Thanks to Penguin for sending me a copy of the book to review. When I first read the synopsis to the book, I knew that I was going to love it, but I didn’t realise just how much of an impact this would have on my life. If you’re a fan of ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon, then you will for sure love ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’.
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. – Goodreads
Flora Banks is such a beautifully written character, and there is so much about her that I love that I could talk about her forever. She can’t remember anything day-to-day, yet she has clever ways of making herself remember. She writes on her arm, in her note books, and writes letters to herself which she keeps under her bed. All these little creative and quirky ways of remembering things makes Flora feel less confused and it was beautiful to read about.It was hard for me to read about Flora going through a hard time, specifically at the end of the book, but I knew that everything was going to be okay because she has such a wonderful support network because she is such a lovely girl.
What I love most about Flora is her sense of adventure and her ability to just drop everything to go and get what she wants. She might lose all of her memory again in a few hours, but that doesn’t stop her from being strong and being brave. Just like the tattoo on her hand… FLORA be brave.
I found the story line so intriguing that I managed to finish it in one day/two sittings. There was so much going on, but it wasn’t confusing, instead it made me excited to see what was going to happen next. I literally couldn’t stop turning the pages. In the beginning, I thought this was just going to be a book about a girl with memory loss who learns to live with it anyway. But it was so much more – Flora grows so much throughout the book despite the step backs along the way.
Despite what happens, Drake arouses a memory from Flora that didn’t happen before she was ten, and that was so beautiful to read about. All of a sudden, there’s hope for Flora, and knowing that there was a possibility that she could remember more was so special.
That ending though… I can’t stop thinking about it. The last 50 or so pages was so hectic that I actually cried real tears… I barely ever cry when reading a book, but there were tears in my eyes and I had a sniffly nose! I just wanted to climb into the book and hug Flora and tell her that everything was going to be okay. It was such a plot twist and I couldn’t stop myself from losing it all the way to the end.
But the overall ending was nice. It’s left open for interpretation which was a bit of a bumma because I really wanted to know what was going to happen. But overall it was beautiful and left me with a smile on my face (despite the tears that were dried up on my cheeks).
Overall, I am giving this a perfect 5 stars out of 5. This will definitely be a book that sticks to me for a long time and I’m going to struggle to stop thinking about it. I highly recommend picking it up to read!