HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO TRUST WHEN YOU CAN’T EVEN TRUST YOURSELF?
I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA BE BRAVE.
Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.
Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t, and the next day she remembers it. It’s the first time she’s remembered anything since she was ten.
But the boy is gone. She thinks he’s moved to the Arctic.
Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?
What does TWG think?
#FloraBanks surprised me by being classified as a YA book, but in my opinion, I feel as though it is really for adults too (basically don’t let the YA classification sway you!). It is fantastic to see that YA are being made aware of situations like Flora Banks’ that’s for sure. Hell, I even learnt a thing or two!
To say that Flora Banks struggles with her memory would be an understatement; she has anterograde amnesia. In simple terms, Flora cannot remember the things that we take for granted (routine etc) and she relies solely on trust, as well as notes.
Put yourself in Flora’s shoes; you get up every single day completely unaware of who you are, what you like or how to do things. You come across a human being who says that they’re your mum. You believe them, yes? Of course you do, you have no reason not to…as far as you’re aware. That human being then decides to give you an item of food that you’re not even sure that you like; but they tell you that it’s your favourite. You believe them again, yes? But then, if it wasn’t confusing enough, another human being speaks to you and tells you that in fact, you are allergic to that food item that was just handed to you. NOW who do you believe?
Emily Barr puts the reader into Flora Banks’ shoes with the way she has written the storyline. Instead of looking at characters from an outsider point of view and being able to see things before they do, the readers ARE Flora. We are reminded of the personal talks that Flora has with herself on multiple occasions. Just like Flora, we don’t see a room in the storyline; instead we see the post it notes and make a bee-line for those. It’s raw, it’s emotional and unbelievably powerful.
Multiple times throughout the book I found myself panicking as I had become rather invested in Flora’s emotions. She couldn’t remember. I couldn’t remember. Well, I had nothing TO remember, I didn’t know the storyline until I had read it. Forget trying to piece the situations together like a jigsaw puzzle; you need to ride every circumstance out like rogue wave. Unpredictable and incredibly forceful.
I was blown away by the intelligence behind Flora’s actions, but most importantly, the complete storyline itself. Emily Barr has put memory loss on the map, underlined it and given it a ‘look at me’ style theme tune. For that, I take my hat off to her. It takes a talented author to take such a topic that a lot of readers may be unaware of, and create a storyline around that whilst also being true to the facts. However, it takes an incredible author to do all of what I have just mentioned, connect that storyline with three-dimensional characters AND leave the reader completely entranced.
Emily Barr, you are that incredible author.
A mind-blowing, phenomenal read that will have you find emotion you never knew existed. If you don’t believe me, read it yourself.
Thank you Netgalley.
The One Memory of Flora Banks is out now in e-book and can be bought here.
However, if you prefer paperbacks, sit tight as it will be released on the 12th January. You can pre-order your physical copy right here.