Advance Galley Reviews
I was expecting a YA romance, and I got that, but I also got a psychological thriller!
For me, this one was a slight mess. I understand the fact that the MC had lost her memories but it made this book run in circles and made it very repeaty and it made it a chore to read. I liked the plot but the writing of the story itself just didn't work out for me.
This was one mess of a book with predictable twists that just didn't make the story better.
I loved the theory but there were too many plot holes and it was poorly executed
I enjoyed this book a lot. It was a fun, quick read. It was very intriguing, and I love the cover. Very simplistic.
I was swept away by the story and the character of Flora. I don't consider this story as being written for young adults specifically, though the story is not inappropriate for youth. I was inspired by Flora's perseverance through her disability. It was a delight.
Thank you First To Read and Penguin for the opportunity to read this novel.
Unfortunately, this one wasn't for me. It lacked the character build up that I really enjoy in books. Flora did "grow" in this, but I personally thought that the ending was where this novel should have began. I would really like to see Flora adjust to the events in the end.
I have never read of more awful parents in YA lit than ever before. Who in their right mind leave their daughter knowing she has this inability to remember anything moments after and just leave her alone with or without a friend. That's ridiculous and not realistic. It made my experience getting through this novel unbearable. Then the end? Spoilers: if the mother was so easily capable of leaving Flora and she makes a mistake without you, but to punish her for your stupidity? It made me angry.
Also, The repetitive sayings and thoughts were agonizing. It made the plot really slow down. I didn't enjoy the insta-love either. Very YA cliche.
Maybe if I were younger I would have appreciated this a lot better. But, I just felt like the author's intentions were there, but the delivery fell off course.
I liked The One Memory of Flora Banks very much! The twist at the end was nicely done and the overall story kept me entertained throughout.
This book was enchanting. The protagonist was charming and likeable. Her actions were consistent with her mental age, I felt. This was not a cutesy YA romance. It was the journey of a girl who had been faced with tragedy. And she is brave.
As I embarked on this novel by Emily Barr I was skeptical. I've had a few bad apple books lately and they had left a sour taste in my mouth as I started this new one. I was unfairly in a more negative space than I usually begin a book and yet The One Memory of Flora Banks pushed its way past my repellent exterior and grew inside me as a beautiful and well imagined story. As the novel progressed I found myself warmed up anew to the opportunities that lie in the pages of a book.
Every time I was lulled into a place that I thought was predictability Barr thrust past that with a twist or turn that was a complete surprise to me. She did an amazing job of creating the unexpected in a story that could have followed a very simple and boring formula but instead she built something special that I would suggest to anyone that enjoys young adult literature!
I would love for Barr to continue with the story of Flora. Yes, we understand what the challenge of this novel was but I think something beautiful could be added about what her future holds!
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr was an interesting ride into the mind of a girl who can't remember anything past the age of ten. Flora Banks is seventeen and she has to remind herself constantly that she is because she has anterograde amnesia. She can remember things like how to take a shower and making a cup of tea, but everything else she has to write reminders on her hands, in her notebook or on little pieces of paper everywhere. But something has happened and she has a new memory. She kissed a boy and she remembers everything about it. But that boy is no longer in Penzance, England where Flora lives. He left England for a research project in Svalbard, Norway. Her parents have left England as well because her brother is sick in Paris and her best friend Paige is supposed to be staying with her. But Paige is not her friend anymore, because the boy Flora kissed was Paige's boyfriend Drake. So when Drake sends Flora an email about how they can't be in a relationship because he is in Norway, she is distraught because he has made her remember. But Flora can't go to Norway, can she?
I really enjoyed this author's writing style and how she made you feel like you were getting an inside look at how Flora's brain really works (even if it did get annoying sometimes). This story also has a lot of interesting twists and turns and was a really compelling read. I had to keep finding out what was going to happen to Flora next. The only downside for me was the ending was a little abrupt and I wish I could know how Flora ends up. This story will probably stay with me for a long time and I highly recommend it for anyone who likes reading mysterious YA novels.
