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On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget. In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC--a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget. In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC--a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can go on like nothing ever happened. But at TFC a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora's life. She doesn't take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember. With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever? Angie Smibert's remarkable debut novel takes readers on a thrilling ride through a shadowy world where corporations secretly rule and consumerism is praised above all.


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On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget. In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC--a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget. In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC--a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can go on like nothing ever happened. But at TFC a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora's life. She doesn't take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember. With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever? Angie Smibert's remarkable debut novel takes readers on a thrilling ride through a shadowy world where corporations secretly rule and consumerism is praised above all.

30 review for Memento Nora

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I can say with certainty that this book had me from the first sentence: “I’m about to forget everything I'm going to tell you.” I adore this book. It’s different from anything else out there right now. Everything in it is something that we’ve possibly seen before, but the way Angie Smibert has put the different elements together felt completely fresh and wonderfully thought-provoking. It’s unusual for me to really enjoy a mostly plot-driven book, but that’s what Memento Nora is: a fast drive thro I can say with certainty that this book had me from the first sentence: “I’m about to forget everything I'm going to tell you.” I adore this book. It’s different from anything else out there right now. Everything in it is something that we’ve possibly seen before, but the way Angie Smibert has put the different elements together felt completely fresh and wonderfully thought-provoking. It’s unusual for me to really enjoy a mostly plot-driven book, but that’s what Memento Nora is: a fast drive through contrivance, compliance, choice and consequence. It’s a thin book of only 192 pages, and not a single word is wasted. The setting takes place about 40 to 50 years in the future from what I can estimate. 9/11, the London Underground attack, the Madrid bombing, and a fourth fictional tragedy are defining moments that have shaped the world Nora lives in. Car bombings, curfews and armored escort vehicles are the norm. Consumerism is considered a right and civic responsibility, and Therapeutic Forgetting Clinics (TFCs) truly are the opiate of the masses. See something horrible? Hop over to your neighborhood TFC, pop a pill, and you will never have to remember it again. Nora is the main protagonist of the book, and she has a dream life as the beloved, spoiled, petted princess of her mother and father. In particular, her father concentrates on success and social status. The book opens with her and her mother on a shopping trip. During the outing, Nora witnesses a bombing and sees the body of person who died as a result of it. Hence, her trip to a TFC. Nora eventually meets Micah and Winter, the other two main characters in the story. Micah’s personal and economic situation is the exact opposite of Nora’s. He and his mother previously have lived out of a car, and they now essentially squat in a makeshift home in a commune, and by that I do not a Manson family-style commune, but more like a like urban food co-op/DIY/artesian community. Living there means you have no where else to go, but you wouldn’t mind sampling their kool-aid from time-to-time. However, the sense of community he has there is far preferable to the personal home situation Nora faces. Winter, on the other hand, is a rad, burgeoning artist who loves her best friend, Micah, and is wary of Nora. Her family has a past and a whole lot of pain that they carry on their backs and in their hearts. She has a very tight relationship with her grandfather, who appears to be one of those rare people who encompass both high personal standards and a warm and open mind. After everything she has lost and under her grandfather’s love, Winter’s art gives her something creative and useful to channel her emotions through. Winter also makes the best connections out the trio, and she’s the one who knows that junked, forgotten things sometimes offer the best solutions. The story is told through the eyes and ears of these three, and they take turns telling the narrative through alternating first-person points-of-view. Together, they write and distribute a comic book that changes everything. They have chosen to retain their memories and then record and distribute them so that they become a part of everyone else’s collective memory. Doing so exposes some people and entities whose actions would otherwise be wiped from memory. In a world where forgetting keeps the machine smoothly moving, such a step is not an act of rebellion so much as a call for revolution. Memento Nora is fascinating. It takes the premise that those who forget history are doomed to repeat to an extreme and very personal level. It mixes that with the idea of government-sanctioned, corporate control over the populace. I wouldn’t exactly call this book dystopian. Usually in dystopian novels, an author presents us with a seemingly perfect and well-ordered world and deconstructs it as we read. Smibert does the opposite and shows us that chaos can be as carefully constructed and controlled as perfection. She also pays homage to the book’s literary predecessors throughout the story, so be on the lookout for these nods (my personal favorite was the Jonas Defense Fund). In conclusion, Memento Nora is one those rare books that takes old ideas and reinvents them in a fresh, new way so that we may see their importance and relevance again. It’s savvy, political, intelligent and controversial – a mesmerizing what-if tale that hits way too close to home and already has seeds planted in the present. I highly recommend it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sesana

    The central gimmick of this book interested me. PTSD is a thing of the past. Just take one simple pill and those memories are gone, and the trauma with it. It's entirely voluntary, of course, but why wouldn't you take the pill? Why would you want to remember watching a man die in a terrorist attack, or that your husband regularly beats you? It makes for a dystopia (of the "everything is shiny on the surface but what is the cost?" type) that makes a great deal of sense. I can absolutely believe t The central gimmick of this book interested me. PTSD is a thing of the past. Just take one simple pill and those memories are gone, and the trauma with it. It's entirely voluntary, of course, but why wouldn't you take the pill? Why would you want to remember watching a man die in a terrorist attack, or that your husband regularly beats you? It makes for a dystopia (of the "everything is shiny on the surface but what is the cost?" type) that makes a great deal of sense. I can absolutely believe that The Forgetting Clinic would do such a booming business and be so powerful in the way that big corporations are in America, especially in a world that seems to be experiencing nearly constant terrorist attacks. And I like the small scale rebellions that the teenage characters engage in. To me, it's just much more realistic that they'd start with surreptitiously spitting out the pill and stealthily distributing an underground comic book to try to convince others to keep their memories, too. It just felt plausible, and like the likely next steps for these characters. I'm just not sure if this was the best story to tell in this world, because reading about characters printing a zine is somewhat less than riveting for me. Unfortunately, the characters themselves felt a little flat to me. The book is narrated by three characters, but two them (Nora and Micah) sound exactly alike. And the pampered suburban princess should not sound like the boy who was recently homeless. The third character, Winter, does have a bit of her own voice, but she gets way less narration space than Nora and Micah and never quite develops enough for my taste. So while the world building is better than average, the characters aren't. And because I don't particularly care about those characters, I'm not likely to read further in the series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Asenath

    This book was not for me. I was surprised when I first got it in the mail--it was a lot smaller than I had anticipated (both in page numbers and physical size.)Despite being less than 200 pages, I found it difficult to want to continue reading. The story just didn't draw me in. I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters. The chapters didn't end in cliffhangers. There weren't a lot of cliffhangers, actually. Not a lot happened. I had very high expectations for this book, probably because This book was not for me. I was surprised when I first got it in the mail--it was a lot smaller than I had anticipated (both in page numbers and physical size.)Despite being less than 200 pages, I found it difficult to want to continue reading. The story just didn't draw me in. I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters. The chapters didn't end in cliffhangers. There weren't a lot of cliffhangers, actually. Not a lot happened. I had very high expectations for this book, probably because the premise reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. This book was nowhere near as awesome as Eternal Sunshine. Sigh. I think the author/publisher should have done one of two things: condensed this to a powerful short story, or expanded it to a full size, more in-depth novel. When we have awesome books like The Hunger Games, Unwind and Delirium that create intricate, detailed worlds for the reader to get lost in, this book just can't compete. I liked the idea, but the execution just didn't work for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    This review was originally posted on my blog, Creativity's Corner This book was not what I was expecting, in any way shape or form. For one thing, it was smaller than I expected. It came from the library and it felt so tiny compared to the tomes I've become used to. For some reason, that made me even more excited to read it - it was something new and different! From the moment I cracked open this book I felt like I was in a different world. The writing style was so different, and yet I was compl This review was originally posted on my blog, Creativity's Corner This book was not what I was expecting, in any way shape or form. For one thing, it was smaller than I expected. It came from the library and it felt so tiny compared to the tomes I've become used to. For some reason, that made me even more excited to read it - it was something new and different! From the moment I cracked open this book I felt like I was in a different world. The writing style was so different, and yet I was completely absorbed in the book. It was only afterward that I realized what the style reminded me of - it was almost as if I were reading a novelization of a graphic novel. The cleverness of the style and how well it was pulled off absolutely amazed me! Whatever else this book might be, it is a work of art. Aside from that, I have to say the subject matter is very interesting. We all have those things we want to forget, because we're embarrassed or because they're traumatic, or because we just plain don't want to deal with them. A very different take on the subject than The Giver but just as relevant. The only thing I had a problem with is seeing how this might come about in the near future. It might happen eventually, but our culture is so obsessed with the dark and violent things - there's a reason for the millions of cop dramas and vampire shows and all that on TV. We're curious. It would have to get REALLY bad for us to want to erase that. Overall though, this is a wonderful book that should be appreciated both for content and for format. I'm excited to see where they're going with this, but more than that, I really hope they come out with a graphic novel version of the book. It would really fit the style and I know I would love to read it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides

