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The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks (edition 2018)

by Emily Barr (Author)

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1941687,425 (3.62)1
Title:The One Memory of Flora Banks
Authors:Emily Barr (Author)
Info:Speak (2018), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:teen, young adult, kiss, misunderstanding, travel, determined, lies, short-term memory, Anterograde Amnesia, tattoo, reminders

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The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr



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I don't really know how I feel about this book. I can definitely say I've never read anything quite like it before, but I can't decide whether I actually enjoyed it. Reading a story from the point of view of a character with short-term memory problems was fascinating, but all the repetition, as necessary as it was to the atmosphere of the story, got annoying pretty fast. I found myself skimming through the parts that kept repeating over and over by the middle of the book. I feel like this story requires some suspension of disbelief, most notably in that the extremely overprotective parents left the country without even getting in contact with Paige, who was supposed to be staying with Flora. I did like the ending, though I don't want to spoil it by saying exactly why I liked it. All in all, it was a unique coming of age story, and I liked the overall message that people can be capable of so much more than they think. It's a book worth reading. Thanks to First to Read for the advance copy. ( )
  carlie892 | Oct 10, 2018 |
I am glad I skimmed to the end because I enjoyed the ending. I got a little bored with the repetition even though I understood why it was written that way. I really disliked the creepy boy's emails and skipped reading them after I got the gist of them. How would you teach your child internet safety if they couldn't remember what you taught? Actually I guess that's a big part of the book- how can you keep someone with no memory safe? ( )
  wrightja2000 | Sep 6, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The One Memory of Flora Banks was a great novel! I loved the characters and their personalities. The bravery that Flora Banks has is immensely impressive, even without her anterograde amnesia ♥ I really liked this new perspective of seeing the world through Flora's eyes. However, there was a lot of repetition and a few other things that could have been improved. My blog review has my full thoughts.

Here's my blog review: https://pagesenchanted.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/book-review-the-one-memory-of-flora-banks/ ( )
  PagesEnchanted | Jul 24, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
What an amazing read! I am not normally a fast reader, and wasn't really what one would call fast when I read this book, but I read the entire book in one sitting, very unusual for me. Flora Banks was a healthy, happy young girl in the early part of her life, but it all ended when she was ten. I have always been interested in stories that have a medical background running through it. Why would everything stop when she was ten when she is seventeen now? There is definitely a story here that will prove to be very interesting and very surprising. There is obviously going to be something unique in its structure and in Flora's life. She has a tattoo, she's had it since she was ten, it is on her hand and says FLORA, be brave; very strange for a child that age. But Flora is not five, she is seventeen! She is at a party, it says so on her arm. She and Drake kissed on the beach and she remembers, she's never remembered anything for any length of time, but this she remembers longer than any other thing. Unfortunately Drake is her best friend Paige's boyfriend but he is moving to Norway to study in the frigid north. But why is she like this? What happened when she was ten?

According to her notebook, which is not in her handwriting, Flora can not retain the memory of anything within an hour or possibly less. (Until Drake kissed her on the beach, that's a memory she has partially retained but won't write in the book.) The notebook tells her she had a tumor and it was removed causing her to lose memories of the present. She has Anterograde Amnesia. But does she? Something doesn't sit right. When her parents are called to Paris because her brother is ill, they assume her friend is coming to be with her, not realizing that her friend is angry with her and not a friend anymore. As a result, Flora, having found her passport and money is on her way to North Pole in Norway to visit Drake, so she decides. With Drake in her mind she is remembering, she is not losing the memory. Will she find him? Will she be able to get herself halfway around the world with her memory problems? What is so frightening about traveling? Why didn't her parents take her with them to see her brother in Paris? Why does she want to go to Flambards? Why are her parents so against it? So many questions in this book. The ending took me by surprise, though it shouldn't have. It is in the background of the "memories" and the notes on her arms, post-it notes, and notebook. Why won't her parents take her to a favourite This is an incredible story of loss, fear, sadness, lies, over-protection, self-blame, angst, confusion, joint effort between Jacob her brother and Paige who is her best friend, to free Flora from her trapped brain. So much sorrow, angst and need. Did Flora ever get real comfort? Her biggest support will come from the dying brother Jacob and her friend Paige. FLORA, be brave.