I'll admit, this book was not what I expected. In the vein of Everything, Everything, this book is about a girl with medical issues falling for an unattainable boy. In this case, the girl is Flora and she has amnesia. She cannot remember anything after the age of ten and she can only hold on to new memories for a couple of hours. Then she kisses her best friend's boyfriend, Drake, and she remembers. This moment changes everything for Flora.
Her parents, who normally keep her stuck in the house and sheltered from the rest of the world, leave Flora alone while they go look after her brother in Paris. Their leaving gives Flora the opportunity to track down Drake, who recently moved to the North Pole to study. Relying on notes and words written on her arm, Flora travels alone and goes on a search for Drake.
At first, it was difficult to like Flora. Obviously she's a different kind of narrator, but the repetition was a bit frustrating. It took quite a while for the story to get going because Flora would constantly have to remind herself of what was happening. When she finally makes it to the North Pole, things pick up and secrets about her family are revealed.
There are several twists that I expected at first, but I was genuinely surprised by some moments. In the end, this book wasn't about a boy and was about Flora finding herself and gaining the courage to be an adult. Although part of me wishes that her transformation wasn't precipitated by a boy, it does make some sense for a later twist to happen. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book at the end, but the journey was a bit rocky at first.
It's hard to imagine what life would be like if I was in the shoes of Flora Banks. It was a quick read for me and have really thought about this book several times after I finished it.
If you are something that is simply fun and easy, then don’t pick up this book. If you want a book that will make you feel things, that will make you think, that will wow you with imagery, that has the kind of plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat, a splash of romantic tension, and an amazing voice, then I strongly suggest you read The One Memory of Flora Banks.
Some of the other reviewers mention that this book is repetitive, and they are right, but I did not get nearly as annoyed as some of the other readers. It was part of the character and how she saw the world, and without the constant repetition of certain phrases, the magic of this book would not have happened. And for me, that magic was what made it come together, even if technically, it isn’t magic. Normally. I read speculative fiction, but since this book was free, and a cool concept, I decided to try it.
One thing I love about Penguin/ Random House’s First to Read program is that it often pushes me to read things outside of my usual speculative genres. Since I’m trying to find an agent for YA novels, I’ve been reading as much YA as I can as research. That is how I found myself reading an galley The One Memory of Flora Banks a book I would never picked up in a store. And I’m glad I read it, even if it left me crying in my office an hour before classes start. It really made me think about what it means to be human, about the rights of the disabled, and about the implications of my own flawed mind.
I might even use this one next time I teach Reading, Writing and Reasoning. While I can see some students complaining about the repetition, I also picture it inspiring some fantastic essays.
I imagine it was a challenge writing a book from the POV of an MC with anterograde amnesia, but the author did an excellent job selling the feeling of Flora's world. I appreciated the consistency of the narrative. Overall, it was an engaging read, though the ending felt rather abrupt. Turning 18 shouldn't magically solve all the problems, and PTSD shouldn't excuse a lifetime of child abuse. It felt like the author didn't take the time to appropriately deal with and defuse the heavier themes that were revealed in the last chapter.
This book turned out to be a lot different than I thought but still interesting to keep my hooked. You can genuinely feel Flora's confusion as she tries to navigate through life. It's not such a light read because you do have to piece things together and remember Flora's situation to understand her. But it's a good read!
The One Memory of Flora Banks was different than I thought it would be, but a great read. I enjoyed learning about Flora's condition and felt like the amnesia was dealt with in a great way. It was heartbreaking at times, because of Flora's child-like innocence. I adored her brother, Jacob, and all of the people Flora met in Svalbard. Her journey to Svalbard was fun to read about. I didn't like the parents from the very beginning. There was something off about their behavior and I did struggle to believe that they would have left her without having Paige there first. I also was not overly fond of Paige and Drake. Both of them tried to act like Flora had complete control over her actions instead of realizing that any romantic interactions between Drake and Flora while he wa dating Paige would be Drake taking advantage of her memory loss. Overall, this was a fun and easy read that kept you interested to figure out the mystery of Flora's memory.
