ARC Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

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I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Stars: 4.5/5

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

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The One Memory of Flora Banks is the kind of book that will keep you hooked. This story is about a girl who is unable to create new memories and travels to Norway in hopes of restoring her memory. I loved the suspense that comes along with the unreliable narrator and the bond between Flora and her brother. I absolutely recommend this book!

This book has a concept that drew me in right from the beginning. Flora Banks is a girl with amnesia who is unable to create new memories for herself. She has to remind herself who she is and what she’s doing every few hours. However, after kissing her best friend’s boyfriend, she is able to retain that memory, so she secretly follows him to Norway where he is studying. As Flora frequently forgets her identity, she has to give herself reminders often, which took a bit of getting used to. Getting a recap on everything Flora knows about her life does get a bit old. Nevertheless, the content of the book is still amazing, and there are some epic plot twists.

Because of Flora’s amnesia, she is a very unreliable narrator. I love the suspense that comes along with these types of narrators, so I really enjoyed Flora’s character. She is also so determined to find Drake and hopefully remember more about herself, which I admired. I really sympathized with Flora because of her inability to make memories, but also because others know more about her than she does. I can’t imagine a life that resets every day, but Flora is good at enduring that and staying strong. Her personal motto is “Be brave,” and she definitely abides by it during her adventures.

Another aspect of the book that I adored is the bond between Flora’s brother, Jacob, and herself. Jacob is the ideal brother. He is living in another country, but is still so supportive. He is patient with Flora when she forgets who she is and is protective of her despite being severely ill himself. I can’t say much else about Jacob’s efforts to help Flora for fear of spoilers, but prepare yourselves for a super emotional ending.

The One Memory of Flora Banks is a story about a girl with amnesia. The main character is brave and creates so much suspense. I loved the strong relationship between Flora and her brother, as well. This is such an incredible novel that I would definitely recommend, even if it is a bit of a tear-jerker.

8 thoughts on “ARC Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

  1. cw @ readthinkponder says:

    Ooh, this is the second review I’ve read of this book, so thank you for writing this!
    I enjoy reading books with unreliable narrators, and I don’t think I’ve read one in awhile. I heard the ‘science’ behind this is quite inaccurate(? I’m not sure!), but I’m pleased to hear that there’s a good story. 🙂

    Like

  2. Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages says:

    I read this a while ago (it was published earlier in UK/AUS) and I did NOT like it at all! I couldn’t connect with the characters, it all seemed so repetitive (I know that was supposed to be the point but it was super frustrating), the plot seemed so unrealistic with her going off to the Arctic and being able to manage there without having any recent memories. I hated how distant Jacob was and I spent the entire book thinking her parents had made him up (and on that note, who leaves their child alone like that and goes?) and I disliked it immensely! I know there are arguments both for and against this but it just didn’t sit well with me! Thanks for the review though and good to hear you enjoyed it!

    Like

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