    Normally YA dystopias leave me cold, or lukewarm. But I really loved this one. A store called Fahrenheit Books blows up early on in the story, and that made me feel like Smibert actually knew classic dystopic literature. (A clear allusion to Fahrenheit 451.) Plus, there's a plausible reason for this dystopic culture of voluntary forgetting to have developed — "corporations and governments want more money and power" will always be plausible. Everything fits together neatly, and there are hints (so Normally YA dystopias leave me cold, or lukewarm. But I really loved this one. A store called Fahrenheit Books blows up early on in the story, and that made me feel like Smibert actually knew classic dystopic literature. (A clear allusion to Fahrenheit 451.) Plus, there's a plausible reason for this dystopic culture of voluntary forgetting to have developed — "corporations and governments want more money and power" will always be plausible. Everything fits together neatly, and there are hints (some followed up on, some not) that the characters have connections that they don't know about. Something that Winter thinks early on — "I like things to be what they're going to be. Not what they were. Or could have been." — is chilling in light of the ending. The characters come from diverse backgrounds. Smibert lets the reader know that not everyone is an upper middle class straight white neurotypical person without being awkward or preachy. Even though the cover features what's probably meant to be a pretty white girl, I liked it. The back cover has a pink TFC logo, which made me shiver a little every time I happened to look at it. I'm really looking forward to reading the next volume and seeing how the characters cope with the ending.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Arthur Pengerbil

    Reading Level: Grades 8 and up "I'm about to forget everything I'm going to tell you." So begins the therapeutic statement of Nora James, age 15. Nora and her two friends Micah and Winter, are being held at the Detention Center for Therapeutic Forgetting. In a world filled with ramdom bombings, the authorities find that the people usually want to take the pill that will make them forget all the ugliness. Nora and her friend will be forced to take The Big Pill that will erase all memory of their Reading Level: Grades 8 and up "I'm about to forget everything I'm going to tell you." So begins the therapeutic statement of Nora James, age 15. Nora and her two friends Micah and Winter, are being held at the Detention Center for Therapeutic Forgetting. In a world filled with ramdom bombings, the authorities find that the people usually want to take the pill that will make them forget all the ugliness. Nora and her friend will be forced to take The Big Pill that will erase all memory of their friendship and everything that happened. When Nora witnesses the death of a bombing victim, her mother takes her to the TFC for her first pill. But after a chance encounter with Micah, Nora decides she'd rather keep her memories. An unlikely alliance is formed when artists Micah and Winter befriend Nora and the trio creates the comic "Memento." As the three learn more about the forces at work in their world, their rebellion becomes more dangerous. For more book reviews from the HPPL Youth Department, click here.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jessa

