In The Hope Of Memories by Olivia Rivers is not only one of the first books I read this year but also one of the best I’ve read in a while. This book gives me everything I’ve been looking for and more. Also, it’s super diverse!
In The Hope Of Memories by Olivia Rivers
Hope is dying.
Hope Jackson has lived her short life to the fullest, but her four closest friends are dangling on the brink of disaster. Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.
Hope is dead.
Two days after her heart fails, Hope’s friends are thrown together:
Aiden, her best friend, whose plans to attend college have been scattered by his OCD.
Kali, her foster sister, whose last ties to sanity are as razor-thin as her anorexic waistline.
Erik, her high school crush, whose success as an athlete is based on a lie with no end in sight.
And Sam, her online pen-pal, whose perfect life exploded into chaos in the aftermath of a school bombing.
Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will need to confront their personal demons head on.
Hope is within reach.
The book has four main characters (Erik, Aiden, Kali, Sam), and they are all amazing and wonderful and also really broken.
My favourite character is
possibly probably certainly Sam. Sam does not identify as either a girl or a boy. I knew the moment someone asked what gender they had, and they responded simply with “I’m Sam”, I was going to love them. They’re so unique, and I’ve never read any book with a nonbinary character and it honestly opened my eyes. ALSO they have a cat named Schrodinger and if that doesn’t make you love them I don’t know what does. Aiden is definitely my second favourite character. But I loved all of the characters, in their own silly/weird/funny way they were all amazing.
“You throw punches like a girl.”
“That’s sexist and rude.”
“You know what’s also rude? Punching perfect strangers in the face.”
KALI: ok, so maybe jensen ackles is cute. kind of.
AIDEN: no maybes. he’s really hot.
we all whip our attention toward the corner aiden’s in, but he just shrugs.
AIDEN: i don’t need to be homosexual to know if a guy’s handsome.
If you’re looking for representation of a certain disease, disorder or personality trait, you’ve probably found the right book. The book is so diverse: it hase characters of different races (black (sorry I don’t know what country), Filipina-Latina (biracial), Russian), and so many different disorders/traits/issues etc. I’m just going to list the majority of them: autism spectrum disorder, OCD, colour blindness, anxiety, depression, photographic memory, suicidal thoughts, anorexia, growing up without parents/in the foster system, LHON syndrome (going blind), allergies, claustrophobia, and maybe even more. Even though the story has so many heavy topics, it’s not a heavy book. The book is actually quite funny sometimes and it’s not written in a way that it will make you feel depressed. Which is something I really appreciated, I don’t like books that make you feel bad.
The story is not about love, there are some love interests, but they’re not what the story is about. There also is not that much told about the sexual orientation of the characters (except for Erik and Sam, but I wouldn’t know how to define Sam’s sexual orientation, since they’re nonbinary). What the story is about is four very broken teens, who all have problems in their lives, with their health and with their family, and it is about Hope brought them together. It is about their love for Hope and the difference between being live and living.
ME: something wrong?
AIDEN: hope’s dead.
ME: other than out best friend being dead?
AIDEN: we live on earth.
ME: other than our best friend being dead and us being stuck on the galactic capital of unfairness?
AIDEN: they have the geology section next to the books on romantic relationships.
The four of them get together and have to solve clues in order to follow Hope’s scavenger hunt. The story itself is not what makes this book special, it is the characters. The book is build upon the characters and I love the way they interact. I love how they all have such a distinct voice, way of speaking and have their own opinions. The chapters are all written from a character’s point of view, and what I think Olivia did incredibly well was to make it so apparent from the writingstyle who’s POV it was.
I would recommend this book to anyone. If you love books with good representation, with a very diverse cast and and amazing characters, this is the book for you (and I honestly can’t imagine anyone not loving books like that). The only reason I think you could dislike this book was if you don’t like the characters, and I can’t imagine that either because they’re wonderful. I don’t understand why this book isn’t a major best-seller yet, it has been out for almost a year and I haven’t even heard of it before. I am giving it 5 stars because it is just so good! It is one of my favourites and NOW GO READ IT!
(seriously what are you still doing here? Read it)
Good things don’t disappear just because you can’t see them.
I have received this book via NetGalley, but this has not affected my opinions in any way.