Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: Remember by Eileen Cook

Author:  Eileen Cook
Publisher:  Simon Pulse, 320 pages
Expected Publication Date:  February 24, 2015
*ARC received from publisher via Edelweiss

From Goodreads:
A thrilling tale about what a girl will do to get back a memory she lost…or remove what she wants to forget.

Harper is used to her family being hounded by protesters. Her father runs the company that trademarked the "Memtex" procedure to wipe away sad memories, and plenty of people think it shouldn't be legal. Then a new demonstrator crosses her path, Neil, who’s as persistent as he is hot. Not that Harper’s noticing, since she already has a boyfriend.

When Harper suffers a loss, she’s shocked her father won’t allow her to get the treatment, so she finds a way to get it without his approval. Soon afterward, she’s plagued with strange symptoms, including hallucinations of a woman who is somehow both a stranger, yet incredibly familiar. Harper begins to wonder if she is delusional, or if these are somehow memories.

Together with Neil, who insists he has his own reasons for needing answers about the real dangers of Memtex, Harper begins her search for the truth. What she finds could uproot all she’s ever believed about her life…

I'm fascinated with books dealing with memories and I enjoyed the unique premise of a treatment that allows people to soften their memory of sad or traumatic events.  They don't forget about what happened, but it makes them not feel it as strongly and not care about it as much.  So if you're a victim of a crime or a soldier dealing with post traumatic stress, maybe this makes sense.  But what about if you had a bad date?  What about if your dog dies?  Should you be able to eliminate that pain?  Are we better people for going through horrible things and feeling those things?  I loved that this book made me think about these issues.

I have to say, though, Harper's an idiot and her friends barely try and talk her out of getting the procedure.  And it's completely unrealistic how easy it is for Harper to get it without her parents' permission.  After the procedure, Harper suddenly starts remembering things that don't make sense.  Has someone messed with her memories?  And if so, why?  Fast-paced and action-packed, Remember is an entertaining read.

Posted by:  Pam


  1. I'm not one for memory loss books, it's another topic I tend to stay away from. And if this one has some idiotic/unrealistic parts.. I don't know if this is for me.

  2. Ah, I'm less a fan of books dealing with memories because I feel like the amnesiac at the start of a thriller has been for the most part ruined for me. (Side note though: does it seem like a lot of memory books have covers where everything but a small part of the MC's face is blurred?).

    "But what about if you had a bad date? What about if your dog dies? Should you be able to eliminate that pain? Are we better people for going through horrible things and feeling those things?" -- This reminds me of a science article about a pill that might help trauma survivors deal with past memories by "dampening" the adrenaline response remembering those events would yield. I think it's something a lot of fiction writers use. Knowing that you enjoy these books, you might really like the debut More Happy than Not? I haven't read it myself, but it's pitched as a YA Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and that works with that sort of premise...