Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Memento Nora

Memento Nora
Angie Smibert
2011; Marshall Cavendish; ISBN 978-0-7614-5829-6 (hardcover)

Summary: In the future, terrorists strike frequently by bombing cars and shopping malls, rich people live behind the gates in secure compounds, and thanks to TFC--Therapeutic Forgetting Clinics--you don't have to remember traumatic events.  Nora James lives the good life, shopping with her mom and working on the yearbook with her girls.  Then she witnesses a bombing and takes her first visit to a TFC.  There, she meets a boy named Micah who encourages her to not forget.  With Micah's friend Winter, the three of them work together on a comic strip, one that reminds others of what they're forgetting.  Yet these actions will lead to unexpected consequences for Nora and her friends.

For fans of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series comes a novel that mines similar territory.  Set in a future not so different from the present, Memento Nora explores a world where anything unpleasant can be forgotten.  But when trauma can be anything from a terrorist attack to continued abuse from a loved one, the good intentions behind such memory loss can become part of a larger, darker plan.  TFCs are shown to work hand-in-hand with companies that create the terrorist attacks.  Nora slowly moves from being a pampered princess to a rebel, inspired by her desire to protect her mother from further abuse by Nora's father.  While Memento Nora does not have the richness of Uglies, its simplistic plot is elevated by its realistic ending and likable characters.  For middle-school readers, Memento Nora will be an enjoyable introduction to dystopian concepts, and many of those readers will be excited about The Forgetting Time, the sequel that will be published in 2012.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Good review and I think you're right that this is a good "intro" into the dystopian fiction world. Here is my review of the book: