Monday, January 30, 2017

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Reviewed by Rita

We are made of our memories. This is what seventeen year old Nadia and others in the city of Canaan are taught. That’s why everyone in Canaan has a book tied to their body: they must write down everything they want to remember or else all will be lost in the Forgetting. Every twelve years, there is a night of violence in which all memories are lost: memories of family, of friends, even one’s own identity. The only way to preserve one’s self is to write what one wants to remember in the book. Anyone who loses their book after the Forgetting becomes one of the Lost. They are given a new identity but live a life of servitude.

Books are supposed to contain the truth, but not everyone writes the truth-- and Nadia knows because she is the only one who has never forgotten. She believes that they have not been told the truth about the Forgetting and that the true answers lie beyond the city walls. She will need the help of Gray, the handsome young glass blower who is the only one who knows she has been going over the city wall seeking answers. What causes the Forgetting and can it be stopped? Nadia needs to find the answers before the next Forgetting comes and the people of Canaan forget everything-- before Gray forgets her.

While I feel that the story could have flowed better, I really enjoyed learning the secrets of Canaan along with Nadia. There were plenty of unexpected discoveries about the city and the large, white stone walls that surround it. I found the premise of the story intriguing but was left wishing it was a little easier to follow. There are excerpts from Nadia’s books of memories throughout the story that seem to be somewhat random in their placement. It tended to throw me off a little as I read. The characters were well developed and grabbed my attention quickly. I found myself wondering if I would always write the truth in my book or if I would leave out the things that brought me pain, disappointment, or shame. Would I let the Forgetting give me a new start or would I seek the truth and try to put an end to it?

Overall, it was a good book.  I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the Hunger Games. While it lacked the intensity of the Hunger Games, there is a similar feel to the characters.  

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