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The Memory Book

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They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember. Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way--not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember. Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way--not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan. So the Memory Book is born: Sammie's notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It's where she'll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart--a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she'll admit how much she's missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship. Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it's not the life she planned.


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They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember. Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way--not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember. Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way--not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan. So the Memory Book is born: Sammie's notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It's where she'll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart--a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she'll admit how much she's missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship. Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it's not the life she planned.

30 review for The Memory Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I'M NOT CRYING. YOU'RE CRYING. Okay, truly, this was such a good book. It made me sniffle. I could actually feel the ghosts of tears deep in my eyeballs (spoiler: I do not actually cry while reading; but sometimes I feel like it). It was so so SO well written and emotional and the characters....ohhhh my gosh. You know how complex, dimensional, interesting characters can absolutely MAKE a book? They made this book. I wish to hug it MANY MANY TIMES. Yes this is an "illness" book. It's about Niemann- I'M NOT CRYING. YOU'RE CRYING. Okay, truly, this was such a good book. It made me sniffle. I could actually feel the ghosts of tears deep in my eyeballs (spoiler: I do not actually cry while reading; but sometimes I feel like it). It was so so SO well written and emotional and the characters....ohhhh my gosh. You know how complex, dimensional, interesting characters can absolutely MAKE a book? They made this book. I wish to hug it MANY MANY TIMES. Yes this is an "illness" book. It's about Niemann-Pick Type C which is a disease that affects your memory and gradually shuts down your body. So it presents a little like dementia at first, but then your body is failing and the symptoms are catastrophic. So you know, right away, this book is going to be SAD. But it also wasn't majorly depressing the WHOLE TIME. Which was a relief. A TON of the story is made up of making memories and friendship and food and chocolate milk and falling in love and being super smart and being super nerdy. PLUS IT WAS JUST SO RELATABLE TO ME I SHALL SHRIEK! I mean, obviously, I do not have this disease. But Sammie was just such a relatable and adorable character. A Brief List Of Things I Particularly Loved: • Sammie goes to a party and...READS A BOOK. • She cares more about Middle Earth than actual earth sometimes. • She is a huge nerd and likes complicated things. • She's accused of being very intense. • She sometimes fails at social cues, precious cucumber. <3 • She can drink a gallon of chocolate milk in one sitting (while reading a book preferably) • She frequently tells herself "you are not a robot" when she's trying to make friends. • She has a self-depreciating sense of humour that is wry and fabulous. Also there is FAMILY IN THIS BOOK. Awesome, epic family. Sammie has TWO FREAKING AWESOME PARENTS and 3 younger siblings who are equally cool. I'm just impressed, okay??!! More family orientated books! HUZZAH! And then of course there is the ROMANCE. And I was really really sold on it at first. She's had this crush on Stuart FOREVER and finally she spills to him that she likes him and oh my gosh. I'm not even a romantic. AND IT WAS SO SUPER CUTE. Their dates! They go out for iced coffee!! He kissed her on the cheek! They talk books and philosophy and about silly things! Stuart is a writer! Stuart is fabulous! Then...hahaha....okay. No spoilers. But the initial romance was my favourite. Friendship was handled very interestingly too. I'm saying "interestingly" which is a very polite way to truly be saying "WHAT THE FLIPPITY FLIP IS GOING ON HERE YOU DOLTS." Pardon me. Firstly Sammy has this friend, Maddie, who she's on the debate team with. Maddie gets super offended when Sammy doesn't tell her she's sick. I mean, what even, woman. Get a grip. And then we have Cooper...a sort of ex-childhood friend who starts to get closer to Sammie and help out now that she's sick. Cooper's like the dorky stupid pothead...but who's actually really sweet and dimensional. I LIKED COOPER MOSTLY. Also I liked the message that your business is YOURS TO TELL. Sometimes people assume that if you have an illness/disability you should be telling people. Well you know what? Labels do suck and people WILL treat you differently. So I think it's 100% okay to not always tell people things straight away. Sometimes you need to digest and figure out how you're different for knowing before you're reading for other's to treat you different for knowing. #RandomButThereItIs "So why not 5-stars, Cait?" you ask. "What are you grumpy about exactly?" Excellent question, fiend. I shall give you a small list: • Firstly because it has a love triangle. Like I won't go into DETAILS but this disappointed me because (A) why can't a guy/girl jus be friends? and (B) I felt like both boys did kind of romanticise Sammie's illness a bit there, and (C) while I liked BOTH sides of the triangle and it was a VERY WELL WRITTEN one...it did blindside me. I didn't think it'd go there. (view spoiler)[Especially when Sammie just starts falling in love with Cooper but doesn't really break it off with Stuart? I dislike that. I also dislike how, just because Stuart couldn't be with her 24/7 that meant she stopped loving him. Like, that's super shallow. ugh. And I REALLY loved Stuart and his writingness at the beginning, so this saddens me. (hide spoiler)] • It featured debates a lot at the beginning. I doooooon't caaaaare. • I did wish it would've gone into more detail about the illness because I know literally NOTHING ABOUT IT and wish I could've known more. Plus since Sammie is writing this book to remind her of stuff she might forget...she doesn't really catalogue her decline, so it came REALLY FAST for me. Basically, though, this book was AMAZING. The writing was incredible. It was feelsy. IT WAS ADORABLE. There was delicious food and fantastic family dynamics and the characters...like did I mention how real they felt?!? Plus Sammie was just a generally awesomely intense, nerdy, intelligent creature. I couldn't stop reading! I HAD TEARS IN MY SOUL. SOMEONE HOLD ME. NO WAIT, DON'T EVEN BOTHER. JUST GO READ THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY AND THEN COME BACK AND TALK TO ME AND WE CAN FLAIL TOGETHER.

