ARC REVIEW: The One Memory Of Flora Banks – by Emily Barr

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Title: The One Memory Of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: January 12th 2017
Publisher: Penguin
Finished reading: January 14th 2017
Pages: 303
Rating 5qqq

“I am really here. Yet I know I am not. I am inside something that must be buried in my head. I am layers deep in my own brain.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Penguin in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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After I read Claire‘s review at Art and Soul, I basically had no other choice but rush to Netgalley and request a copy of this new novel by Emily Barr as well. I literally did a happy dance when my request was approved soon after, because I had heard nothing but wonderful things about The One Memory Of Flora Banks (and not just because of the gorgeous cover). I picked up my copy straight after receiving it, and I completely agree with all the other raving reviews out there. This book is brilliant! I loved LOVED the main character and the fact that amnesia plays such a big role in the story. Sure, there is a hint of a love triangle and she doesn’t seem to care much about hurting her best friend’s feelings when she kisses the boyfriend. Sure, if you think about the plot critically it’s not exactly all that credible. But to be honest, I didn’t really care. Flora managed to win over my heart from the very first page and I loved both the writing and how Flora managed to do so many things suffering with anterograde amnesia like she does. And that ending! I’m already having a feeling this one will appear on my list of 2017 favorites.

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Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks suffers from anterograde amnesia ever since a tumor was removed from her brain at the age of ten. She has no short-term memory and is unable to make new memories; her mind has been resetting itself several times a day ever since the operation. But that is until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the day before he leaves town. Somehow Flora is still able to remember every detail about their conversation and kiss the next day, and the memory sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is the key to restoring her memory and making her whole again… So when an encouraging mail from Drake suggests to meet him far far away, Flora finally listens to the two words on her hand: ‘be brave’. Will Flora be able to find him?

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If you look critically, The One Memory Of Flora Banks actually has a plot that isn’t all that credible and even has a hint of a love triangle. I’m normally not a big fan of either, but in this case it was all completely forgotten thanks to the lovely writing and more importantly: Flora Banks. Flora is basically what makes this story and is without doubt one of my new favorite characters! I love how she is able to overcome her anterograde amnesia and do all the things she does. The One Memory Of Flora Banks is definitely a story that is worth the hype and more than recommended!


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ARC REVIEW: The Girl From The Sea – by Shalini Boland

brthegirlfromtheseaTitle: The Girl From The Sea
Author: Shalini Boland

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
First published: June 9th 2016
Publisher: Adrenalin Books
Finished reading: August 5th 2016
Pages: 306
Rating 4,5qqq

“It’s as though I’m riding a never-ending rollercoaster, my stomach constantly swooping and rising. There are too many things to think about, and I don’t know what to do about any of them.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Adrenalin Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I know I have been reading too many mystery/thrillers as it is lately, but when I came across this book I just couldn’t resist. The Girl From The Sea is a gripping psychological thriller with many many plot twists that will keep you guessing what really happened to the main character for a long time. And even though I kind of suspected part of what happened  to Mia a while before the big twist was revealed, it can’t be denied Shalini Boland used Mia’s amnesia to the fullest and she is the perfect unreliable character for this story. And that ending! I’m still not sure I actually like Mia, but her character development is well done; she feels real and it’s easy to feel sorry for her. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to wake up and not remember ANYTHING and not even recognizing yourself in the mirror… It’s without doubt a scary thought. The story itself is fast-paced and I enjoyed the prose and descriptions. In fact, I found myself flying through this book! If you are looking for a good psychological thriller with a refreshing twist, The Girl From The Sea is definitely a great choice.

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Mia doesn’t remember why or what happened to her, but somehow she ended up washed up on the beach only barely conscious. In fact, she can’t remember anything about her life and doesn’t even know who she is… In the hospital, she is diagnosed with amnesia because of the traumatic experience and told her memories will probably come back in due time. But what can Mia do in the mean time? Then, her boyfriend shows up and he seems to be as eager to fill in the blanks as her family. But can Mia really trust them? Why do people seem to be lying to her and why don’t they want her to remember her past?

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I first decided to request a copy of The Girl From The Sea after I read a few positive reviews. And I’m glad I did, but it turned out to be one of my favorite psychological thrillers I’ve read so far this year! This story reads like a train and is full of plot twists that will mess with your mind. The fact that Mia isn’t just another unreliable character and is suffering from amnesia is actually refreshing, and I really enjoyed reading this story. Recommended for fans of the genre!

BOOK REVIEW: Never Never Part Two – by Colleen Hoover

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Title: Never Never Part Two
(Never Never #2)
Author: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
First published: May 17th 2015
Finished reading: August 22nd 2015
Pages: 125
Rating 4qqq

“I would give anything to have that memory back–to see what it was like between us when we loved each other enough to believe it was forever.”

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I had finished Never Never less than a week before I decided to read Part Two. The mayor cliffhanger ending left me wondering what would happen next and I just couldn’t resist temptation any longer… And I have to say this part was even better than the first. Unfortunately it ended with a pretty big cliffhanger as well and Never Never Part Two basically left me even more clueless when it comes to what really is going on with the main characters. The wait for the third part that is scheduled to be published early next year is going to be a painful one… Because I honestly don’t have a clue what is coming next. It’s the first time I’ve read anything by either Colleen Hoover or Tarryn Fisher, but I will definitely read more of their work in the future. The main characters aren’t exactly likeable, but the plot and prose has me hooked!

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WARNING: do not read this summary if you haven’t read the first part yet! It will most likely contain spoilers, even though I’ve made sure to keep it short.

Silas and Charlie still don’t have their memories back and are nowhere closer to finding out the truth about why and how they lost it in the first place. To make things even worse: Charlie goes missing. Silas has to race against the clock and his memory loss to write down enough information to help him find her again… And remind him why he needs to in the first place. Things are not as easy as it seems and people soon will start making the wrong conclusions about their suddenly ‘renewed’ friendship.

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Both Never Never novella parts are short, intriguing, entertaining and basically leave you with more questions than answers. I really enjoyed reading them, but in a way I wish I would have waited until the third part is published… Because it’s going to be a long wait to find out what happens to Silas and Charlie in part three. I would definitely recommend reading these novellas though; they are without doubt worth reading even though the main characters aren’t likeable.

BOOK REVIEW: Before I Go To Sleep – by S.J. Watson

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Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary, Psychology
First published: June 14th 2011
Finished reading: March 15th 2014
Pages: 372
(Read in Spanish: ‘No Confies En Nadie’)

Rating 4,5

“We’re constantly changing facts, rewriting history to make things easier, to make them fit in with our preferred version of events. We do it automatically. We invent memories. Without thinking. If we tell ourselves something happened often enough we start to believe it, and then we can actually remember it.”

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Memories makes us into what we are. It forms our identity, and without memories life just wouldn’t make sense… We would be lost. Unfortunately, in Before I Go To Sleep that is just what happens to our main character Christine. After having suffered from some kind of brain trauma, every day her world just resets. It is an interesting story about a woman who tries to get her memories and life back after suffering from amnesia, and it has a very strong message. I personally really enjoyed this novel and I would definitely recommend it!

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Christine wakes up every day thinking she is at least 25 years younger than she really is, and doesn’t recognize the room she woke up in nor the man that is supposed to be her husband. We see the world through her eyes… And as Christine started to get some help from a doctor named Ed Nash, she slowly begins to remember pieces of her lost memories. But not all memories are happy… She discovers that her husband Ben is lying to her about a quite few things. He lies about her having a son, Adam, about her best friend Claire having moved away to New Zealand, about her having a car accident… And other things too.

Thanks to the diary Dr. Nash encourages Christine to write, she starts to remember more and more, and becomes confused. She no longer knows who to trust and what to believe. And most importantly, whether to believe the man that says is her husband or not. Slowly we discover the truth together with Christine. We learn her brain trauma wasn’t caused by a car accident like Ben told her. She was attacked at a hotel and found half-strangled all those years ago. But it doesn’t matter how hard she tries to remember who did it, the face of the assaulter remains blurry. And then we read the shocking end, where we learn the truth about Adam and Ben doesn’t seem who we think he is…

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The story is written from Christine’s perspective, and therefore we don’t know the truth until the very end. Slowly we find out more and more about her past, and Ben becomes more suspicious every day. Still he seems to love her, and then the shocking end… I really enjoyed the story and it’s a great first novel. I will be wanting to read more of S.J. Watson’s work for sure… And at least re-read the story in it’s original language.