The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

florabanks“I am really here.
Yet I know I am not.
I am inside something that must be buried in my head.
I am layers deep in my own brain.”

Reading this book is like eating bittersweet cotton candy. It’s such a wonderful story about everyone’s favourite brand of treacled torment: the perils of first love. And yes, the pile of teary tissues on your duvet will grow with every turn of the page.

Flora Banks is 17. She has just kissed a bespectacled and forbidden dream-boat on a beach. And she remembers it – which is a rather big deal for Flora, because she suffers from anterograde amnesia. Helpful sticky-notes, scribbles on her arms and her parents’ and best friend’s guidance shape her day-to-day world. She has not remembered a single event since she was ten. But now Flora cannot forget that kiss. There’s just a slight obstacle: the boy on the beach is moving to the Arctic. Convinced that he is the key to unlocking her memories, Flora decides to risk leaving her sheltered life and travel to the Arctic to find him. But, as she soon discovers, this is not the type of book where the young lead gets her miraculous and dreamy ending.

Flora is definitely the sweetest character I have met in a long time. Her naivety and bravery and her absolute believe in that cure-all called love, is so endearing. I rooted for her from the very first page and I applaud Emily Barr for how incredibly well written this character is. Not only is it difficult to write a convincing 10-year-old, but to write about an almost adult trapped in her 10-year-old self’s memories, and do it with such depth, is truly something special. I was initially worried that I would grow bored reading about a character who has to remind herself of where she is and what she is meant to be doing, every few pages, but the plot moves along quickly and the story stays interesting throughout. Flora’s is an unforgettable journey with a beautiful soul.

The One Memory of Flora Banks is slated for release in January 2017. Perfect for fans of John Green, or anyone who has just suffered a broken heart and needs something to read while they hibernate beneath the covers and devour an, upon reflection, appalling amount of chocolate truffles.

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