  2. 5 out of 5

    BernLuvsBooks

    If you're reading this, you're probably wondering who you are... You are me, Samantha Agatha McCoy, in the not-so-distant future. I'm writing his for you. They say my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember. Niemann-Pick C (NPC), a rare genetic disorder that can affect cognition, motor function, memory and metabolism is at the heart of The Memory Book but it is Sammie's personal journey that will captu If you're reading this, you're probably wondering who you are... You are me, Samantha Agatha McCoy, in the not-so-distant future. I'm writing his for you. They say my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember. Niemann-Pick C (NPC), a rare genetic disorder that can affect cognition, motor function, memory and metabolism is at the heart of The Memory Book but it is Sammie's personal journey that will capture you and remain with you long after you have turned the last page of this book. When we first meet Samantha (Sammie) she has BIG plans. Plans to win her debate Nationals. Plans to give an amazing Valedictorian speech, and most importantly - plans to move to NYC and attend NYU. But her NPC condition takes a turn for the worse (sooner than she expected) and we begin to see her deteriorate with each page. The story is told through us reading her "memory book"entries. Sammie began her memory book as a means to hold onto her life. When she has a memory episode, she reads back recent entries for a clue as to where she was, what she was doing, etc. This format gives us a unique peek into her feelings, memories and day to day life. What really resonated with me was the fact that she was so young, so full of hopes & dreams and optimism. Lara Avery did an amazing job capturing her journey and how NPC changed her both at her core and outwardly via her symptoms. There were entries in the Memory Book that made me so sad. They made Sammie's "episodes" feel so real to me as the reader. I could feel her confusion, anxiety and loss. You can clearly see how the entries change from the ones written by the confident Sammie we met in the beginning of the book to the Sammie towards the end. There were also some wonderful secondary characters in this book. Sammie's entire family (her siblings were so vivid & unique), Stuart (her longtime crush) and Cooper (her childhood BFF & neighbor). Oh how I adored Cooper! There was a bit of a (minor) love triangle. In my opinion, it really made sense within the story and fit in with the overall development of some of the major characters. Due to Sammie's illness, feelings & the expression of feelings were definitely more pronounced/overt with the very real sense of "running out of time". Overall, this was a fairly quick, emotional & worth your time read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lazar

    I'm not okay.I just want to sit somewhere and cry for few hours :'( I'm not okay.I just want to sit somewhere and cry for few hours :'(

