Wednesday, January 9, 2013

MEMENTO NORA by Angie Smibert

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The Blurb:
On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget.

In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC--a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can go onlike nothing ever happened. But at TFC a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora's life. She doesn't take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember.

With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?

Angie Smibert's remarkable debut novel takes readers on a thrilling ride through a shadowy world where corporations secretly rule and consumerism is praised above all.

The Afterglow:

Memento Nora had me from hello. The title caught my interest because it was so different. Then the blurb held my interest. I immediately put it on my to-read list on goodreads, hoping to spend money on it another day since I was already maxed out that month (a common problem for me). It was just before Christmas that I remembered it. Maybe you can figure out why from the timing. I thought about all the things people wish they could forget, things they can't explain, traumatic things. And I wondered how it would be handled in a book where a pill can help you forget a trauma. 

It was handled well.

From three different points of view, Angie Smibert leads you into this world where consumerism is more than a fashion thing, it's a way of life. And if you stop consuming/buying things long enough to notice what's wrong in society, you might just disappear. 

Things I loved:
  • a friendship where half the dialogue takes place through thoughts and facial expressions because they're just that tight. And it actually works. 
  • a romance that didn't hit me over the head, was subtle and realistic in a surreal world. 
  • a character with an artistic temperament (read: crazy) who builds kinetic sculptures!
  • accidental revolutionaries
  • unique characters with solid back stories
  • the ending. Here's where I always have to be careful because I don't want to give any spoilers. I'll just say that the ending is both inevitable and surprising, troubling and satisfying. Can't figure out what that means? Me neither. Just read the book!
Also, the voice is fantastic! There's art in much of the prose, but it doesn't detract from the story at all. In fact, Winter's POV wouldn't be Winter without it.
As with many excellent books these days, this is the first in a series. I'll be hopping into the next one here soon:

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