The Memory Key by Liana Liu

Disclaimer: I received this ARC for free from the publisher Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.

Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology.

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

I was so intrigued by the sound of this book because as you might know I really love sci-fi books and since the summary sounded so good, I had high hopes for The Memory Key.

Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. I just didn’t care about the main character because I couldn’t connect with her. She was too annoying and childish for my taste. She didn’t speak her mind and constantly complained about things but didn’t do much to change them. The romance (if you can call it that way) was so disappointing that I lost interest in the main protagonists really fast.

The plot wasn’t that bad and I wanted to find out what happened to Lora’s mother but when we finally did find out about it I wasn’t shocked or surprised as I should have been. I didn’t like her mother at all and I didn’t like the relationship between Lora’s family members either. Everything seemed so cold between them and I just couldn’t connect with anyone.

The only thing I liked about The Memory Key was the whole idea of the memory keys and the world building.

Other than that I was disappointed by this novel because I just wasn’t emotionally invested in the characters or the story.

My rating:

2.5 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Harper Collins for sending me this review copy!

Andreea

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Expected publication date: June 16th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

When I first heard about this book on Netgalley I just knew I wanted to read it because I loved the cover and because I’m very interested in this topic. Besides I had the feeling that I would like it. And I was right, I really liked Every Last Word because I was touched by the main protagonist’s story.

The book was intriguing from the start and I wanted to find out more about Sam’s disorder and what would happen to her since I really cared for her. Reading about her OCD was kind of hard for me because I have a mild case of OCD (I constantly wash my hands and repeatedly check things like doors, the oven etc.) so I could totally relate to Sam and I understood how hard her life was. Sam’s disorder is pretty severe though because it’s more on the obsessive than compulsive side and she also has these dark thoughts that are pretty scary.

Sam tries to be someone she is not – she thinks she belongs with the popular girls who have been her so-called best friends since kindergarten. She just wants to feel normal and that’s why no one knows about her disorder besides her family and her psychiatrist (who by the way is pretty awesome). But then one day she meets Caroline, who is very different from her friends and Sam just confides in her. Caroline introduces her to the Poet’s Corner and suddenly, Sam feels different and becomes more confident with each passing day. She speaks up for herself and others and she even seems to get better.

I must say that I loved the whole secret poetry club since the members were just awesome and their poems were very touching. I love poems and I’ve been writing poems for years now and thus, the whole poetry aspect of the book was very appealing to me.

The romance in this novel was very sweet and A.J. was a very nice boy who was perfect for Sam. That’s why I was so glad that Sam has finally found someone who made her feel normal and who treated her well.

There was a plot twist (I guess you could call it that way) but for me it wasn’t anything shocking because I already suspected such a thing. Still, it was really moving and I could definitely understand how Sam must have felt like when she realized what was really going on.

The ending was hopeful and appropriate and I liked it, just as much as I liked the whole book.

All in all I really enjoyed Every Last Word since I liked the writing style and the characters, and the story’s topic was really touching and made me think a lot because I’m affected by OCD myself.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Netgalley for sending me this great review copy!

Andreea