Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Published by: Penguin
Publication date: 12th January 2017
Pages: 303, paperback
Genre: young adult
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.
The One Memory of Flora Banks is a book that has been anticipated by the YA community for months. I couldn’t wait to read it, and once I’d read it I couldn’t wait to review it. As this is such a recent release and so many may not have had the chance to read it yet, I’m going to try and avoid any massive spoilers.
I read this book expecting a love story, and I think that it would have been a brilliant romance. Honestly, midway through the book I found myself wondering why the story was still focused on Flora’s journey, rather than her heartfelt reunion with Drake. However, once I understood the direction the story was going in, I was delighted. The plot was absolutely captivating, and I soon found myself completely forgetting Drake and becoming entirely absorbed in Flora’s adventures.