Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way–not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.
So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart–a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.
Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.
I received a review copy of this book way back before it was released, and read it pretty much straight away. Ironically, I can’t remember many details about this book… but I do remember enjoying it, and getting slightly misty eyed at times… god, I need to start writing my reviews straight after I read the book, rather than leaving it for months!
I’ve read a few books about various terminal illnesses, and they tend to be a bit depressing and cliche, but for me, this book wasn’t like that at all – it was empowering.
Sam McCoy suffers with Niemann- Pick type C, which is basically a progressive form of dementia that develops in Younger People, or children, and has an extremely low recovery percentage, eventually taking over all of your regular body functions until you have virtually no control over your mind or body. Devastating.
I loved how headstrong and determined Sam was to not let the sickness beat her, and even when it did, how she still fought against it and learned to appreciate the little things in life – being more daring and venturing to experience new things.
Her relationship with her siblings was beautiful to read, especially their messages to her toward the end of the book. It was these that really got me. It was so moving to read her family and friends’ love for her, and that it WASN’T MORBID! The messages were light-hearted and positive – a true dedication to Sam’s memory, and it was beautiful.
I do have one (big-ish) qualm… the love triangle… oh the love triangle, how it pains me. Please, it’s a trope that’s totally overdone, and unless it’s done *really* well, 99% of the time I can’t bear it, and just don’t want to read it! But never mind.
All in all, this was a lovely book, and if you want to read an “illness” book that’s a bit different, this could be the one for you.
View The Memory Book on Goodreads.