Angie Smibert Memento Nora
192 pp. Mashall Cavendish 2011 ISBN: 978-0-7614-5829-6
Full Disclosure: Received ARC from publicist
Release Date: April 1, 2011
Summary (From the publisher): In Nora’s world you don’t have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC—a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take the pill that will erase it. But at TFC, a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora’s life. She doesn’t take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember. With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called M emento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever? Angie Smibert’s remarkable debut novel takes readers on a thrilling ride through shadowy world where corporations secretly rule and consumerism is praised above all.
Before I really get going on my review, I think I should let you know what my students think. They’re the target audience, so their thoughts count the most in my opinion! My students are interviewing Angie for my Students Want to Know feature, and I received a few ARCs from a publicist for them to read before asking questions. I handed the ARCs out to my freshmen to read before me. Wow! After a couple freshmen in my 1st hour read it, they couldn’t stop talking about it. “Is there going to be a second one?!” “Oh my gosh, the ending?! Wow!” “We should read this as a class, Mrs. Andersen.” So yeah, my students positively LOVE Memento Nora. And these excited students were actually some of my quieter kids in class.
Many times while reading this I thought of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. This story isn’t nearly as futuristic, but there are some similar properties like society being overly consumer-driven and forced to forget certain memories. Honestly, I enjoyed Memento Nora ten times more than the Uglies series. I turned bored quickly with that series. I don’t see myself getting bored with Angie’s stories because she’s edgier, a smart writer, and she’s developed great characters!
One of the things my students and I both like is the underground comic. My kids really got on board with this and even said they could picture kids doing that in our school. I do wish that we could actually see some of the comics while reading–it’d be so cool to see what Micah draws!
This is a really smart book that will hook readers right away. Would you take the little white pill to forget a painful memory? It’d be tempting, I’m sure. But then who would we be without our painful memories? Don’t we learn from those? The world can’t be “glossy” all the time, and this is something that Norah, Micah and Winter understand. My students wanted to discuss whether this sort of thing could happen in the future, considering the War on Terror.
The story is told effortlessly from all three points of view, which gives us a good grasp of who each character is. We read mostly from Norah’s perspective which I like because she’s new to the Memento comic scene, so we learn about it with her.
If you’re a fan of the dystopian genre, make sure to add Memento Nora to your to read list. It’s a thought-provoking, exciting story that teens and adults alike are sure to enjoy!