Thursday, February 28, 2013

THE FORGETTING CURVE by Angie Smibert

My first read of 2013 was MEMENTO NORA by Angie Smibert, and I Afterglowed that one, too.

But Book 2 in the series?

Even. better!

I just clicked out of my kindle copy of THE FORGETTING CURVE and I am experiencing some serious Afterglow feels. Angie Smibert is an expert at giving me a less-than-happy ending that manages to offer both hope and meaning. I kind of feel like part of the revolution now.

Before I get too rambly, let me show you the book I'm gushing over:


add it on goodreads

"This sequel to Memento Nora follows tech-wiz Aiden, who joins the growing underground resistance."

DISCLAIMER: Not the actual blurb. Goodreads was lame, so I wrote my own:

Fresh out of his boarding school in Switzerland, where terrorist attacks are only just beginning, Aiden is looking for trouble, doors to rattle on, code to de-crypt, something--anything--to hack and charm his way into. 
His cousin Winter sent him some strange hollowed out book filled with a homemade comic called MEMENTO, but when he joins her in the states, she doesn't remember sending it... or printing it... or ever seeing it before in her life. All she can tell him is that it's definitely her friend Micah's artwork. 
Winter, you see, is crazy. Her parents think so. Her doctors think so. The hummingbirds that flutter in her mind disagree. So do her kinetic sculptures, lurching and ticking and beeping in the breeze of her grandfather's Japanese-style rock garden. 
Velvet knows Winter isn't crazy, not that anybody would ask a thrift store clerk with no specific talents or hobbies other than being able to throw together a killer retro outfit. Velvet has Aiden's number from the beginning, and she won't be charmed into anything. But when Aiden comes up with a way to save Winter from the over-medication that's turning her into Stepford Winter, even Velvet is impressed... a little bit. 
Then things get intense. People aren't just forgetting anymore. They're remembering things that didn't really happen. The MemeCast infiltrates mobiles. The revolution will be co-opted. 

No place is safe anymore.

My Afterglow: 

I read a review for this second book before I had the chance to start it myself, which I always/usually regret. This time it set my expectations kind of low because the reviewer didn't enjoy the narrating characters (Winter, Aiden, and Velvet)  as much as she had in the first book (Nora, Micah, and Winter).

Boy, I couldn't disagree with her more!

As much as I enjoyed the first book, I LOVED the second book.

The narrators were my kind of crazy (literally, different brain chemistry from "normal" folks), and each with his or her own unique way of seeing the world.

For Winter, it's the hummingbirds (caged bird motif?) that drive her to tinker, to create.

For Aiden, it's this idea of needing to rattle doors, see which ones will open to him (hacker).

For Velvet, it's a killer sense of thrift store fashion with her very own Book of Velvet filled with rules that keep her emotionally safe.

See what I mean? They're crazy. And I LOVED it. Set against a backdrop of corporate/government conspiracy to control the populace with TFC's (the distributor of a neurochemical that "helps" you forget traumatic events), crazy is exactly what we need for tour guides!

Beyond the killer concept of this, and the fantastic characterization, there's this wellspring of emotion that just freaking geysers at the end. The last few scenes are short and painful, and yet...

Like I said before, there's this hope. There's this meaning.

It's profound.

Without the violence of the Hunger Games series (which I also read and loved), MEMENTO NORA and THE FORGETTING CURVE give you all that deep, thoughtful exploration into the mind of man, his free will vs. the machine. Even though both series are dystopias, it's not really a comparison because the books have completely different tones. The narrators of MEMENTO NORA and THE FORGETTING CURVE are more accessible than Katniss, at least to the modern teen. It's a glossy future, not a dusty coal town. It's a future within which many teens can probably picture themselves trapped... in a "safe" living compound with parents who make sure they're properly chipped according to the law. As such, it feels more present, like something you might live through in your lifetime.

The character arcs totally worked. The relationships felt genuine (which is why the emotion geyser at the end hit me so hard). I can't wait to read The Meme Plague.

Here's what the author says about the third book, set to release August 13, 2013.


Read with me:

 

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. :p Thanks, Matt! I Googled and found the full blurb, but by then I'd already written mine, so... Ha ha.

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  2. I haven't heard of this series yet, looks like I am missing out! I need to look this one up now. :)

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    1. Oh, do! I hope you love it. I'd love to see this one on the big screen someday.

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