As said earlier, I usually take longer to read a story but I was so into it, and I admit to a bit of confusion and occasional lapses while reading, leading to distrust. This is a book I will read again, and a great book club story in my opinion. So, now, what is the real reason for the subterfuge. It is listed as Young Adult, which I consider absolutely correct, Flora is seventeen - now eighteen. ( )
  readerbynight | Jul 1, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
4.5 Stars. While I found this a compelling page-turner, at the same time, I can see where other readers may dislike it or even DNF it.

The most obvious stumbling block for some will be the writing style. Flora has short term memory loss, so to reflect that, her thoughts are somewhat choppy and repetitive and the entire story is told that way. I thought it was really well done, reflective of the confusion Flora feels without confusing the reader, and even though Flora thinks in somewhat simplistic terms, those simple words manage to capture a lot of emotion, too. For me, it was such an effective way to convey Flora’s character and her struggle, but I know there are those who have a tough time getting acclimated to stories told in an unusual voice, so if you’re one of them, you might want to try an excerpt of this first to make sure it works for you rather than jump right in.

Very early on, Flora (an unreliable narrator so you can’t be certain of anything) may or may not have kissed her best friend’s boyfriend. Flora becomes obsessed with this guy, convinced she’s in love with him, that he’s her future, her everything, she’ll be so happy and feel so alive if she builds her life around him. Between the possible friend betrayal and being so consumed with a boy that she is willing to follow him anywhere, you may have questions about Flora morally and on a feminist level, and on top of that her feelings for this guy just seem like too much too soon.

But if you manage to overlook those things, or better still, if you try to understand Flora’s state of mind, her desperation to hold on to memories, to feel grown up, her longing to live life like other people, then maybe you’ll be able to settle in for the adventure this book offers and the fascinating way Flora has to constantly write things on her hands and arms, in notebooks, on random pieces of paper and frequently refer to them, putting together the pieces, every day a mystery she has to solve just to have some inkling of where she is, who she’s with, and what she’s doing.

I loved the mixed emotions I felt throughout this book, Flora is such a vulnerable person, you want her to be safe and protected, yet as concerned as you might be for her, it’s thrilling in the moments when she breaks away from her sheltered existence. I love that even though Flora’s circumstances may be sad and despairing, confining, and scary for her even, it’s a hopeful and inspiring feeling to read about someone fighting to overcome and following her motto to be brave.

One last thing I wanted to note for those who enjoyed and own the hardcover edition, the North American paperback includes a bonus chapter, it features Flora and her brother, if you were fond of that relationship it’s a heartwarming little addition to the story, however, it’s very short, only four or five pages, so take that into consideration when deciding whether to buy another copy or to just borrow it.

I received this paperback through a giveaway. ( )
  SJGirl | Jun 25, 2018 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141368519, Paperback)

The most unforgettable book of the year! Memento meets Nicola Yoon's EverythingEverything in this breathtaking page-turner about a girl with no short-term memory and her remarkable journey, against all odds, to find the one boy able to penetrate her fractured mind.

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.
A remarkable and powerful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit—and the mind—against all logic.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 08 Feb 2017 17:41:39 -0500)

A girl with recurring memory loss chases down the boy she loves based on the one memory she is able to hold onto. For the past seven years Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the tumor was removed from her brain at the age of ten. Then when she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town, this one memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind and sticks. She's convinced that Drake is making her whole again. When an email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world-- in Svalbard, Norway-- will this be the first step toward reclaiming her life? Or will the journey reveal that nothing is quite as it seems?… (more)

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