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.
Publishing Date: 12 Jan 2017
I haven’t done a book review in the longest time so I may be a little rusty. Bear with me.
This was such an odd little book but it was such an incredible adventure that it was impossible to not fall head over heels in love with it.
So let’s start with the storyline. In this book, we follow Flora, a girl with amnesia. Of course because of her condition, she becomes a highly unreliable narrator. Something that I found very interesting. I love unreliable narrators because then when the twist comes, it’s usually a bigger sucker punch.
So the story follows her as she goes to the Artic in an attempt to find the boy she kissed all while trying to help herself remember where she is, what she’s doing and who she can trust.
A pretty unique and quirky storyline in my opinion.
I loved Flora. I thought she was so brave (see what I did there?). No but seriously, for someone who loses everything in a matter of an hour or two, I thought Flora did an excellent job getting herself to the Arctic and hunting down Drake.
I mean personally, I would have been so terrified not knowing what was true and who had my best interests at heart and who didn’t.
But above all, I really liked how resilient she was. I mean here she was, writing everything down. So she knew how long she had spent looking for Drake. However each day, she just got up and went right back out to look for him. Never knowing where she was headed, where he was or what he was doing. She just kept on keeping on.
There was just something so pure and innocent with her that I really enjoyed. It’s impossible to not root for her.
There are no words for me to tell you how much I hated Drake. I don’t know why exactly but from the very beginning I just felt like something was so off about him.
I mean come on. Any guy that kisses another girl while they have a girlfriend is just screwed up. Not to mention that he does this literally a day before he leaves claiming that she will forget so it doesn’t matter. Like excuse me! It totally matters! You can’t just use someone like that! It’s as good as rape. I mean he was using her!
I don’t know I think I just felt so protective over Flora that knowing that this boy was ultimately going to hurt her just made me hate him.
I honestly don’t get Paige. I mean okay. She had every right to be angry about Flora kissing her boyfriend and I fully respect her decision to not want to babysit Flora when her parents went to Paris.
But instead of just ditching her, a responsible human being would have told her parents at least that she would not be looking after her.
I mean yeah it was good that she called every day but seriously? How irresponsible can you get?
And I don’t get how they were suddenly BFFs again at the end of the novel. How did Jacob even talk to Paige? I’m confused here!
I enjoyed this novel immensely. I think especially with YA contemporary novels, you tend to get a lot of the exact same things and formulas. But with this book, there was so much that was different that it made the book really stand out.
I wasn’t pleased with the plot holes and the loose ends that were not tied up properly but I think it was an altogether pretty amazing concept and story.
The charachters, while not all loveable, were very well-developed and I enjoyed learning about them.
If you’re looking for a light read with serious undertones, I strongly recommend picking this up.
*An advanced copy of this book was given to me to read and review by Penguin. All opinions however are my own*