    Oh, I have so many reviews to write, it's ridiculous...this one will be up soon though. Disappointing in some ways, and far too short. This is the second book in a row that I have read this week where I felt as though there were so many wasted opportunities; both were books that had such potential with their awesome story lines, which makes it that much more disappointing when they fail to meet their potential. Boo :( Oh, I have so many reviews to write, it's ridiculous...this one will be up soon though. Disappointing in some ways, and far too short. This is the second book in a row that I have read this week where I felt as though there were so many wasted opportunities; both were books that had such potential with their awesome story lines, which makes it that much more disappointing when they fail to meet their potential. Boo :(

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Review originally posted at: http://supernaturalsnark.blogspot.com... Actual Rating: 3.5 MY THOUGHTS Thought provoking in the possibilities it presents, Memento Nora is a story that causes us to shift a lot of our attention inward, wondering what we might do if erasing targeted memories was actually an option. So many fascinating questions are raised with such a deceptively simple premise, the idea of a pill to help us forget unwanted moments in time seeming pretty straightforward, but the implicat Review originally posted at: http://supernaturalsnark.blogspot.com... Actual Rating: 3.5 MY THOUGHTS Thought provoking in the possibilities it presents, Memento Nora is a story that causes us to shift a lot of our attention inward, wondering what we might do if erasing targeted memories was actually an option. So many fascinating questions are raised with such a deceptively simple premise, the idea of a pill to help us forget unwanted moments in time seeming pretty straightforward, but the implications and repercussions of forgetting we quickly learn are broad and enormous in scale. What kind of world would it be if we simply wiped away the image of abuse or violence simply because we could? Would we not become stagnant by choosing to forget the tragedies, the hurts, and the pains, however small or large, that ultimately shape and mold our lives into liquid and ever-changing journeys? Learning from the events of the past, as opposed to dismissing them, seems necessary to ensure we are never held prisoner by a complacency that bypassing progress through memory alteration would inevitably cause. Though the plot moves quickly and is far darker in the tale it tells than we suspect when we first begin reading, the characterization isn't quite as memorable as a story that just begs to be discussed until the wee hours of the morning. Because we get the point of view of each of our three main protagonists as they recount the events leading to the creation of Memento for the authorities, we don't have enough time in this quick, under-two-hundred-page tale to get to know any of them in a way where we will forever remember their names regardless of how many new characters we meet in other books. While all of their perspectives are intriguing and their separate voices are easy to read, jumping from one mind to the next swiftly keeps the roots through which we absorb all those emotions we crave when reading from extending deep enough beneath the surface to reach the layer where richer and more complex connections are waiting. Interestingly enough, one of the most fascinating characters is Nora's mom–a woman whose point of view we are actually denied, but who makes a lasting impression on us nonetheless. She inspires both our anger for her willingness to swallow her life away one pill at a time instead of taking control of it, but also our sympathy for enduring a difficult situation and coping the only way she knows how. Her example elicits a strong reaction in both Nora and us, her quiet struggle more shocking to Nora than the violence of the Coalition attacks, and more unnerving to us for its relatability. Reading as Nora, Micah, and Winter seek to release the invisible binds locking those like Nora's mom into a life of contented repetition by revealing the power that stems from possibility is a tense, and ironically, unforgettable experience. Memento Nora is an enjoyable debut from Ms. Smibert, the strength lying more in a brilliant and compelling story as opposed to deep and layered protagonists, but it is one that certainly makes an impression. Seeing individuals who are capable of blazing a trail into the unknown, thereby stripping themselves of their reliance on the safety of forgetting, but who choose to remain passive is gut-wrenching in its difficulty. However, watching as those who refuse to digest what the government tries to feed them and attempt to affect change despite their fear plasters a hopeful smile on our faces that remains in place until the very end. Rating: 3.5/5