This was a fun, exciting, and emotional thrill ride of a contemporary novel from beginning to end. I've always said that stories about memory loss are one of those things that make it almost guaranteed that I'll cry in a story. This narrative was especially touching because Flora felt so young and as the reader I just wanted to wrap her up in a blanket and protect her. But at the same time, I knew that she was seventeen years old and while she could be frustrating at times, I think her decisions were pretty understandable for someone in her situation. In the end, I felt this was a unique coming-of-age story about an interesting protagonist coming to terms with herself, her family, and her friends.
It gave me a very nostalgic feeling as it reminded me of The Adoration of Jenna Fox and even a bit of We Were Liars. I'd recommend it to anybody who is looking for something a little different or a quick spring/summer read.
I throughly enjoyed this twisting story that let the reader discover new things right alongside Flora... we know what she knows, which makes for an interesting experience when your protagonist forgets everything every few hours. I really enjoyed Flora's adventures and not just her literal adventures, but also her adventures to find herself and become who she wants to be in order to fully live her life. This was a quirky and wonderful novel, and I would recommend it to those looking for a feel-good novel that is not your typical and also more like a feel-okay novel that leaves the end open for a sequel that I would definitely read. Bring on more of Flora's adventures!
The synopsis sounded really interesting, though I wasn't sure exactly how the author would write a book with the narrator having amnesia. First, I'd like to say kudos to Emily Barr for getting so deeply into the mind of an amnesiac, or at least how I imagine it must be for one with memory loss at least. Even though the book was quite repetitive (for obvious reasons), it still kept me interested all throughout, and there were a few plot twists in there that I admit I did not see coming. But I will say.... I hated Drake. Even before meeting him, I hate him, if only because Flora mentioned him and "I kissed Drake on a beach" so many times that part of me was actually hoping she wouldn't find him, just so I wouldn't have to deal with her inevitable gushing over him. But everything [eventually] worked out and made for an interesting ending. Great story that you should definitely check out.
The One Memory of Flora Banks, sends you on a journey about a topic that many Young adult novels do not typically include as the star or their novels. This novel will captivate the hearts of many readers, and you will finishing wanting to know more about Miss Flora Banks. Readers will be able to relate to many of the novels various topics in regards to coming of age. Emily Barr truely tells a unique and original story unlike any before. As a Middle School Language Arts teacher I would only encourage my students to continue to uncover this novel page by page.
Ugh. This was a frustrating one. So much repetitiveness and teen angst. Another entry in the "I'm too old for ya books" category. I gave it an extra star because I did want to finish it and find out what was actually going on. I think this book is great for teens, just not adults who like teen books.
An addictive little book. I read this over two sittings since it was just so hard to put down! I wasn't sure how well the continued amnesia would come across in the novel (the fact that your POC character keeps forgetting nearly everything could make a plot hard to develop), but Barr managed to capture Flora's continual amnesia well, while still keeping the plot to a good pace. That said, I really wasn't fond of the main characters; I wanted to push Drake and Paige into a lake, and Flora drove me a bit nuts too. (Hon, I know you kissed Drake. It's a big deal, I get it. Please stop talking about it.) But I loved Jacob and the characters introduced in Svaldbard. Despite my mixed feelings on characters, this was a really enjoyable read, and I enjoyed how Barr played with ideas of memory, and how she weaved such an intricate tale from a flawed POV. Definitely worth a read.
The comparison to Memento and Everything, Everything is pretty spot-on, though more from a plot perspective than an emotional one. Flora's handwritten reminders are strongly reminiscent to Memento, though it has an atmosphere of childlike innocence that the film decidedly lacks. Her overprotective family (and a few other plot elements) harken to Everything, Everything, but it unfortunately does not have the same heart of Nicola Yoon's book. If you're reading this for the unreliable narrator amnesia angle, it's a definite winner. From a family/friendship/romance angle, not so much. The story only exists because person after person ignores the common sense actions that should've been smacking them in the face in regard to handling Flora's anterograde amnesia. I couldn't sympathize with a few characters' justifications for the potentially dangerous situations they allowed Flora to get herself into just so she could have a taste of freedom. Flora herself was a very intriguing character; she's a complicated web of good intentions and forgotten actions that forces her to heavily rely on other people who may (or may not!) want the best for her. The first few chapters are a little repetitive as it establishes Flora's base mindset and lifestyle, but when things get crazy they get CRAZY. Would recommend as a library checkout, but not a purchase.
