(PLOT BY GR) 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
Thank you Penguin for handing me a free copy through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.
“The one memory of Flora Banks” came to me on its release day so this review is coming a little late but it’s here and it’s really positive: I devour this book and I really loved it. The first time I read the plot I instantly thought about one of my favourite movie “50 first dates” and I found the theme of brief-term memory loss really interesting and original. It was so much Dory!
At first, I didn’t really like Flora since she kissed her best friend’s boyfriend and it seems like she doesn’t even care about her friend’s feelings but Flora is a 17 years old with a 11 years old mind — she doesn’t remember anything that happened after her accident — so she actually acts like a child because it’s not age who makes us behave in a certain way but it’s EXPERIENCE and it looks like Flora doesn’t have any of it; plus the kiss made her remember something for the first time after 6 YEARS. I mean she doesn’t even really remember her brother. So I couldn’t not relate to her and I became a mama-bear for the rest of the book: NOBODY CAN HURT FLORA!
The book has been criticize as a romance-that-makes-your-disease-disappear: I don’t agree with this. It’s true that half of the book is a search for true love because Flora thinks Drake is the love of her life and everything will be ok when she will be with him but it’s not the author’s purpose. So I am inviting you to read the book until the end. I am not giving you any spoilers. But there are a lot of twist that you can’t miss!
In addition, if you where in Flora’s shoes and you had your first memory in your life wouldn’t you try to pursuit the origin of that memory? I know I would.
What makes my nerves jump, beside Drake whom I am not saying a single word because it would be too much spoiler but I really DON’T LIKE him, are Flora’s parents in particular her mother. I find her too protective and at some points even abusive; I could understand her in certain moments of the book but in other I would have send her to jail.
“The one memory of Flora Banks” is written in a repetitively way since it has been told by Flora’s point of view, so every time the reader has to go through the loss of memory with Flora. The reading is really simple, overwhelming and emotional. And there are a couple of twist that will make you feel angrier and angrier.
I look at my hand. FLORA, it says, and that is me. Those marks on my hand spell out my name. I hang onto that. I am Flora. Under that word, it says: be brave. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and gather myself. I don’t know why I am here, but I will be all right.
At the end of this book I’m really craving for a ‘BE BRAVE’ tattoo on my wrist, setting a journey to Svalbard with someone and I really want to travelling.