♡ This is a spoiler-free review.
♡ Book Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks.
♡ Author: Emily Barr.
♡ Series: Standalone.
♡ Page Count: 303 Pages (Paperback).
♡ Genres: Young Adult & Contemporary.
♡ Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 stars.
♡ I kindly received a copy from Penguin Randomhouse South Africa for review, this has in no way affected my opinion.
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.
♡ Trigger Warning: Self-harm.
The One Memory of Flora Banks has been on my radar ever since I laid eyes on that stunning cover, throw in an intriguing synopsis and I was hooked. I really wanted this book to blow me away like it did for so many other readers, but there was just too much that didn’t live up to my expectations.
At the beginning I was super excited to read about a character that suffered from amnesia and I was excited to see how it was going to be handle within the story. But I quickly lost all forms of excitement when Flora’s amnesia was temporarily cured by a boy. A boy/romance/kiss can’t cure an illness. That spark of genius ultimately lead to a whole different adventure that I ended up really liking.
I want to see how I can exist by myself. I want to be allowed to live inside my memory.
I loved the way Flora grew as a character and discovered herself. I loved when she went on this great adventure and discovered all these amazing things. I loved when she was a little independent despite the fact that she had the memory of a goldfish. But I was also kind of put of by the fact that Flora’s parents just left her alone with her illness while they went of to Paris, for good reason, but none the less. The absent parent trope is never an enjoyable one and it is less so when the kid is “sick”. I know that they thought that Paige (her best friend and also a teenager) was with her, but the moment things got fishy they should’ve gone to fetch her.
I appreciated how Barr wanted you to feel like you’re inside Flora’s brain by constantly repeating things and constantly going in circles, because Flora can literally not remember a single thing (accept that she kissed Drake). But I felt that the writing was a bit lackluster and the repetitiveness got a bit much, all this made it feel like a middle grade novel at times.
I didn’t hate this book, there were just certain things that I had a problem with. I actually loved the message of self love and growth that this book wanted to portray. I know that it was about growing up, pushing boundaries and stepping outside your comfort zone and I loved this. I honestly loved the message it was portraying, I just wished that certain things were different, so I could score it a bit differently.
- The journey of self discovery and adventure.
- Flora’s character and her unique voice.
- The journey to the arctic and everything that takes places there.
- Flora’s relationship with her brother.
- The letter exchanges was great and so nostalgic.
- Absent parents of a sick child. Absent parents aren’t a cool trope anymore.
- The repetitiveness of it all just got a bit too much after a while.
- The ending was not satisfactory and it ended a bit up in the air.
I think this is one of those books where it will all depend on the type of reader you are. I will recommend it, but I don’t think it will give you a better insight into the mental health aspect of amnesia.