Captivating! Spellbinding! THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS Is an amazing story about resilience. This book definitely has an awesome main character, Flora, and I was really rooting for her. I would definitely recommend this book. Everyone should be as brave as Flora. I think a lot of people can relate to feeling trapped and wanting to do things on your own. I have never read a book like this one. I really love this book! This story has a little of everything. It has love, loss, friendship, betrayal, adventure, and of course amnesia. This is an emotional story with a lot of heart.
I wanted to love this book, I really did. I did like it, but there were just a few things that kept it from being a five-star read. First, the book takes a very real and honest journey with an amnesiac. The book is told from her POV, so we get up-close and personal with her mind. Which means that every time she forgets and needs to re-learn everything, we go through the entire process with her. Since I don't have amnesia, that means reading "I kissed Drake" and "I love Drake" roughly 700,000 times. It gets old. Secondly, the main story of Flora going on a crazy trip to Find Her Man is significantly less interesting than other plot points that are given less attention. I liked Flora and was rooting for her. Hopefully the next part of her story happens for her own sake, and not because of some jerky boy. 3.5/5 stars.
While the premise of this book was very intriguing, the story fell flat for me. There were a lot of inconsistencies and plot points that just didn't make sense to me. I have read books that are told from younger points of view before, and they still make the writing engaging and well-written. This book, unfortunately, was not. There was no depth. I would not recommend this book.
This book was honestly so good! It's heartwarming and heartbreaking to follow Flora on her journey to Svalbard. I loved reading her adventure and seeing all these people helping her to succeed, even they didn't know her and didn't need to care. I cried when Jacob died and all this history was revealed to both me and Flora. I got angry at Flora's parents as they restricted her freedom and drugged her beyond belief. I wanted to slap Derek for lying to Flora and taking advantage of her. This book to took me for a ride and it was amazing.
Wow. This was so beautiful. It didn't go where I thought it would, but I loved every moment of it. I have already recommended it to several people. Get it. Read it. Love it.
I thought the book was pretty darn interesting, and I really couldn't believe how Flora actually come about losing her short term memory. The thing I didn't like was how oppressed she got over the kiss she received from Drake. I understand she could remember that he kissed her and nothing else, but hearing about that kiss all the time drove me crazy. I loved her relationship with her best friend and also her brother.
Of course her friend gets upset with her for a while but she came through for her in the end and that's what counts in the end.
I liked the journey Flora went on when she went to find Drake, because of the friendship she makes along that journey. I thought the ending was okay I just wish things were wrapped up better than it did, but that is probably just me.
I would give the book 3 1/2 stars, but I don't know if I would want to go out and buy my very own copy of it. I am happy thought that I requested early access of the book. And I have no regrets in reading this book, because it was definitely different than other books I usually read. So it did take me out of my comfort zone.
There were certainly a few things that displeased me with this book. Some of the repetition, though understandable in the context of the book, got a bit tedious. The main characters actions seemed to indicate further disorders which seemed to be praised. I will not go further into that line of thought for fear of spoilers. All in all, I still enjoyed reading this book and would likely give it a 3.5- 4 star rating. It was certainly engrossing!
I loved this book. It was something new that I had never read before. I love Flora. Quick read, but very good.
Decent book. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, especially with the variety of titles out there for the discerning reader. But this was compelling enough to allow me to read through to the end.
I absolutely loved this book. Flora Banks has no memories from before she was 10. After leaving a friend's party, a going away party for her boyfriend, Flora goes and sits on the rocks by the sea. The boyfriend of her friend comes down and sits by her and they kiss. Flora remembers this. She doesn't even need to consult her arm which is where she writes little messages to herself to remind her of things. She remembers all on her own. This is absolutely a miracle for her so she must be in love.
After Flora's best friend finds out they kissed, she ends a friendship that has lasted since they both went to the first day of school with braids.
Flora's parents have to leaving for a family ER and her friend is supposed to stay and look after her. But without her, Flora must stay alone. How will she make it when she can't even remember the most mundane things. And what of this kiss she remembers?
