Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sunday Synopsis

The Forgetting (The Forgetting, #1)The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a page-turner. Let me start by saying I was a little skeptical at first. So many dystopian novels have cookie-cutter plots and characters. This one was somewhat different.

The main character is Nadia. It never says exactly how old she is, but I would guess about 15 or 16. She has a mother and two sisters. They live in Canaan, a very structured city surrounded by stone walls where everyone, except the Lost, has their place, their job, in sustaining the community. The city is run by a council who oversee the well-being of the citizens and make sure the rules are being followed.

Their motto is, "What isn't written, isn't remembered." Every day, they must write their memories in their book. The book stays tethered to them. If you have no book, you are Lost. You don't exist. Because every twelve years, the Forgetting comes, and all memories are lost. If your memories are not written in your book, you will wake up from the Forgetting and have no idea who you are, where you should go, what you should do. Except... Nadia remembers. And Nadia has also gone over the wall, an offense punishable by flogging. Nadia makes a discovery in the jungle outside the wall that may be the key to the Forgetting.

As I was reading, there were several instances where I was reminded of other works such as The Giver. Nadia, as well as the community of Canaan, reminded me of Jonas and his society. The part of the novel where Nadia makes a discovery in the jungle reminded me so much of the TV show Lost. I was actually quite disappointed in that part because it was unoriginal. The descriptions and a few other details reminded me of the story "All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that story inspired the novel.

On first starting this book, I was confused. It was difficult to sort things out and put the pieces together, so I feel like a young adult who is not a strong reader would get discouraged. The relationships among characters are unclear at first. However, once I was about a fourth of the way into the book, it was difficult to put down. Once you reach what you think is the climax, you realize it wasn't, and there's another, and another. It almost went on a little too long.

Overall, this was a clever take on a dystopian world. Well done, Ms Cameron!

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