Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Page count: 303
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult, Mental Health
Flora Banks has no short-term memory, she started forgetting things when she supposedly had a tumor removed from her brain when she was only 10 years old. Since then she has not been able to make any new memories, until one day she kisses a boy, she remembers, she remembers the kiss, she remembers the boy, she remembers how it felt. She kissed Drake the day before he was leaving town and once he leaves town Flora can’t get over how this boy made her remember, Flora thinks she needs Drake to make her better, she needs him to help her remember, he makes her remember. So when she receives an email from him to go and meet up on the other side of the world in one of the coldest countries, Flora knows she has to go and take this step to making new memories.
Flora sets off to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, with only the words written on her hand ‘be brave’ and notes to herself left in some notebooks to help her remember why she is there, all alone. As she settles into a little room ready to start her adventure Flora finds that everything isn’t as easy as she thought it would be and she must stay brave if she wants to find out some truths and make it home safely.
The One Memory of Flora Banks is a book I’ve been really interested in reading about since I first heard about it all over book-tube, the story of memory loss is something I’ve never read about before and was rather intrigued. Flora remembers nothing from before she was 10, to remind herself of who she is she keeps notes, with things written like how old she is, that she has memory loss and who the people around her are, she will read these notes and remember for a little while until she then has to go through the whole routine of reminding herself again.
This is a really scary story, not in the ‘ahhh it’s a ghost’ sense but more of the sense that, could you imagine waking up around people you don’t know and wondering why does your mum and dad look like they’ve aged so much? And going through that process every day.
I enjoyed Emily Barr’s writing and could not fault it, I would like to read more from her but the story itself wasn’t as impressive as I would of hoped. I did love Floras character and I was rooting for her all the way through, she is indeed, really brave and the whole concept of the story was strange and wonderful, it’s a book that did get me thinking and it’s so realistic that I left the book feeling lucky for the life and the memories I have.
The reason for not being thoroughly impressed by the story is that it is soooo repetitive, I completely understand why, I know that Flora only has certain memories and she has to remind herself all of the time who she is but this was written over and over again so much that I found myself getting a bit bored. The story did speed up more at the end but I could of done with the story being shorter with all of the repetitiveness taken out.
That said, I am glad I gave it a read and I think a lot of people will love it.