I really, really liked this book. It's sad but has a few funny moments. I just really enjoyed it. It's a quick read and I really hope the author can bring us more of Flora. She's a 10 year old child in the body of a soon to be 18 year old young woman.
This story fell flat for me. I thought the idea behind the novel was intriguing, a girl with memory loss issues and dealing with that obstacle. But there were a lot of issues covered in the book that I felt were tried to romanticize but instead were scary. Flora's obsession with a boy on dangerous levels, and then this boy using her as a toy, also dangerous. There were a lot of plot holes too that made the story difficult to follow at times, not only that but none of the relationships in the book felt at all safe/real/ok especially the relationship with her parents.
While I was excited about the premise - girl with "Memento"-like memory issues goes on an adventure - I didn't really enjoy the book, for a couple reasons.
First, it was really unsettling seeing the world through Flora's brain. Her memory problem makes this strange enough - never knowing where she is or who she's with - but after she's in Svalbard it begins to seem less like a memory problem and more like a descent into psychosis. Her thoughts and actions veer into really dangerous, terrifying territory.
Second, it feels throughout the book that we're building to some great "secret" reveal - what are her parents hiding? Is there really a Drake? What is real and what is in her head? Unfortunately, what we find out is a bit disappointing and not satisfying after 200+ pages of foreshadowing.
Finally, the ending - Paige's abrupt about-face, and her and the brother's reckless "plan" for Flora just really didn't make any logical sense.
TL;DR: Interesting idea, poor execution.
This book kept me turning the pages. I really enjoyed the character of Flora. The twists and turns were surprising and exciting. I would definitely recommend.
First off, thank you first-to-read by Penguin for this arc. This will be in exchange for my honest review. I will start off with a brief summary, my likes, dislikes, and then my personal thoughts. I'm just another reviewer with an opinion.
This book is about Flora Banks and she supposedly has retrograde amnesia. In the beginning, the book stated that she suffered from a brain tumor from her temporal lobe which caused the retrograde amnesia. This means that each day or less than two to four hours, she forgets everything. She has to write notes on her arm or in her journal to remember what she's done. Her mind is stuck at being a ten-year-old girl inside a now seventeen-year-old teenage body. She kissed her ex-best friend's boyfriend on the beach, and the story takes off from there.
What did I like about this novel?
1. I loved the diversity.
2. I enjoyed her older brother, Jacob. He was probably the most favorite character of the novel.
3. I enjoyed the scenery.
What didn't I like about the novel?
1. Lots of grammatical errors. I hope the editing team corrects them before this book is published.
2. Even though she has amnesia, I understand why the repetition is there, I just hate re-reading a ton of times, "I kissed a boy." It almost became a Katy Perry song. It made me want to skip the book.
3. Here is what really doesn't work for me. At one point, the mother lied and told Flora she didn't have a passport. Well, Flora finds her passport! *Gasp* It hasn't expired. Five chapters later, the mother wanted Flora to come to Paris. The author didn't clear up that inconsistency. No explanation at all.
4. The ending wasn't what I expected. It had a strong beginning, but the ending really knocked it down for me.
5. Paige, all the sudden wants to help. Didn't she kiss your boyfriend? Why couldn't she get over herself sooner? Why help at all? It would have been better if another character helped out Flora and not Paige.
What are my personal thoughts?
I just wish there was a stronger ending. I want the passport issue fixed. And pick a different character other than Paige to help Flora out. If someone was making out with my partner, I probably wouldn't talk to that person again. I don't care if that person was my best friend. But maybe that's just me. If those things were changed, I would have given it a five-star review. The repetition didn't bother me as much. The girl has retrograde amnesia. It reminded me of "50 First Dates." The one with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Except it didn't end like that movie. Which I was grateful the author didn't end it that way. You have to find out for yourself what goes on in this book. After all, I'm just another asshole with an opinion.
What a unique premise for a story! I flew through this book wanting to know what exactly was going on and why. Flora is a remarkable character that works so hard to overcome the things holding her back from living her life. This story speaks to so many tough issues - memory loss, broken relationships, and others that would be spoilers to mention. The book left me thinking about what it means to care for others and how many times we do things that we think are helping, but in reality may be holding others back. This is a thought-provoking page turner!