  4. 5 out of 5

    Giselle

    It's 2:30AM and I just finished reading this...*sniffles* And yes I'm tearing.. What a beautifully written book with such loud and interesting characters. Not only is there emphasis on the romance, but there's friendship and family.. And good Lord the letters at the end just made me cry. I loved Sammie. I love her ambition and her drive and her passion to not let this disease take over. Such a great message to everyone.. I'm going to recommend this to everyone and their mother. AHHH <3 ------- S It's 2:30AM and I just finished reading this...*sniffles* And yes I'm tearing.. What a beautifully written book with such loud and interesting characters. Not only is there emphasis on the romance, but there's friendship and family.. And good Lord the letters at the end just made me cry. I loved Sammie. I love her ambition and her drive and her passion to not let this disease take over. Such a great message to everyone.. I'm going to recommend this to everyone and their mother. AHHH <3 ------- Sammie has a rare genetic disorder that will rob her memories so she comes up with the memory book where she writes down everything that has happened to her. She constantly writes to her future self wherever she goes. Sammie is determined to keep her life as is. To graduate as valedictorian and to go to college. Sammie starts off as any ambitious hard worker and I love that she tries so hard to be perfect but we all know that won't last long. She is also socially awkward and I too love that she had some weaknesses. She could be a little judgemental at times: "I knew she didn't do it on purpose, but girls like her made me feel like garbage. Like, what's even the point with girls like her around." Especially with what she said about Cooper to Stuart. I was a little shocked she would do such a thing but obviously she made a mistake. And she keeps making mistakes because this is what a teenager does. Stuart and Cooper were great love interests and I was cheering for both. There is a love triangle but it's so well done, that I didn't mind at all. I love that her family and friends are all a big part of her life. I love that there's a focus on them as well. Her siblings are just too adorable. Her parents are concerned but sweet. I loved how Sammie handles herself. She's so wise! I love how ambitious she is and so driven to succeed. It's a great thing to see in a teen book. She's not perfect. There are instances where she messes up and you still love her all the same. There are also sad bits in it, so I have to warn you that with the laughter, some tears will be shed for this book. I know I pretty much lost it with those letters. Lara Avery does a wonderful job showing her decline but it's also so hard for the reader to see it happening. She knows how to write such well-developed characters that you will love and I kid you not, I'm still all teary just thinking about it. One thing that always bothers me is that the POC and the lesbian were shoved aside as secondary characters. I might be nitpicking here as well because Sammie is written as having curly hair and glasses. There is no indication of that on the cover, just another Caucasian model. If one wants to include diversity, show it on the cover and within your main cast of characters. Sorry for getting off tangent there. A remarkable heart-felt story that will have you crying and laughing all at the same time, The Memory Book is one underrated book of the year. RATING 4/5 QUOTES We were just space rocks bouncing off each other temporarily in this strange little Upper Valley void, but our trajectories were still separate. Sometimes life is really terrible. Sometimes life gives you a weird disease. Sometimes life is really good, but never in a simple sort of way. Maybe we depend too much on other people for what we think of as success. Like, maybe we share too much. Maybe that's why good things lose their good feeling because we give it all away. I was going for my own goals. I'm sort of a sponge. I have a few strong opinions, but they might change. I just want to find out everything I can. What about all the moments that surround the good things? If you can only remember your aspirations, you will have no idea how you got from point A to point B. Life is not just a series of triumphs. Do them because they're good things to do. Do them just for the sake of doing them. All strong women are allies, and if I can't run the world, you should, and you should know I'm behind you. I've lived with you right now and those right nows are everywhere, every time, in my house, in your house, on the mountain. I love you. Home is where love is. You're my home.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    One of the best character driven books I’ve read, The Memory Book is about a character who seems confidently able to voice out those crazy thoughts that an average person usually just says in her head, who’s constantly hilarious, highly intelligent, self-deprecating and always positive to a fault. That’s Samantha Agatha Mc Coy (even though she was never coy and had no understanding of small talk and social cues). “This is why I don’t make friends easily. Small talk, among many other things, make One of the best character driven books I’ve read, The Memory Book is about a character who seems confidently able to voice out those crazy thoughts that an average person usually just says in her head, who’s constantly hilarious, highly intelligent, self-deprecating and always positive to a fault. That’s Samantha Agatha Mc Coy (even though she was never coy and had no understanding of small talk and social cues). “This is why I don’t make friends easily. Small talk, among many other things, makes me want to punch a hole in the wall.” …and I have fallen in love with her character. Instead of succumbing to her sickness, (Niemann-Pick Type C, a kind of illness that causes dementia among many other symptoms), she concocts action plans, charts, motivational diagrams to plan for her future. “What are people who are completely screwed supposed to do? Look forlornly out the window? I’m not good at the feelingsy things. Let’s move on.” Girl doesn’t know the concept of giving up or even just taking a break and because her memory has been her super human power and the organ that has made her into the supposed genius that she is, she resolved to do everything she could to hold on to what she thought was the best part of her through her “Memory Book” where she writes to her future self. I was just savoring the unique narrative and the creative journal entries, I even had to control myself from reading so fast because I wanted the story so much to last that I didn’t realize the sickness was slowly creeping in on Sammie as evident in her latter entries and it smashed my heart to pieces as much as it did her family and friends to see her shed layers of herself and yet they (her family and friends) prove (especially Cooper, my love) that Sammie’s best part isn’t just her memory, it’s her everything, her character, her love, her light, her confidence and compassion that make up who she is. And soon my incessant laughter during the first two-thirds of the book has been replaced with abandoned sobbing. Oh gawd! This book is beautiful, honestly hilarious, so inspiring and utterly heart shattering. I’m not sure if I’ll get over it. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year.

  6. 4 out of 5

    K.

    I honestly think the problem with this book is that I'm too damned old for it. I can tell already that the teenagers I work with will EAT THIS UP AND SOB OVER IT FOREVER. Meanwhile, I'm a grumpy old lady, waving her walking stick at the damned kids on her lawn. Frankly, I liked the secondary characters much more than the primary ones. Sam takes risks with her own life and the lives of others. Like...her parents are all "dude, don't go anywhere without a first responder". She has a condition that I honestly think the problem with this book is that I'm too damned old for it. I can tell already that the teenagers I work with will EAT THIS UP AND SOB OVER IT FOREVER. Meanwhile, I'm a grumpy old lady, waving her walking stick at the damned kids on her lawn. Frankly, I liked the secondary characters much more than the primary ones. Sam takes risks with her own life and the lives of others. Like...her parents are all "dude, don't go anywhere without a first responder". She has a condition that makes her forget things. What does she do? She goes out for a drive. By herself. Because operating a motor vehicle when you could have a seizure or an attack where you forget where you're going or who you are or, like, HOW TO DRIVE is a fucking terrible idea. I wanted to like Sam, I really did. But I just didn't. Yes, she was funny at times. Yes, she was unapologetically nerdy. Yes, I appreciated that she didn't want people to be all "OMG YOU'RE FORGETTING EVERYTHING????" about her and therefore she kept her illness to herself a lot of the time. But oof. Dude. Stop making bad decisions that could injure other people. Stop thinking you can continue your normal life. Stop pushing your family away just because they'd prefer you not to, you know, wander into traffic. Stuart...was a pretentious dick as far as I was concerned. Yes, it was cute having Sam discover that her crush of several years is crushing on her too. But I just...nope. (view spoiler)[To me, he just seemed like the kind of guy who would use the tragic loss of Sam to write a pretentious award winning novel, you know? (hide spoiler)] In contrast, Coop and Maddie were fabulous characters and I wanted more of them and less Sam. Which, frankly, is a little awkward. I think ultimately, I had two big problems with this: 1. Sam's final descent seemed to be REALLY fast; and 2. The romance side of things made me...uncomfortable. (view spoiler)[Like...yes, Coop and Sam's relationship is super cute. But it also moved SUPER QUICKLY. They go from kissing for the first time to his hand in her pants in literally a paragraph. And considering she'd only realised she had feelings for him a page before that, it was just........the Usain Bolt of relationships. Plus, when she's losing her memory and can't remember that they're in a relationship? It made me a little uncomfortable because, like, consent gets pretty iffy when one of the people in the relationship could forget that they're in a relationship at any moment. (hide spoiler)] So yeah. I wanted to really like this. But not so much. ETA: This book was clearly designed to give you All The Feels. I had, like, a half a feel, and that was reading the messages from Sam's family at the end. So. #TeamHeartlessCow

