Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.
With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.
Publication information: Paperback, 303 pages. Published January 12th 2017 by Penguin.
First thoughts: I got this as a advanced readers copy from first in line. Usually I do not like contemporary books so I wasn’t overly excited about this one. But once I read it, it only took me one day to read. At the beginning it was very interesting to me.
Characters: Everything is about Flora Banks and everything is in her perspective. Which makes things very interesting. There’s other characters such as her best friend Paige, her parents, and her brother. And then of course there’s Drake her “boyfriend”. I do have a favorite character in this book and that is Flora herself. She grows a lot throughout and she becomes very strong. For the first 75% of the book Paige was the character I hated the most. Who just leaves their best friend like that? And somebody who is disabled no less. In my head she should have given her a little bit of a break and try to find out the true story before leaving her. But by the end Drake becomes my most hated character. Her brother plays a big part but you never see him. I won’t say more about that to avoid spoilers. I felt like her parents should have been more responsible. Or at least honest. By the end I was very annoyed with her mother, but her father gets better by the end.
Plot: Some people might say the plot was bad because it goes back and forth a lot, but personally I enjoyed the writing. Because of what flora has to deal with, how the book is written makes a lot of sense. You really become immersed in the story. When flora is confused so are you. The ending was amazing. All of the plot twists! It gets very emotional. I know I cried…at the end…you know at that one part with the letter. You get a lot of clarity at the end and it all makes sense. And it has a happy wholesome ending! I didn’t feel like it was missing anything or that I needed to read another book after.
End thoughts: I really enjoyed it. It was refreshing to see a character in a contemporary novel who is truly and completely original and different. It took me by surprise by how much I liked it.
Rating: 4/5 stars