Avery, Lara. The Memory Book. Little, Brown, and Company, 2016.
image from (www.goodreads.com)
Plot Summary (from book jacket)
"Sammie McCoy is a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as possible. Nothing will stand in her way--not even the rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly steal her memories and then her health.
So the memory book is born: a journal written to Sammie's future self, so she can remember everything from where she stashed her study guides to just how great it feels to have a best friend again. It's where she'll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime-crush Stuart, a gifted young writer home for the summer. And where she'll admit how much she's missed her childhood friend Cooper and the ridiculous lengths he will go to make her laugh. The memory book will ensure Sammie never forgets the most important parts of her life--the people who have broken her heart, those who have mended it--and most of all, that if she's going to die, she going to die living."
I can't remember (ironic) how this book got on my pile...did I read something about it? Was the author going to be at NTTBF or TLA this year? Was there some Twitter buzz? Anyway, I spent the weekend with The Memory Book.
Sammie McCoy has a plan and a life threatening illness is NOT part of it! I haven't heard of Niemann-Pick Disease (NPC) before reading this book (I've since done some research). I don't have NPC, but I do keep this blog as my own recording of books read, so I could relate to the character in that way.
The story was cute, the idea is creative, but the thing I enjoyed most about it was finding the literary allusions. There were at least 10 of them (mostly overt), as I made a list. Some references I probably didn't catch.
I flagged the chapter where Sammie predicts what will happen at the National Debate Tournament. I'm going to show that to our debate coach.
Avery's story is believable (wonder if she was a debater in school?), but I really didn't like Stuart. He seemed too...unrealistic...maybe there are people like Stuart in the world, but for me, he could have been left out and still had the story line of Cooper and Sammie's renewed friendship (the jealous fight scene would be rewritten).
I liked that different people in Sammie's life were able to write/type in her memory book. (Sign of the times--journals are digital).
I should have expected the ending, but the setup was so sweet I was lulled.