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    ** 4.5 stars ** Dear Lara Avery, thanks for breaking my heart. Sincerely, Patty ------------------------- I have so many emotions/feelings/whatever going through my mind. I finished The Memory Book late last night, and after I got over crying for a good solid hour (okay, so it was more like 2-3) I was filled with anger? No, no. Not the right word. Maybe frustration would be a better word? Yep. We'll go with that for the time being. I was frustrated with myself because I wasn't emotional prepar ** 4.5 stars ** Dear Lara Avery, thanks for breaking my heart. Sincerely, Patty ------------------------- I have so many emotions/feelings/whatever going through my mind. I finished The Memory Book late last night, and after I got over crying for a good solid hour (okay, so it was more like 2-3) I was filled with anger? No, no. Not the right word. Maybe frustration would be a better word? Yep. We'll go with that for the time being. I was frustrated with myself because I wasn't emotional prepared for this. I know, I know. It's not realistic but I didn't expect to be so emotional invested and now, I don't know what to do with myself. Sigh. Full review to be posted tomorrow

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    My full review is available on United by Pop. Actual rating 3.5 stars. This book is formatted in journal style entries penned by the fictional Samantha McCoy. Sammie is a straight A over-achiever with a love for The Lord of the Rings and a strict schedule for how her life is going to pan out. That is until she is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that sees her memory depleted and has a 100% fatality rate. Faced with the questions of her own mortality, Sammie must learn to accept her new fate a My full review is available on United by Pop. Actual rating 3.5 stars. This book is formatted in journal style entries penned by the fictional Samantha McCoy. Sammie is a straight A over-achiever with a love for The Lord of the Rings and a strict schedule for how her life is going to pan out. That is until she is diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that sees her memory depleted and has a 100% fatality rate. Faced with the questions of her own mortality, Sammie must learn to accept her new fate and learn to understand that life is not measured in statistics and test results. Sammie proved an engaging protagonist. Her diary entries allowed the reader to be privy to her innermost thoughts, which often proved emotional due to the rawness of penmanship exhibited. She sugar-coated nothing, both in her journal and in real-life, which provided some hilarious anecdotes to sweeten the poignancy. Her intensity made her the girl she was and is what allowed her to become a woman not defined by her disease.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stacee

    This is 100% not the type of book I would normally request. Angsty times are okay in very small and short doses, but there was something about that synopsis that intrigued me. I loved Sammie. I loved how smart she was and how she determined to deal with the disease. Her family was awesome and I adored her parents. This subject is a little {a lot} heartbreaking and how it was handled with the journal entries was just about perfection. The chapters without titles and wonky spelling/wording were so This is 100% not the type of book I would normally request. Angsty times are okay in very small and short doses, but there was something about that synopsis that intrigued me. I loved Sammie. I loved how smart she was and how she determined to deal with the disease. Her family was awesome and I adored her parents. This subject is a little {a lot} heartbreaking and how it was handled with the journal entries was just about perfection. The chapters without titles and wonky spelling/wording were so effective in showing how Sammie was progressing. And man, that last chapter gutted me. Overall, it was devastating and hopeful and maybe a little profound. I'm so happy I took a chance and read something out of my comfort zone. **Huge thanks to Poppy and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Oh, what a happy day when a book gets one out of one’s reading slump! Do you ever pick up a book and just know from the first page that you’re going to likely fall in love? Yeah, that was me and The Memory Book. Sammie just jumped out at me from the start, and I knew that I was all in. Her character jumped right off the page, and I was enamored with her immediately. And I stayed that way You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight Oh, what a happy day when a book gets one out of one’s reading slump! Do you ever pick up a book and just know from the first page that you’re going to likely fall in love? Yeah, that was me and The Memory Book. Sammie just jumped out at me from the start, and I knew that I was all in. Her character jumped right off the page, and I was enamored with her immediately. And I stayed that way until the end. Sammie's story is obviously not rainbows and sunshine. Nor is it all doom and gloom either- it's just life. And even though Sammie has been dealt a really lousy hand, she's still a young woman trying to figure out her place in the world. She's navigating relationships, and the end of high school, and family stuff, all while being told "hey, you probably aren't going to remember you anymore".  It is incredibly moving in that respect alone, but I adored Sammie so much that it made her journey so much more meaningful to read. A few more things I loved about this book? Why not!  • Sammie's family is hugely involved in her life- and not just because of the disease. No, they were in it long before that, this just makes their importance in her life much more apparent. Her relationship with her mother especially jumped out at me, as it warmed my heart, but her dad and her siblings were also fabulous characters.  The way Sammie hopes and dreams for them... well, I am tearing up again. • I loved the journal-style! And I really loved that Sammie wrote it in a .doc file, because let's be real, it was so relatable. And while it was certainly character-driven, as you'd expect, the story never dragged. • The writing is incredible. I don't want to give too much away, but there were these subtleties within the writing that coincided with the events in the book and it just kind of blew me away. If you've read it... (view spoiler)[As Sammie's mental state deteriorates, so does her writing- purposefully on the author's part, it appears, and so subtly, over time, that when I realized it was happening, it literally took my breath away and I had to put the book down for a minute. (hide spoiler)] • There is some romance. And it's messy and confusing, and not one of those tropey "oh you're sick so we'll pretend everything is perfect" kind of things. And I won't say anything else about that, for reasons. Bottom Line: Sammie and her story captured my heart completely. She is an offbeat, sweet character who is not perfect, and whose life won't be taking the path she always assumed it would. The Memory Book is about life and love, acceptance and perseverance, and it is undoubtedly a story I won't forget. A side note:  I didn't want to bring this up, because frankly, I have no knowledge to speak of this. But alas, I got a comment on Goodreads about the book and its depiction of Niemann Pick Type C, which is what Sammie has in The Memory Book. It was from a woman named Debbie whose daughter has this awful condition. My heart broke for her, because no one should have to face this- not this mother, not her family, and certainly not her daughter. And as a mother who has absolutely spoken out about her own son's genetic disorder portrayal, I understand where she is coming from. Or at least, I understand somewhat, as I cannot even imagine what fighting her particular battle must be like- and I think it takes a ton of courage to speak up and start this dialogue. That said, I felt like perhaps it is a bit unfair to say that the author downplayed the severity of the disease. In my (admittedly unprofessional) research, every medical site I read indicates that Niemann–Pick type C has a wide clinical spectrum- in prognosis, in diagnosis age, and in regards to symptoms in general.  I also think it is hard to present every facet of a disease in the short pages of a novel. My point is that there doesn't seem to be a "one size fits all", and I encourage you to check out the site that was provided to me. There are stories, as well as links to family's stories and professional resources. I feel like the best thing to do in a situation like this is to educate ourselves, and I certainly intend to. Sammie's story touched my heart, and so now does Debbie and Rachael's. What was the last great book that you read that got you out of a slump? And of course, we must talk if you have read this one! 

