Released by Penguin on 2 May 2017
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.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has not changed my opinion in any way.
A while ago, I started hearing a lot of things about a book called The One Memory of Flora Banks, and the title surely stayed in my head for a while. When I saw it available for request, I decided to go ahead and request it. I thought it would be a cool mystery book, and I decided not to read the synopsis before diving into this book.
The One Memory of Flora Banks is about Flora, who has been unable to make new memories since the age of ten. Every day, she has to be reminded of who she is, where she is and who she’s with. Then, she kisses a boy… and she remembers it.
As I had said, I had expected this to be a kind of mystery book. I hadn’t looked at the genres on Goodreads before picking up, but from the prologue, it had seemed like a thrilling book. I was wrong. As I continued reading, I realised it was more of a contemporary book, though near the ending I was beginning to doubt it again. Confused? Yeah, so was I.
I honestly feel bad at admitting this, but at some points, I was just really annoyed by Flora’s behaviour. Sure, there’s nothing she can do about the fact that she’s ill, but her whole obsession with Drake was just so sad. She felt like he was the person who could solve all her problems and her illness by kissing her again. The moment she arrives in Svalbard, where Drake is going to university, however, she not only finds out a couple of things about Drake but also discovers a lot about herself.
Characterwise, I don’t particularly like Flora, but I can’t say I hate her either. Her parents were keeping secrets from her, her best friend, Paige, dumped her after she admitted to kissing Paige’s boyfriend, and above all, her brother (whom she can hardly remember) is very ill, possibly dying. And because of that, her parents decide to leave her alone for a week. What kind of parents are they? View Spoiler »I honestly wished her brother hadn’t died, because I wanted Flora to be reunited with him at the end, but alas we can’t have everything I guess. « Hide Spoiler The people Flora met in Svalbard were really nice, and I liked them very much.
The writing was good, and I literally flew through this book. Even with the repeats throughout the book, which were of course due to Flora’s illness, I thought it was a very good book. It’s just that the story didn’t grip me as much as I had hoped it would. The ending, however, was a proper rollercoaster ride that I enjoyed very much. And I do think the book ended a bit too abruptly, I wish there’d been a couple more pages to just end the story better.
In the end, The One Memory of Flora Banks was a good book, just not really my kind of thing. I thought the book. If you love contemporary books, I definitely recommend this one to you. If you’re looking for a nice mystery or thriller, I’d skip this book if I were you!