The One Memory of Flora Banks
Flora is seventeen, but has no short-term memory and thinks she is still ten-years-old. She has to use a notebook and sticky-notes to remind herself multiple times a day who she is and what's going on in her life since the tumour that caused her Amnesia was removed seven years ago. When she kisses Drake, her best friends boyfriend, on the beach before he leaves for Svalbard - this one memory seems to stick and she regularly remembers the kiss and the conversation she had with Drake that night. Armed with her notebook, a tattoo that says "be brave" and a determination to find Drake, who she believes can cure her Amnesia, she sets off on an adventure that not only helps her discover who she is, but also what secrets people have been hiding from her.
The One Memory of Flora Banks was an interesting book, that's for sure. I enjoyed it and read it fairly quickly, but I do have a few issues with it. Overall, I really liked the storyline and it was interesting reading a book from the POV of someone with Amnesia, which I imagine is quite hard to write and even harder to get accurate, but Barr does a good job with this and the illness and the character of Flora felt realistic. I also liked how the sentence structure and feel of the narrative was very 'young'. Although Flora was now 17, a lot of the book felt like we really were in the mind of a ten year old, just by the way it was written. I also liked how when Flora went off her meds and the chemistry in her brain was changing, it reflected in the writing style too.
I didn't particularly like that when Flora went on her adventure, every single person seemed to be a kind, good-natured person who wanted to help her. Whilst this was great, perhaps it's my pessimistic side coming out when I feel as though this just isn't realistic. In real life, if people saw somebody who seems to be suffering from some kind of mental health condition, the majority of people would just stare and not try to help. Sure there would be people who would help, but it wouldn't be every single person Flora encountered.
I felt very tense throughout most of this book and a lot of the times I was thinking "No... Oh, god no don't do that!!!" and wanting to scream at Flora, which was a frustrating aspect of the book but it was written that way, so I appreciated that the book achieved its goal of making me feel that way.
In general, I would recommend reading this book and it's definitely been on my mind since I finished reading it. It's a book everyone is talking about and whilst it isn't mind blowing, it is a really great read.