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    I honestly did not know what to expect when I went into this book. I was sent a copy by the publisher, unsolicited, and a quick check online made me give it a chance, and let me tell you, I'm so glad that I did! The Memory Book follows Samantha, who had her life all planned out, until she discovers that she has a rare medical condition that will limit her life. Her condition, Niemann-Pick Type C, is a disease that affects memory and gradually shuts down the body. So, she needs a new plan. Knowin I honestly did not know what to expect when I went into this book. I was sent a copy by the publisher, unsolicited, and a quick check online made me give it a chance, and let me tell you, I'm so glad that I did! The Memory Book follows Samantha, who had her life all planned out, until she discovers that she has a rare medical condition that will limit her life. Her condition, Niemann-Pick Type C, is a disease that affects memory and gradually shuts down the body. So, she needs a new plan. Knowing that life will never be the same again, she creates the Memory Book, where she jots down anything that she wants to remember in the future - no matter how big or small it is. As the days, months, years, progress, Sammie slowly starts to deteriorate, but so much happens, and she learns so much about herself, that she is still able to tell us about it all, in her own words. I loved Sammie - she was so relatable, and funny, and even with this dark shadow hanging over her, she still lives her life to the fullest. From the get go, she is a planner - initially planning to be valedictorian and go off to college - and when her first plan doesn't pan out, she just amends it to fit her new plan. Because of the way that the story is written, as if it's Sammie's journal, we see even more of her than we would normally do. She pours out her heart and soul, and all of her worries, into her diary entries, and it honestly felt like we were in her shoes for most of the book. Nothing about what she was going through was sugar coated, and it was emotional raw reading at times. However, that doesn't mean everything about book was sad or upsetting. One thing I really appreciated in this book was how present Sammie's family was in the story. In most of the YA books recently, parents are barely there, if at all, but that really wasn't the case here. Obviously with how debilitating Sammie's condition would become, the family wanted to spend time with her doing things as memories - and not just for her Memory Book, but for them all to appreciate. The family had always been an important part to Sammie's life, but now, when it's really important for her especially to try and do things as she normally would, they worked with her every step of the way. Romance isn't really a huge part to the book, but there is some in there. It was cute when I was reading them, but I cared more about Sammie herself, or her familial relationships, that I didn't really get invested in anything romantic. Overall, this was such a good book, and I'm really glad I gave it a go. It stuck with me so long after finishing, and if I was in Sammie's situation, I honestly don't know what I would've done. Definitely a book I'd recommend to everyone!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    The format was really fun to read but I wasn't a fan of how messy it could feel sometimes - it felt like, after the first 40%, I couldn't predict where the story was going, or it wasn't building up to where it ended. Still, I guess that's what real life is like, so in that case, it gets an A++ The one thing that got at me was Sammie's reluctance to tell people about her NPC. If they reacted badly, then that's a good sign to cut those people out of your life. If they react kindly, but not too pat The format was really fun to read but I wasn't a fan of how messy it could feel sometimes - it felt like, after the first 40%, I couldn't predict where the story was going, or it wasn't building up to where it ended. Still, I guess that's what real life is like, so in that case, it gets an A++ The one thing that got at me was Sammie's reluctance to tell people about her NPC. If they reacted badly, then that's a good sign to cut those people out of your life. If they react kindly, but not too patronisingly, then it's a solid way to learn who truly cares about you! The logic is something I can't wrap my head around, even if I know why it's such a trope in books like this. But, when am I going to read a book where the main character has a physical or mental issue and it isn't the focus of their lifestyle? *sigh* I really liked the romance that kind of snuck up behind me in the middle there. It was unexpected, but the dynamic between the couple is one of my favourite types. The ending though, wow. That really pumped the emotions out of me. I didn't think I was as connected to the characters until the finale, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Figgy

