Monday, January 31, 2011

Memento Nora

Memento Nora, a YA dystopia coming out in early April, is the debut for Angie Smibert.

Terrorist attacks are nearly a daily occurrence, but Nora has never witnessed one first-hand. But one day, as she's out shopping with her mother, the bookstore they're about to enter explodes and a body falls to the ground directly in front of fifteen-year-old Nora.

Per standard procedure after such tragic events, Nora's mother takes her to TFC - a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic - as keeping such memories can cause serious mental damage. It's her first time, and she'll have her Mom with her to example how you first describe the terrible memory and then take the pill to erase it.

But... a mysterious guy that Nora only sort of recognizes from her school catches her eye. And he does something that is unheard of.

He spits out the pill.

No one else notices. And Nora's mind is reeling as she enters the room with her mother.

Then her mother's memory isn't the one she expects to hear - it horrifies her.

And though it goes against everything she's ever known, Nora spits out her pill when no one is looking. Because someone needs to remember...

But remembering may prove far more dangerous than forgetting.

First off, is that an awesome premise or WHAT? And what's even better about it is that this slim YA novel packs all the punch you hope for from a synopsis like that, and more.

I really loved Memento Nora! It has a Minority Report-like futuristic world that is in many ways like ours, but more violent and bleak. The people are blank, having holes where memories used to be. We see a freedom-starved country that make their people zombie-like and fuzzy minded for their "own good".

And the catalyst of the story, Nora's first visit to TFC, is quickly and startlingly surprising, setting off a turn of events that feel BIG. Angie Smibert's writing ability is tremendous, as she is able to use few words to create a huge impact.

I can't really say much more about the story itself without giving away little spoilers, and believe me you're going to want to read Memento Nora for yourself! But I can say, safely, that the characters are easy to relate to and fascinating. And that this is one heck of a page-turner with an excellent plot - one of those books you get really into.

Memento Nora is utterly engrossing, soaked in a cloak 'n dagger suspense and a starkly imagined world where deeds can be done and consequences can be erased for compensation. Angie Smibert digs deeper than the superficial, though legitimate, fear of this prospect, and looks at the more human level. What could people get away with? Why? Who would the beneficiaries be? The result is a chilling, magnetic YA thriller that every dystopia fan should (and will) clamor for.

With its disarming simplicity and ege-of-your-seat suspense, Memento Nora managed to be scary, incredible and awesome right up to its breathless, astounding end! I honestly cannot wait for the sequel and must implore all of you to look for a copy in April!!!

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