has anterograde amnesia, which means that she has no short-term memory. Her life is basically a blank from when she was ten years old, so every time she forgets she has to remind herself who she is, how old she is, who everybody around her is. And it seems like one of the scariest things I could imagine, but Flora is brave. Incredibly brave. She writes everything down and goes out in the world and manages to function (pretty much) properly.
I drift off to sleep imagining what it must be, to be normal. I imagine my head filled with clear pictures of all the things that have actually happened, just filed away so I could look back on them whenever I wanted. I cannot imagine how luxurious it would be, and I go to sleep crying at everything I have been missing. I hope that I will wake up and still be able to remember.
After reading for a few chapters and putting the book away, I was so confused. Not even a mere second, but it took me literally minutes to remember that my memory actually worked. That I didn’t need to write things down so I wouldn’t forget about them. It was one of the weirdest things that ever happened to me.
Flora has one friend she actually knows, because she knows her from when she was 4. Furthermore she knows her very protective parents and her brother. However, her brother is in Paris. So she basically has three people to rely on when things get bad, three in a world of millions. All those people she doesn’t recognize, she doesn’t remember. My favourite character is of course, Flora but her friend Paige and her brother Jacob are amazing too. I can’t imagine the patience they must have with a friend like her. And both of them believe in her so much!
Even though, this story seems to be a love story, it really isn’t the main story. Flora kissed a boy on the beach and that is the only memory she was able to keep. But this is the story of Flora, of how she gets out in the world and discovers how it is to be brave (again and again).
I am giving this book ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars), because it is an amazing book with a very lovable cinnamon roll main character (please protect her at all cost while she discovers the world!). The only thing that was slightly annoying was the repetition, because she only has one memory, she repeats it a lot, and I understand why, but it was getting a little annoying sometimes. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary books about people on a road to self-discovery and growing up. This book reminded me of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (which is also awesome by the way!), so if you liked that book you should really read this one as well! I will definitely keep my eye out for other books by Emily Barr.
The book will come out on January 12th 2017.