Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mother-Daughter Release Day Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks 
Author: Emily Barr
Publisher: Philomel Books 
Source: Publisher 
Published: May 2nd, 2017 
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: 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.


"It's not a lie if you can't remember the truth."

Michele's thoughts: 

Flora Banks won’t remember you if she met you after the age of ten. She was ten years old when she had the brain operation that left her with no short-term memory. Her only memories are from before she was ten. If she knew you before then, it might take her a minute to recognize you, and she’ll be surprised that you’ve aged. She’ll be surprised when she looks at her own reflection and sees that she is not ten years old but that she is a 17-, almost 18-year-old young woman. If you’re a post-brain operation acquaintance and you haven’t seen Flora for a day, a few hours, or sometimes even thirty minutes, you’ll need to reintroduce yourself to her. Because she will have forgotten you. Because Flora forgets everything. Flora has anterograde amnesia, and on her arms are notes and reminders and names. A tattoo of her name marks her hand with the words Be Brave directly underneath. She has tons of post-it notes and a notebook that tells her story so that when she gets confused, she won’t panic. She’ll just read her notebook telling her who she is and why she is the way she is, and Flora will remember this… for a little while, before she has to start all over again. Flora has a best friend, Paige, whom she has known since she was four years old and who loves her and looks after her whenever her parents cannot. But Flora kissed Paige’s boyfriend Drake, and the notes remind her that Paige is not her friend anymore. But Flora doesn’t need notes to remind her that she and Drake have kissed… because for the first time since her surgery, Flora remembers something. This one thing. This one moment. This is the one memory of Flora Banks.

What follows as Flora begins quite the journey in her quest to find the boy who made her remember something is… well, for a mother, scary. For a friend, shocking. But for Jacob? Overjoying and anticipated. There is so much more to this story than the synopsis hints at. Things that took me by complete surprise. And yet, this book won’t be for everybody; and I wish I could change that. I hope you’ll give it a chance and be patient with Flora. Because Flora will repeat herself. A lot. For me, the repetitiveness of certain things only put me more into the mind of the character. Flora will forget things that the reader remembers. And she might not share all the details from one moment to the next because she has already forgotten them. But Flora is amazing. She is brilliant and she is brave. And she is worth your time to get to know her.

This is one of the books. The kind of book that when fellow readers ask for recommendations, for a book that is unique, for a book that will stay with them forever, for a book that will make them feel every emotion… The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr will be at the top of the list that I give them. I know there will be readers who will lose patience with Flora. I know there will be readers who might not “get it,” but it won’t stop me from recommending it for the sole purpose of getting it into the hands of the readers who will. I’m so in love with Flora and Jacob, and I am so happy this author broke my heart and glued it back together. Mostly, I’m just elated to have this book in my life and to have shared it with my daughter. Flora wouldn’t remember us, but we’ll never forget her.

Mckenzie's thoughts: 

This is another book that Mom and I share the same feelings on. She pretty much hit the nail on the head with both our thoughts on this one, and I don't want to be repetitive; so I'd like to talk a bit about my experience reading it.

Sometimes you read a particular book, and you're filled with an overwhelming sense of awe and admiration and something else you aren't quite able to put into the right words, along with the feeling that you've just experienced something remarkable and important. I've been lucky to find several books that have evoked these kinds of feelings in me, the feelings of something nameless but wonderful. But so far, I had never found one quite this powerful. But then I found The One Memory of Flora Banks. Or rather, it found me and my mom. When it arrived in the mail, I sensed something special in it. When I opened it up for the first time, turned to part one, and began to read, I felt it. Right away. Flora is the kind of character that inserts herself directly into your heart within the span of a few minutes, and her story is the kind that makes you feel and the kind that makes you think. And I haven't been able to stop thinking since I turned the very last page and lay the book down. The characters inside these pages pulled me in with them, and as I read I became a part of this story. Flora has quickly become one of my favorite characters, as have Jacob and Toby and Agi. I'm beyond impressed that this is the author's young adult debut; it was captivating and inspiring and strong, and I felt so connected to it. I want to relive it again and again and feel those indescribable feelings that only a very special book can bring about. The One Memory of Flora Banks was a truly unique and beautiful story, and I'm so grateful to have read it.

