20 October 2011

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.

What happens if people can choose to forget traumatic memories? This book starts with a great premise and only goes up from there. Nora’s mother forgets all the time. Nora, though, is not so sure. When she sees a bombing victim her mother takes her to the clinic to forget, but a schoolmate of Nora’s shows her how to buck the system and remember instead. Nora learns her mother’s horrible secret of why she forgets things so often, and Nora realizes she’s stuck in a world where she can’t trust anything she thought she could. Nora starts making friends with the classmate, and along with another new friend they try to discover the truth about what everyone’s forgetting. I love the development of this dystopian world. The description of it seems rather sparse, but the book is only 184 pages, so there wasn’t a lot of room to put it down. You never really get the impression, though, that the world only exists where the character is, and it feels like there’s always more out there if the book was longer or the author had more time. The plot is a great mystery that the reader can follow along with and guess correctly if they’re insightful enough. I’m not sure you want to take your time with it, though, because the implications in the plot are chilling! If you like books that make you think it’s a great thing. In all Memento Nora was a great short read that you should pick up!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting. I like the pill to make you forget and what it implies about the culture and world.