    Actual Rating 2.5 The Memory Book has many of the required elements for a book that will tug at your heartstrings and linger long after reading.- Our main character has a condition which will result in the loss of her memory and eventually her life. - Said main character with said devastating and ultimately fatal condition is a teenager who’s about to finish high school and has so many plans for her future. Plans which will never eventuate thanks to said condition. - Recently after the diagnosis sh Actual Rating 2.5 The Memory Book has many of the required elements for a book that will tug at your heartstrings and linger long after reading.- Our main character has a condition which will result in the loss of her memory and eventually her life. - Said main character with said devastating and ultimately fatal condition is a teenager who’s about to finish high school and has so many plans for her future. Plans which will never eventuate thanks to said condition. - Recently after the diagnosis she develops a relationship with the boy she’s had a crush on for years. - She also reconnects with the boy she used to be the best of friends with. The guy who has always thought she was awesome. - She’s the oldest child in her family, and has some truly touching moments with her parents and siblings. - It’s told in the form of a diary, so we get an unreliable narrator and prime seats all in one. - She refuses to submit to her condition. She’s determined to beat it. Despite all the people telling her how bad her prognosis is. Despite signs of deterioration and lapses in memory.For lovers of books like The Fault in Our Stars, this is bound to be a hit. Unfortunately there was something missing for this reader. The rest of this review can be found HERE!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Teodora

    Bulgarian review: https://bookishipster.wordpress.com/2... Actual rating: 4.5 stars. I still can't realise how much i loved this book. I never expected to like it that much, for it to bring me so many emotions and for me to not want to finish it because of that. It was such a beautiful read, full with beautiful characters, stories and life lessons. I loved it. It was really, really powerful. Bulgarian review: https://bookishipster.wordpress.com/2... Actual rating: 4.5 stars. I still can't realise how much i loved this book. I never expected to like it that much, for it to bring me so many emotions and for me to not want to finish it because of that. It was such a beautiful read, full with beautiful characters, stories and life lessons. I loved it. It was really, really powerful.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Teodora

    This was a very easy and light read. If I wasn't in this reading slump I would've finished this in a day. Even though the ending is sad, its a happy sad. I didn't feel depressed at all from it. I think its cause we are all expecting it, even if we wish it never happened. I never knew such a thing as NPC existed so I'm glad I read this book. I love Cooper even if he doesn't have a 50's hairdo :') This was a very easy and light read. If I wasn't in this reading slump I would've finished this in a day. Even though the ending is sad, its a happy sad. I didn't feel depressed at all from it. I think its cause we are all expecting it, even if we wish it never happened. I never knew such a thing as NPC existed so I'm glad I read this book. I love Cooper even if he doesn't have a 50's hairdo :')

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bee

    I really loved the first quarter of the book - I feel in love with the characters and the narration style! (For once I felt like the unique format actually worked really well and genuinely enhanced the reading experience!) You knew it was building up to something, and I just wanted everyone to stay in this happy, protective bubble. But you know that's impossible because it's the whole reason Sammie's writing this book in the first place - so that she can remember everything that was important to I really loved the first quarter of the book - I feel in love with the characters and the narration style! (For once I felt like the unique format actually worked really well and genuinely enhanced the reading experience!) You knew it was building up to something, and I just wanted everyone to stay in this happy, protective bubble. But you know that's impossible because it's the whole reason Sammie's writing this book in the first place - so that she can remember everything that was important to her even when she starts losing her memory. From the first 25% I was really excited to give this book four stars, but then things started to change in the middle. For one, Sammie became slightly more unlikeable because she was the kind of person that wanted everyone to be up front to her, but she wasn't prepared to return the favour. (AKA. She was hiding her problems from her best friend and boyfriend, and while I understand the reasoning behind this - you don't want them to treat you differently - if they do then you can just talk to them. They're not very supportive if they don't take your feelings into consideration, and it just makes me sad that some people don't trust their friends enough to continue treating them like a real person even when something drastic has happened.) Also, the middle is much more romance focused and I started to lose interest because although Stuart was nice, Cooper's been around from the beginning of the story and it's quite obvious (because Sammie tells him so) that Sammie has feelings for Coop, and he probably returns them. So, I could never fully support Sammie and Stuart's relationship because they weren't right for each other at the time. Cooper was a highlight of this whole thing. He's the kind of person everyone underestimates just because he's made some bad decisions in the past. I loved when Sammie and Cooper were reconnecting in the final quarter of the book, because the way the memories were reported was bittersweet and beautiful. They had so much more chemistry than Sammie and Stuart. The ending was way too abrupt and not what I thought we were working towards. In fact the whole thing felt like it lacked a bit of direction. There's no doubting that this is a mostly character based story, and that's okay, but I kept trying to predict what where the story would go and it definitely DIDN'T end how I was expecting. I can't help feeling a little disappointed even though I was so emotional.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie Grace

    this was such a beautiful book. it was a sad book -- we're talking about memory loss, but it was done in such a way that it still felt a little hopeful. the writing was gorgeous, the cover is gorgeous, and I love how the book was set up. it all worked so perfectly, and I didn't put it down once I started reading. there was also a character who was a writer and I related to some of his writer woes so that made me ridiculously happy. :P this was such a beautiful book. it was a sad book -- we're talking about memory loss, but it was done in such a way that it still felt a little hopeful. the writing was gorgeous, the cover is gorgeous, and I love how the book was set up. it all worked so perfectly, and I didn't put it down once I started reading. there was also a character who was a writer and I related to some of his writer woes so that made me ridiculously happy. :P

