The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

If I am honest, I was extremely annoyed with this book at the beginning. Flora Banks has no short term memory which means that essentially every page repeats the same information, which was extremely frustrating. I almost gave up on reading the book, but I never stop halfway when reading.

I am glad I kept with it. Either Flora’s memory got better or I got used to reading repetitive information, but I enjoyed the book. The story follows Flora, a girl stuck in time. She takes an insane amount of medicine to help her memory, which she has been told is faulty because of a disease she was diagnosed with when she was 10. She has clear memories of her life before her diagnosis, but until she kissed Drake, every memory slipped her grasp.

While Flora seemed to be a dependent young girl, she proved herself over and over again. Without her parents, and facing a fallout with her best friend, Flora is alone to fend for herself. And to find Drake, because if he helped Flora remember one memory, maybe he can fix her memory altogether. However, Flora has to rely on notes to herself to remember everything. So taking a trip to the Arctic Circle is not an easy task.

This novel is a great selection for teens, provided that the repetition at the beginning of the novel is not too discouraging.

– Leila S., 12th grade

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

With Malice by Eileen Cook

Get ready to clear your schedule because With Malice by Eileen Cook will keep you hooked and unwilling to put her story down. Yale-bound, 18-year-old Jill Charron’s life is turned around when she wakes up in a hospital bed with a big blank where the memories of the past six weeks should be. Learning that she was in a cataclysmic car accident, she is shocked when she learnt it happened in her dream school trip abroad in Italy. Struggling to recover from her injuries sustained in the accident, she is startled to discover her best friend of over ten years, Simone, is dead.

Furthermore, she discovers her affluent father has hired a top-notch lawyer because the car accident and Simone’s death are being investigated as a murder, and Jill is being accused of causing Simone’s death. Simultaneously recovering from her injuries, and dealing with the aftermath of the accident, Jill must piece together the glimpses of memories she has to figure out what really happened to her best friend.

As I read this book, I was completely enamored with the story, and I could not put it down. The concept of the story may not be unique, but it was told in a way that made it seem like it was. The way Jill was portrayed in the story was accurate and she seemed like a real person. The ending fell a little bit flat, but overall the story was engrossing.

-Anmol K.

With Malice by Eileen Cook is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded from Overdrive