The One Memory of Flora Banks is a contemporary novel about a young woman who deals with memory issues. It gives you an inside look as to what people with amnesia or Alzheimer's deal with on a daily basis. As Flora is an amnesiac, the entire story is told in the perspective of an unreliable narrator, which I am a big fan of. Overall, I enjoyed the story and the twists and turns.
Thank you First to Read for the galley!
I was very interested in the storyline of this book however 75 pages in I was frustrated that it wasn't moving along faster. I understand the need to portray the short term amnesia but about another 75 pages could have been dedicated to the end story of the book adding much to an ending that was good but could have been great.
As a mom there were many unrealistic things that happened concerning Flora's parents deciding to just leave her with Paige and not check with her!
For the past seven years, Flora has made no new memories. After having a tumor removed from her brain, Flora was left with anterograde amnesia. Although she is chronologically 17 years old, her most recent memories have her as a 10 year old. That is until she kisses a boy, and she remembers. This one memory prompts Flora to embark on an adventure to find this boy, who she believes can repair her memory.
I was wary when I began this book, because I had seen quite a few "meh" reviews, and I have to say, at first, it was difficult to adjust to the style. This story is told from Flora's point of view, so we spend a lot of time inside her head. It's sort of jarring at times. She is an amnesiac with limited short-term memory, so there is a lot of repeating and revisiting things over and over again. This took some getting used to, but I must say, Barr did a wonderful job helping me sort of understand Flora's daily struggles.
At the same time, we saw this spirited side of Flora. A part of her that wanted to break free and explore. To make new memories, even if she may not remember them. She had adaptations in place to cope with her daily life, and I was really impressed with what she was able to accomplish. The phrase, "Be Brave, Flora", kept popping up, and I love this idea that even if we have obstacles in our way, we can be brave, and try new things. We can change and grow and continue to hope.
During most of the book, I felt my heart breaking. Here is this young woman, who is stuck at the age of 10. It made me think really hard about not being able to have new memories or being able to learn new things. The whole idea of that weighed heavily on me, but not on Flora. It was almost sold as liberating, as she was forced to live in the now and enjoy the present to the fullest extent. Another great take away courtesy of Flora Banks.
I must say, I loved the relationship between Flora and her brother, Jacob. It was very special. Although they were separated by 7 years and lived in different countries, he was always trying to be her champion. He loved her fiercely and saw only the best parts of her. We get to know Jacob through letters, emails, texts, and flashbacks, and I really wish the story had been able to bring those two back together, but I am grateful for what we got. It was a lovely bond they shared, and heck, I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it.
Overall: An interesting coming-of-age story, which balances the sad with hope.
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr is a young adult contemporary novel which is absolutely brilliant. This story Flora Banks will stay with me for a long time. It is an extraordinary effort by the author to craft a story which is totally original in concept and execution. At times heart-breaking as well as funny, this emotionally-drench story is filled with twists that will leave you asking for more. I highly recommend The One Memory Of Flora Banks.
I had no idea what I was in for when I picked up The One Memory of Flora Banks. I just knew the book had been calling to me, and as soon as I was granted access, I downloaded it and dived right in. I’m so happy I did so because I love books like this.
It’s been a while since I read a convincing amnesia story. It seems that there’s always holes in the story. The amnesiac character always conveniently remembers different details and they never actually seem inhibited by the memory loss. Other than some foggy details, they go on with their life while the memories trickle in. But for Flora, that was never the case. The details never come trickling back. Emily Barr took us deep inside Flora’s head and I felt myself forgetting and remembering alongside her. However, at the same time, the commitment to Flora’s memory loss ended up being quite frustrating, just having to read “I kissed Drake” like eighty thousand times, over and over again.
As a mystery, the book did have a handful of twists that I found exciting, even if they were predictable. Once it was revealed that her parents were hiding a secret from her, I became that much more interested in the story. One of the “twists” about her parents wasn’t very enjoyable, and though I obviously won’t go into detail, it was recently done in another contemporary, so I’m sure those who have read that title could see this coming from a mile away. I do wish the ending had more clarity, too. I’m not entirely sure what really did happen and if one of the details was real or not. The final delivery of all the details was kind of sloppy and jumbled and some things were never verified to my liking.