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katerina Kondrenko

    9.5 out of 10 Wow. Yet again I see that YA contemporary can be powerful. It a very sad story told in the funniest way. One twist was a bit messy, but I don't mind it. The thing is, it's not that hard to make me cry, but books manage to do so not often nowadays. And I value each tear!) This book has a bunch of awesome characters. Modern literature loves to present antiheroes and antagonists of all sorts. To reveal dark sides of human nature. This story is 180C from it. It's about the best we d 9.5 out of 10 Wow. Yet again I see that YA contemporary can be powerful. It a very sad story told in the funniest way. One twist was a bit messy, but I don't mind it. The thing is, it's not that hard to make me cry, but books manage to do so not often nowadays. And I value each tear!) This book has a bunch of awesome characters. Modern literature loves to present antiheroes and antagonists of all sorts. To reveal dark sides of human nature. This story is 180C from it. It's about the best we do have in us. Each character is a little sun that warms the reader's heart. PS. Russian cover sucks, I mean, the MC has curly hair. So who did you portrayed, guys?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    "I'm glad I'm writing the good and the bad. I'm glad I didn't delete anything. If you can only remember your aspirations, you will have no idea how you got from point A to point B." What a tough but very good read. About something I'd never heard of - Niemann-Pick Type C (or NPC). And the journey through Sammie's life as her goal driven self comes to the realization that she has a disease - will leave you shaken. A powerful story and one I'm glad I read. "I'm glad I'm writing the good and the bad. I'm glad I didn't delete anything. If you can only remember your aspirations, you will have no idea how you got from point A to point B." What a tough but very good read. About something I'd never heard of - Niemann-Pick Type C (or NPC). And the journey through Sammie's life as her goal driven self comes to the realization that she has a disease - will leave you shaken. A powerful story and one I'm glad I read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    Yo. If you like contemporaries then you need to pick this book up. You just need to. This gave me all the feels that The Fault in Our Stars did. I loved Sammie as a main character but loved Coop even more. This will make you laugh, cry and make you appreciate all those good and bad memories you are lucky enough to remember. Ugh, this book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Louise

    Wow. My heart is simultaneously full and empty. Sammie has Niemann–Pick type C, which presents itself with an array of symptoms, including the focus of The Memory Book, progressive dementia. To commemorate her life, Sammie creates a written collection of memories addressed to her future self. It's not a fluid story, but more like fragments of the good and bad, and something about that felt so real. It's easy to connect to Sammie. From beginning to end, it felt like you, as the reader, are her, t Wow. My heart is simultaneously full and empty. Sammie has Niemann–Pick type C, which presents itself with an array of symptoms, including the focus of The Memory Book, progressive dementia. To commemorate her life, Sammie creates a written collection of memories addressed to her future self. It's not a fluid story, but more like fragments of the good and bad, and something about that felt so real. It's easy to connect to Sammie. From beginning to end, it felt like you, as the reader, are her, the future Sammie. It's such agony to read about the balance between wanting to remain realistic of the outcome of the disease and still wanting her to live life as originally planned. Her family was wonderful. They are so present and supportive. Not only does The Memory Book show the struggle of living with Niemann–Pick type C, but also the lasting effects it leaves on loved ones. It highlighted the sadness, but also the anger with how unfair this disease is. There's two love interests, and really, that's the only issue I had. The story didn't need both. I favoured Cooper, only because there's something about the childhood friend trope that I love, but either Stuart or Cooper would have left a lasting impression. They're both positive lights in Sammie's life. Be prepared for tears.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nomes

    I really liked this and once I got about 20% into it, I found my reading mojo and didn't want to put it down. I loved where the story went and if I had to make a criticism it is that the first half of the novel felt so completely different to the second half (in terms of setting and characters who were give a lot of page time). Although, this does reflect the main characters life as it changed dramatically over the course of the novel. This is definitely a tissue box book, but with plenty of swo I really liked this and once I got about 20% into it, I found my reading mojo and didn't want to put it down. I loved where the story went and if I had to make a criticism it is that the first half of the novel felt so completely different to the second half (in terms of setting and characters who were give a lot of page time). Although, this does reflect the main characters life as it changed dramatically over the course of the novel. This is definitely a tissue box book, but with plenty of swoons to balance out the sadness. I particularly loved the way the author captured those carefree childhood days, living out on a hobby farm and just living in the moment.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alannah

    IT IS 1:13 AM AND I AM SOBBING! Why did this books have to tear apart my heart like that?? I am in no state to write a review right now, I will have to come back to it tomorrow. :(

