The Memory Hit by Carla Spradbery
*Please bear in mind that this review contains very mild spoilers - but nothing major.*
The Memory Hit focuses on the lives of a few teenagers and the ways in which they get caught up with a drug called Nostalgex: a pill that allows users to access memories from their past as well as remember recent things like chapters from a textbook. The book is from the perspective of Jess and Cooper, in alternating chapters, although at times it could be hard to tell who was who, as they sounded so similar and even with the headings, it took me a moment to get into each character's side.
When I saw a quote from James Dawson on the cover, I knew I needed to read this book. With thriller themes and fast-paced action, it's certainly a book you can speed through at an enjoyable pace. However, I had a few issues with this book that I just couldn't ignore. Firstly, Jess has a complete disregard towards people dying - it's just kind of brushed off and whilst it would have been more realistic to show her emotions as more than just a quick shock, I understand that the author was trying to get as much action in as she could. Secondly, I feel as though there were so many things happening that it didn't feel realistic. The action and pacing was good, but the events in the book didn't seem to make much sense in the real world. For this reason, I had to separate myself from reading a contemporary thriller and pretend I was almost in a fantasy book, in order for it to feel more real. I didn't really connect with any of the characters and I can't say I particularly liked any of them either.
One aspect of the book that I approved of was the portrayal of an abusive relationship. From the beginning of the book, we learn that Jess' boyfriend is an abusive one and whilst some YA books glorify this kind of behaviour, this one didn't. We clearly saw Jess' thoughts before and after she realised this wasn't okay and it was clear she wasn't putting up with it anymore.
Overall, the book was okay. I would recommend it if you like fast-paced action thrillers but if you want something hard hitting or realistic, this probably isn't for you. For the most part, I felt as though the book was trying so hard to be a twisty thriller, it forgot to make sense.
This review was originally featured on Blogger's Bookshelf