Ironically, I came away from Flora Banks forgetting most of what I read. In the moment, the book is quite enjoyable and fast paced. It was easy to keep turning the pages. But the characters were unremarkable. The only trait that really stuck to Flora was forgetful, and maybe impulsive, but that’s it. I never got a real feel for who she is, because she didn’t even know. The rest of the characters were just players on a board: the loving brother, the smothering parents, the best friend. I did enjoy getting to know the people in Svalbard, but on the whole, everyone was simply unexceptional.
This was a very complex story about a girl with amnesia and how she is able to function on a daily basis. The beginning of the story captured my interest but halfway through I felt it became very repetitive and a little confusing though I plowed my way through and was rewarded with a good ending.
"The One Memory of Flora Banks" is the story of a girl with amnesia. She writes things she needs to remember on her arms. I had never read a book about mental illness before, and I have to say, I was very pleased with this story. The way Flora thought and the way she dealt with things was the way I would've imagined it.
Now, I do have to say there was one issue I had with the story. Flora basically has one memory that she doesn't forget. That being, she kissed a boy. It all seemed very cliche to me. I wish she would've found something within HERSELF first to make her suddenly remember.
I don't really know how I feel about this book. It was definitely compelling, but, at the same time, I had a lot of problems with it. I think my main problem with this book was Drake. Flora's main goal throughout most of this novel is to find Drake, but Drake is so exceptionally unlikeable that you just hope she doesn't. It's very difficult to root for a main character while simultaneously actively rooting against her, and I didn't really care for the fact that the one memory that she was able to retain was about a boy when she has much kinder and more caring people in her life. I also had trouble with the narration style. I understood the purpose of it, Flora has no short term memory so thing have to be repeated as she relearns them, but it was so tedious to read the same things over and over again. Especially since, when I read, I tend to adopt the narration style in my own mind for a while, and I found myself thinking in repetitive, fragmented sentences for an hour or so every time I put this book down. Needless to say, that was very annoying, but probably not something that most people will experience.
This book is certainly interesting, and I read it quickly because I wanted to know what happened. I really liked the side characters that Flora meets while in Norway, and her friendships were nice to see. Overall, I found this book enjoyable, but I couldn't get past the problems I had with it.
I have read mixed reviews on this book. I found it a very quick read. As a mother, this book made me think of my daughter. How would I feel if she couldn't keep a memory for very long? Would she try to go somewhere on her own? Would she be able to cope? What would I do to keep her safe? How far would I go? I found Flora brave and adventurous. She wants to be normal and wants to be "fixed." So I totally get why she would follow Drake because she remembers the event. I didn't care for Paige too much as she was a selfish, spoiled little brat who was no friend of Flora. This book is all about family dynamics and how communities can come together for a stranger. I really enjoyed this book and was glad the way it ended.
I don't really know how I feel about this book. I can definitely say I've never read anything quite like it before, but I can't decide whether I actually enjoyed it. Reading a story from the point of view of a character with short-term memory problems was fascinating, but all the repetition, as necessary as it was to the atmosphere of the story, got annoying pretty fast. I found myself skimming through the parts that kept repeating over and over by the middle of the book. I feel like this story requires some suspension of disbelief, most notably in that the extremely overprotective parents left the country without even getting in contact with Paige, who was supposed to be staying with Flora. I did like the ending, though I don't want to spoil it by saying exactly why I liked it. All in all, it was a unique coming of age story, and I liked the overall message that people can be capable of so much more than they think. It's a book worth reading.
Flora a teenager with short-term memory problems resets after kissing a boy, then she goes on a wild adventure to find this boy who supposedly healed her. I have mixed feelings about this book. The premise was different enough to be interesting, even with the repeated memory on loop, but some of the MC's actions were a little unrealistic, sad and disconcerting. The twist was a surprise, but only opened more uneasiness about the entire situation. I did read nonstop to see the end of Flora's story. Not a tale for everyone but good for a change of perspective.
