The One Memory of Flora Banks
The One Memory of Flora Banks is an emotionally compelling and immersive read that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the depths of the human heart, and the power of the human mind.
It’s not a lie if you can’t remember the truth.
“Mesmerizing, electric, and achingly lovely, The One Memory of Flora Banks is unforgettable. One of the best YA novels I've read in a very long time.”
--Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places
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—in Svalbard, Norway—Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.
But will following Drake be the key to unlocking Flora’s memory? Or will the journey reveal that nothing is quite as it seems?
Already a bestselling debut in the UK, this unforgettable novel is Memento meets E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars and will have you racing through the pages to unravel the truth.
Praise for The One Memory of Flora Banks:
An EW Most Anticipated YA Novel of 2017
"Flora’s situation may be singular, but her desire for autonomy should speak loudly to teens in the midst of their own journeys into adulthood." —Publishers Weekly
"An extraordinarily moving and original novel, a story of secrecy and lie, love and loss that manages to be both heart-breaking and life-affirming...Barr’s first novel for teenagers...is as brave as Flora herself." —Daily Mail
"An icily atmospheric story...captivating...[a] pacy page-turner that packs a significant emotional punch." —The Guardian
Advance Galley Reviews
**First To Read provided me with a free e-copy of THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS in exchange for my honest review**
I can't remember the last time a book pissed me off to the extent of this story.
Flora develops anterograde amnesia after having a brain tumor removed at age ten which means she has immediate, but no short term memory and only remembers events prior to the tumor. One night, she kisses her best (and only) friend's boyfriend Drake, and remembers him the next day setting off on an odyssey that will take her to the arctic in search of him.
PROBLEMS WITH THE STORY:
1-Flora falls in insta-love, which is okay, because she basically has the mind of and behaves like a ten-year-old. Drake knows of her condition, yet still kisses her and asks her to spend the night (she didn't), which to me felt almost pedophiliac. He was an adult, propositioning a seventeen-year-old with the mental capacity of a prepubescent child.
2-I never bought into the Flora/Paige friendship. I have a hard time believing a fully functioning teenager would have a best friend with Flora's intellectual, emotional and memory deficiencies. Sure, they might continue a friendship, but I can't see Flora meeting any of Paige's social needs.
3-Overprotective mom leave the country without talking to babysitter/friend Paige based on Flora's assurance the girl was coming to stay. No way. No how.
4-Flora becomes savvy enough to lie and be manipulative, saying Paige lost her phone, yet her pathologically over-protective mother never tries to call Paige's house or her mother to check in.
5-The whole arctic trip.
6-Suddenly Flora never had a brain tumor, it was a car crash. And her amnesia is probably fake. And her mother's drugging her to stay compliant. And her father is going along. And her recently dead brother sent placebo pills to switch out with the drugs so Flora can get away (going cold turkey off tranquilizers or anti psychotics can have fatal consequences).
The worst part of THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS is how irresponsible the story treated disability. I can understand a bad storyline, but using disability (or maybe just drugged) as a plot twist is unfair to those who suffer brain injuries.