Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Memento Nora

What if you could remove an unpleasant memory just by talking about it and then taking a pill. Would you do it?


That's the premise of Memento Nora, a dystopian YA novel by Angie Smibert. Angie and I are in the same SCBWI crit group, so that's how I first learned about her book—which will be out from Marshall Cavendish in early April, but is available now for pre-order on Amazon. Order it now; it's that good.

Memento Nora—set a bit in the future when people with troubling memories can visit a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic to rid themselves of unpleasant memories—is told by three teens who all attend Homeland High School: Nora, the main character; Micah, a skater who mouths the word "remember" to Nora at the TFC; and Winter, a Japanese girl who lives with her grandfather because her parents were taken to Detention years earlier, creates elaborate mechanical sculptures. The characters are well-crafted and believable. So is the plot.

I was fortunate to receive an advance reader copy. Once I started reading Memento Nora, I couldn't put it down. I finished it in two days.

Memento Nora began as a short story, originally published in the May/June 2008 issue of Odyssey magazine. You can read the short story here. The novel, of course, goes way beyond the short story and introduces more characters and some disturbing themes—what is real? who can you trust? That these are concerns of the intended YA readership makes Memento Nora a great book for classroom study.

But the book transcends the target readership. Older readers will also enjoy it. If you enjoyed 1984 and Brave New World back in the day, you'll like Memento Nora.

Check out the book trailer:

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 need to remember.

With newfound friends Micha and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called 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?

Will they? You'll have to read the book to find out. Don't forget to buy it when it comes out in April 2011—or pre-order it now from Amazon.



I can't tell the whole plot without giving away some twists and surprises that you'll enjoy more if you discover them for yourself. But the back of the book gives you a hint:  

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 need to remember.

With newfound friends Micha and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called 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?

Will they? You'll have to read the book to find out. Don't forget to buy it when it comes out in April 2011—or pre-order it now from Amazon.
~

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6 Comments:

Blogger Angie Smibert said...

Aw shucks. Thanks for the great review, Becky.

11:17 PM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

My pleasure. It's a great book.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Amy Fellner Dominy said...

Great review...and I didn't know the book began as a short story. It's such a great premise--chilling, because one of the most dangerous things we can do as a society is to forget. History that is forgotten is often repeated. Can't wait to read Angie's book!

1:30 PM  
Blogger Kiki Hamilton said...

I can't wait to read MEMENTO NORA! I just received the ARC too - yay!

2:57 PM  
Blogger Tess said...

This premise is so intriguing to me...how many times I'd like to forget certain things ... balanced against the need for information/learning/growth, etc...

I've already preordered this one. thanks for the great review!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Alissa said...

Great review! I'm really, really looking forward to reading Angie's novel!

8:00 PM  

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