I was completely and utterly immersed in this book. Fiona was a beautiful, yet troubled character that experiences retrograde amnesia. Her link to life is based upon a notebook, post it notes, and writing on herself to remember until she experiences her first kiss. She is able to remember this and seeks to find the boy when her parents leave to take care of her brother during a terminal illness. What follows is an adventure of sorts where she proves her courage and her ability to rise way above what people believe she is capable of. Throughout her journey, she finds that she has been lied to about her illness and the circumstances that led to it. Through her best freind and brother, she can perhaps seek treatment for the amnesia. This was a sad book in many ways, but also a story of resilience and courage. I will be seeking more books by this author.
Good memories are ones that you want to keep remembering and bad ones you want to forget. But in Emily Barr's The One Memory of Flora Banks, Flora can only remember one thing out of the last seven years of her life.
Flora Banks has no short-term memory after an event when she was ten years old. Seven years later, she's coping to remember important things by writing them down, either in a notebook or on her hand or arm. But when she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves for school, Flora can remember the details of and surrounding the kiss. Convinced that Drake may be the key to her recovering her ability to remember, she takes her very protective parents' trip to Paris that leaves her at home as an opportunity to travel to Drake in Svalbard, where he's studying. In making her way to Norway, armed only with her notes and determination, Flora learns what she's actually capable of.
The basic concept of this narrative was interesting and fostered an understanding of the lengths people go while living with amnesia; however, while the repetitive information and situations help to place the reader into Flora's shoes, it was rather frustrating to keep getting stuck in a loop of past actions and lack any sort of appreciable forward progress. I wasn't too keen on the one memory that stuck with Flora and drove her to finally take some independent action in her life, because although kissing a boy for the first time can be memorable, this reduces Flora to a cliché and she was such an intriguing character otherwise. While a decent story that could relate various age groups, it is difficult to place who the intended audience is - at times Flora behaves and thinks like she's ten and others like she's seventeen, which are two vastly different audiences, yet the writing reflects both in unequal measure.
Overall, I'd give it a 3 out of 5 stars.
Wow. I don’t even really know where to start with this other than saying I inhaled this book. In a matter of hours. The One Memory of Flora Banks is intense. I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night because I desperately wanted to finish it before I went to bed. The premise of the story is basically that there is something wrong with Flora. It’s somewhat of a play on the “50 first dates” idea of going to sleep and waking up thinking it’s the same day over and over again, but for Flora it’s every few hours, and it’s not nearly as fun as it was for Drew Barrymore. She’s a perpetual 10 year old. Her parents have to jet off to Paris to see her terminally ill brother, who she only remembers as a big guy that used to pick her up when she was little. Her best friend is supposed to be taking care of her, but she discovers that Flora kissed her boyfriend the night of his going away, and her best friend is now livid with her. The thing is, Flora remembers. For the first time in 7 years, she has a new memory. She remembers sitting with him and talking, and kissing him before going home and writing it down so she’ll remember in a few hours. This drives Flora on a desperate chase from one Penzance to the Arctic to chase this boy down who she believes has unlocked the secret to helping her form new memories. She manages to get to the Arctic, and her entire world begins to unravel from there. Is this boy she kissed who she thought he was? What secrets are her parents desperately hiding from her? What are these strange hints from her brother in Paris and why is he pushing her to chase her dreams and just be Flora? The ending is supremely satisfying and gives a peek into the world of parents that have children they feel they will always care for and be responsible for, which may drive them to make decisions that anyone from the outside would find abhorrent. It’s dramatic, it’s intense, and it’s one of the best stories I’ve read in a very, very long time. Well done!
I can easily say I have never read a book like this before. Due to the nature of the plot (i.e. being told from the point of view of a teenage girl with anterograde amnesia) it was very repetitive throughout, sometimes annoyingly so. However, that being said, it really did help me understand what it must be like in the mind of someone who can't remember anything for more than a few hours. There were definitely some plot holes and circumstances that I just couldn't accept as realistic, but despite that I still found myself unable to put this down because I needed to know how it all panned out. There are a few twists toward the end that I did not see coming, so that's always nice. Was it my favorite book? No. But overall I would say that I enjoyed it and I'm glad that I read it.
**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.