* Book Review: BONE GAP by Laura Ruby
* Cover Reveal: KEEPER OF SOULS by Casey L. Bond
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Ages 15 - 17
Sammie McCoy is a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as possible. Nothing will stand in her way—not even the rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly steal her memories and then her health.
So the memory book is born: a journal written to Sammie's future self, so she can remember everything from where she stashed her study guides to just how great it feels to have a best friend again. It's where she'll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime-crush Stuart, a gifted young writer home for the summer. And where she'll admit how much she's missed her childhood friend Cooper, and the ridiculous lengths he will go to make her laugh. The memory book will ensure Sammie never forgets the most important parts of her life—the people who have broken her heart, those who have mended it—and most of all, that if she's going to die, she's going to die living.
I chose to read THE MEMORY BOOK because of the premise, a girl with a rare degenerative disease that robs her of her memory bit by bit. I remember reading FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON when I was a teen, how that story tore me to pieces emotionally and has stuck with me for more than 30 years. Still one of my top ten fav reads of all time. So I was hoping Avery's book would be like that for me.
Overall, it was a great read. I read late into the night, turning pages. The romance was sweet. The book sometimes humorous, sometimes emotional. The downside was that it could have been more. I think the story ended a little abruptly. I suppose I wanted to really experience the end of this disease with the character whom I'd fallen in love with over the course of the book. But she sort of disappears, which I guess is realistic, but I did not feel satisfied with the way the ending was written. I guess that's really it. My only other complaint is that I think there are way too many YA books where the protagonist is an outsider--a nerd or disabled or sick or fat or whatever. Not that this was really an issue with THE MEMORY BOOK. Samantha was a great character, but she made me want more books with mainstream teens who also face challenges in their otherwise "normal" lives. Got me thinking.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and do recommend it highly. Perfect for fans of books like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.
Profanity - High
Violence - None
Sexuality - High (not explicit, but sex between minors does occur)