"Live your life. Flora, be brave."

Thank you to the publisher for providing us with a copy of this book in exchange for our honest reviews. The two quotes used in this review are taken from an uncorrected galley and are subject to change. 

© at A Belle's Tales

  

20 comments:

  1. Wonderful review ladies. I love when you sense right away that a book is special. I am adding this to my list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kimba! We're thrilled you're adding this to your list! We believe you'd really love this one.

      Delete
  2. Great review...I'd never heard of this but it sounds fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melissa! It really is a terrific book :)

      Delete
  3. We've talked about this but damn your reviews make it sound even better. This is definitely one of those books that won't connect with everyone but with the people it does connect with it'll be special. Wonderful reviews!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, sweets! It's one of those that you can't stop thinking about, and it's just so unique!

      Delete
  4. I will have to give this one a chance because I am so intrigued by Flora and her condition. I love these books that explore these different mental conditions. Did you two check out Under a Rose Tainted Sky?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad, Heidi -- it's such a special book, and we'd love to hear your thoughts once you've read it :) We have started Under a Rose Tainted Sky, and we're liking it <3

      Delete
  5. What a great review ladies! This book sounds very special and I am adding it to my list of books to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! We are so happy that you're adding it. We hope you love it as much as we did <3

      Delete
  6. This sounds like such a special book and I loooooooove the mother-daughter collab! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So very special -- we can't stop thinking about it <3 Aww, thank you, Jenn :D

      Delete
  7. Glad to hear you both loved this one. It sounds fascinating and I am definitely adding it to my list. Books that stay with you for a long time are wonderful to learn about. I hadn't heard of this book before- so thanks for your reviews. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely is fascinating; I hope you get a chance to read it soon, Jess :)

      Delete
  8. Oh gosh! I'm really convinced. I want to try this one. Awesome review ladies :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vanessa! We think you'll love this one :)

      Delete
  9. OMG, another AWESOME review!! From each of you!! I LOVED reading each one!! You both work SO well together! The "Dynamic Duo" does it again!! YAAAAASS!!

    This story reminds me of the movie, "50 First Dates", which happens to be one of my favorite movies. Have you guys seen it? I've seen it a few times, and it makes me tear up as well as laugh. It sure sounds like this book will have the same effect on me. i want to meet and get to know ALL of these great characters! But most of all, of course, I want to get to know Flora. She sounds like a VERY special person indeed!

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this one! I've seen it on display at B&N, too!! SUPER SMOOOSHY TACKLE HUGS!!!! <3 <3 :) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, sweet friend! Those are such kind words! We really enjoy reading together; we wish we had more time to do these more often <3 At first, 50 First Dates did come to mind; but this is a bit more poignant. Because 50 First Dates is one of your favorite movies, we think you would enjoy this. We'd love for you to meet Flora, and we hope that you will read this one when you can. Thank you so much for this lovely comment *SUPER SMOOSHY TACKLE HUGS* <3 <3 <3

      Delete
  10. I love when you guys post a double review :D I absolutely love your daughter's take on YA books because I feel like it's super important to see where they stand closer to the age that it most likely cause most of the impact.
    I'm glad to see that despite some of the faults and why other's might not enjoy this book that both of you find the character as someone you can connect to.
    Glad to hear it was moving and it sounds like it will stay with you guys for a while.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you so much, Lily! I love getting her take on it as well; we have some great discussions after reading YA books -- the main reason I still read them ;) Yes, I think Flora stole our hearts and will stay with us forever :)

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by our blog! We don't participate in blog tags, and this is an award-free blog; but we do love making new bookish friends. Happy Reading!