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tilly Booth

    This book was so heavy and sad but also really great. It centres around Sammie who is diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C. It's sort of like Dementia but eventually your entire body shuts down too. So obviously, it's not going to be a light, fluffy contemporary book. I didn't like the writing. I almost put this book down because you read from the perspective of Sammie writing her day's in a book. Although I didn't like the perspective, it was a great idea. A memory book. So when Sammie would forg This book was so heavy and sad but also really great. It centres around Sammie who is diagnosed with Niemann-Pick Type C. It's sort of like Dementia but eventually your entire body shuts down too. So obviously, it's not going to be a light, fluffy contemporary book. I didn't like the writing. I almost put this book down because you read from the perspective of Sammie writing her day's in a book. Although I didn't like the perspective, it was a great idea. A memory book. So when Sammie would forget where she was she could read the book and realise what she had been doing. I like the characters. Sammie was so great. I loved her determination and she's so smart. Yet the first time she has a blank in memory was the moment I knew I loved her as a character. I wanted to reach into the book and tell her it was okay and protect her. We also had family in this book! I love it when family plays a role in books. I kinda wanted to see more of it but I was happy with Sammie's parents, loving her unconditionally and protective. Her younger siblings causing trouble and loving her. We also have Coop, the neighbour/ex best friend. The plot itself was okay. It unfortunately did one of my biggest pet peeves...wait two of them. I can't tell you what because SPOILERS but it brought the book down for me. I was glad I finished this book (dry eyed, somehow!) and when I closed it, I sighed and the heaviness on my chest eased a little. It made me feel. I do kinda wish they'd talked about the disease more because I still don't know exactly what it's like but I did enjoy it.

  25. 5 out of 5

    theresa

    ok so i feel REALLY REALLY shitty about giving this book just 2 stars.well 2.5 stars. i wanted to love it so much.it was a heartbreaking story and an important read for sure but i just couldn't connect with any of the characters and the story itself..idk why agh the writing was beautiful though and its an emotional rollercoaster so still give it a chance,because maybe i am just weird or i read it at the wrong time?? ok so i feel REALLY REALLY shitty about giving this book just 2 stars.well 2.5 stars. i wanted to love it so much.it was a heartbreaking story and an important read for sure but i just couldn't connect with any of the characters and the story itself..idk why agh the writing was beautiful though and its an emotional rollercoaster so still give it a chance,because maybe i am just weird or i read it at the wrong time??

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I don't know what the hell makes me like these sorts of books so much, but they get to me every time. I blame reading too many Lurlene McDaniel books when I was young and impressionable. I guess my dad was right and they did warp my brain. It's a problem. I don't know what the hell makes me like these sorts of books so much, but they get to me every time. I blame reading too many Lurlene McDaniel books when I was young and impressionable. I guess my dad was right and they did warp my brain. It's a problem.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erin Lynn

    All the ugly tears in the world right now. Full review to come.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Geez what a sad book. Really good though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alisha Brook

    Title: The Memory Book Series: - Author: Lara Avery Rating: 4 stars *CRYING* Review to come.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)

    I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I needed this book. It seems like every book I have been reading lately has been mediocre or just blah. I needed a book that made me feel and this was it. First of all, I had to look up the disease that Sammie suffers from and it's real. I guess I was hoping it was fictional because of everything Sammie had to go through. One day Sammie is working towards being a valedictorian and practicing for debate tournaments; the next day I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I needed this book. It seems like every book I have been reading lately has been mediocre or just blah. I needed a book that made me feel and this was it. First of all, I had to look up the disease that Sammie suffers from and it's real. I guess I was hoping it was fictional because of everything Sammie had to go through. One day Sammie is working towards being a valedictorian and practicing for debate tournaments; the next day, she receives a diagnosis that changes everything. She has NPC, a genetic disease that will slowly eat away at her body and will cause her to forget everything and everyone. I can't even imagine what it must be like to be seventeen and to know that you may soon forget everyone you know. This entire book is written kind of as a letter or journal. It's Sammie writing to herself so that she can look back and remember things. At first, this letter format kind of got in the way of connecting with Sammie, but I think that's because Sammie wasn't feeling a whole lot at first. I mean, yeah she was angry and upset that this was happening. But she was also in major denial. She still thought she could move away and go to college at NYU and become a lawyer. Sammie was a rare case because she didn't start manifesting symptoms until she was seventeen and apparently, that is a lot older than people usually are when they are diagnosed. Maybe it was because she didn't even get sick until later than the usual patient, but she thought she was different from so many other patients. God, I loved this girl's determination. She was so focused and she didn't want to let ANYTHING get in the way of her plans. I hated watching it in a way because I had a feeling I knew it would end badly. And when she did have an episode where she forgot something, I hurt for her. Sammie's family was so damn awesome. I don't say that much, but I will say that about this one. Her parents were supportive and yet they were afraid. They wanted her to live her life, but they were terrified she would forget where she was in the middle of crossing a street or something. I loved how they tried to encourage her, even though they weren't as optimistic as Sammie was. And Sammie's siblings were so freaking adorable. I wish they had showed them more, but I loved the way Sammie talked about them in her memory book. I absolutely loved the friendship between Cooper and Sammie and I wanted more between them. Sammie had started dating a guy she had been crushing on forever (Stuart) and even though he was really sweet, I didn't like him for her nearly as much as Cooper. One thing that bugged me was Sammie's friend, Maddie. Sammie didn't tell her or anyone else about her illness for a long time because she didn't want to be treated differently. I get that. When Sammie finally told her, Maddie acted awful. Maddie said she couldn't handle her being sick and that Sammie was selfish for telling her when she did and that Sammie was using her. Maddie made Sammie's illness all about her and she didn't even try to understand why Sammie wouldn't want to advertise it. They eventually made up, but I never really forgave Maddie for that. This book was so incredibly heartbreaking. I know I said that it was a bit hard to relate to Sammie in the beginning with the format, but it didn't take long to fall in love with her. And the format ended up working REALLY well when Sammie's disease started progressing. You could tell by the lack of formatting that things were getting worse. By the end of the book, I was crying. Yeah, I was up at 4:00am reading this book and trying not to let my crying wake my husband. Not the first time. This book was heartbreaking and emotional, but is WORTH READING! I loved every word.

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