Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Book Review: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur

The Unhappening of Genesis Lee
Author:  Shallee McArthur
Publisher:  Sky Pony Press, 352 pages
Expected Publication Date:  November 4, 2014
*ARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss

From Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.


Whew, that was intense!  I really enjoyed this unique and creative book about genetically altered humans with memory links who are called Mementi (the regular population is called Populace).  Mementi can remember every second, including feeling the emotion, tasting what they were eating, etc.  They wear their links and there is someone stealing the links, which means they don't have those memories.  Years, even their whole lives, can be taken.  Then Gena starts losing specific memories and the mystery deepens.

I was a little confused in the beginning about whether the Mementi had a choice in being this way, why they would do it when they were so vulnerable, although that was answered later on in the novel.  I do wish that had been made clear earlier. Obviously there are benefits to being Mementi.  For example, instead of going to school 8 hours a day they go for only 4 hours, absorbing informational memories.  They see themselves as better than the Populace, because Populace memories fade every day, every minute, while their memories are whole and complete forever.

I also wondered about romantic relationships among the Mementi because they completely cover their skin since they can't even touch another Mementi or they will swap memories.  How does that work then? 

I liked the relationship that develops between Kalen and Gena, and I felt so bad for Kalen when Gena didn't remember him and they had to start over.  How frightening to lose days of your life, to have met someone and formed a relationship and then not remember them! I found the whole concept to be fascinating, especially the fact that even when the memories weren't there, the feelings were but there was nothing to attach to them.  

Engrossing sci-fi mystery, I couldn't put this book down.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. For some reason this premise is just not pulling me in right now. I have to be in the right mood to read most Sci Fi books. It's not my genre of choice. But I am glad you liked it!

  2. Well, I definitely feel excited about reading this one now. It sounds like it's so good. Awesome review :)

  3. Damn it, you're introducing me to so many more books. Now my TBR is going to be even longer. This sounds like a unique story and I love the sound of it. Great review and thanks for sharing :)

  4. I saw this one on NG and was kinda on the fence about it so I didn't request it. Damn it. It looks like I should have. Did it feel different or unique? I just felt like when I read the synopsis that I'd already this book or some version of it multiple times, you know?

    1. I thought it was pretty unique. I mean, there are plenty of novels with the MC having some sort of amnesia, but I thought the whole sci-fi element of it was different. Let me know what you think if you read it! ~Pam