Title: The One Memory Of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Page count: 303
Date published: 12 January 2017
Thank you, Penguin Random House SA for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 3 stars
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.
I have really mixed feelings about this book. The premise of it totally intrigued me. I’d never read about a character like this before. And I’m always in for a romance. But, there are a few things that put me off. This book is written in first person, which I’m not used to. Also, her thoughts are scattered and repetitive because of her amnesia, so that was a little annoying sometimes. And the romance is insta-love. A few of the characters got on my nerves. But overall, I really think this book is interesting and a new take on contemporary.
At first, I really wasn’t into the story. It’s in first person and I didn’t really get Flora. I hated Paige. She was being childish. She was acting like a five year old and really irritated me. I also HATED the insta-love. It was literally a few pages in and she already says I love you. Flora’s parents were shady from the start for me. The first half of the book was really hard to get into.
I started to enjoy it much more when she finally got to the Arctic. I was really afraid for Jacob and that he was going to die. I also knew Drake had sent her the last email because he’d found someone else and I felt bad for Flora for being so attached to him. I honestly didn’t get why. I did want Flora to find him, once and for all, so she could just get over him. Flora really grew on me. I liked her determination. When she finally found Drake, I hated him and for a moment I believed when he said he’d never sent her the emails.
I also enjoyed the smaller characters who were helping Flora. She needed them because she’d bring herself into such dangerous situations. I really loved how the writing captured Flora’s mind. Sometimes I got a bit confused but then I’d soon realise she’d forgotten. Can’t we just give Flora a hug?
I seriously love Jacob. I think he’s so sweet and I liked how Flora trusted him so much and how he cared so deeply for her. I was so scared that she wouldn’t see Jacob before he died. I also kind of knew he had cancer but I was constantly curious. I like his letter at the end and I felt so bad because she never got to say goodbye.
Jacob is the best brother for her. He gave her what she needed and he made sure she was looked after. I forgave Paige by the end. I do not like Flora’s parents. Her mum needs help because she’s definetly not well. Flora shouldn’t be living like that and her mum knows that, deep down. I’m glad Flora is on the right track and has a happy ending. I do wish she had Jacob though. This was such a unique book and it touched me in ways I did not expect.
What are your thoughts? Did you like this book? Let me know in the comments.