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cecilia

    The compact size of MEMENTO NORA threw me off, but don't they say that good things can come in small packages? Let me say that this package delivers quite the punch that you won't want to forget! Nora, Micah, and Winter live in a world that reminded me of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but instead of messing with brainwaves, unforgivable and undesirable memories get erased with a swallow of a pill. The more you choose to forget, the more spending credits you get as a reward to shop and mo The compact size of MEMENTO NORA threw me off, but don't they say that good things can come in small packages? Let me say that this package delivers quite the punch that you won't want to forget! Nora, Micah, and Winter live in a world that reminded me of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, but instead of messing with brainwaves, unforgivable and undesirable memories get erased with a swallow of a pill. The more you choose to forget, the more spending credits you get as a reward to shop and move up in society. A pretty sweet deal, but it begs the question of how valuable are your memories. Furthermore, how easy would it be to keep domestic abuse or conspiracy hidden from public scrutiny? MEMENTO NORA is primarily Nora's story, although Micah begins to play a bigger role as he grows closer to her and they get closer to the the truth behind the bombings. I wish we had gotten a little closer to Winter who seemed to have an interesting backstory, but she only had a minor role that still gets roped into the ugly aftermath. It was fascinating to follow the three different characters and see how they blended this intricate story together. The ending threw a nail-biting curve ball - and I really cannot wait to see what Book 2 will bring! There is definitely a lot left unsaid in MEMENTO NORA, especially concerning Nora's mother and Winter's parents. Which means that the reader can fill in the blanks or that Book 2 will hopefully lay questions to rest. I think, though, that all of the unanswered questions works for this book. As Nora states from the beginning of the story, readers will only get the important parts of the story. The rest remains untold, but highly speculated upon. Don't get fooled by the size of MEMENTO NORA as it gets dwarfed by other 300+ page books on the shelf - it contains a neat dystopian world that you definitely don't want to gloss over!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Angie Simbert’s Memento Nora isn’t the kind of thing I’d expect to find aimed at younger audiences. Near daily attacks drive people to Therapeutic Forgetting Clinics where with one little white pill they can leave their fears behind. Nora has her first visit after the bookstore she and her mother are about to visit blows up in front of them, dropping a dead body right at her feet. So, off to forget she goes, at least until she sees mystery guy Micah spit out his pill. At least until she hears wh Angie Simbert’s Memento Nora isn’t the kind of thing I’d expect to find aimed at younger audiences. Near daily attacks drive people to Therapeutic Forgetting Clinics where with one little white pill they can leave their fears behind. Nora has her first visit after the bookstore she and her mother are about to visit blows up in front of them, dropping a dead body right at her feet. So, off to forget she goes, at least until she sees mystery guy Micah spit out his pill. At least until she hears what her mother is forgetting. She decides to remember and, alongside Micah and his best friend Winter, share their memories through a comic, Memento. As I said at the beginning, I hadn’t expected this to be aimed at younger teens when I first read the blurb on Goodreads. It deals with some pretty heavy stuff from government conspiracies to issues at home, and does so without flinching away from the characters reactions. The characters were well thought out, though they felt a little older than their listed ages. The chapters for Micah and Winter were limited and scattered throughout the book, but did an excellent job of developing their characters and back grounds. Memento Nora gets a bit scary when you pause to think about it, that world is something that I could see people letting happen. It’s built on fears and worries that most people seem to either lack or be content to ignore, and on the idea that we as people will trade our very memories for an illusion of safety. I give it a five out of five and look forward to seeing what Simbert does if she writes another novel.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    If you could take a little white pill to forget all the traumatic events in your life... would you do it? Would the events that you have forgotten make your life different? Would it make you a different person? It is not everyday that a book evokes all these questions and really makes you think about the events that shape who you are as a person. But Memento Nora tackles all these questions. And does so in a way that completely threw my brain for a loop. Told through three teen point of views, re If you could take a little white pill to forget all the traumatic events in your life... would you do it? Would the events that you have forgotten make your life different? Would it make you a different person? It is not everyday that a book evokes all these questions and really makes you think about the events that shape who you are as a person. But Memento Nora tackles all these questions. And does so in a way that completely threw my brain for a loop. Told through three teen point of views, readers are given a deep look into the exciting and often times frightening world that Angie Smibert has created. Each character has their own hopes.. dreams.. fears that make the novel all the more powerful. And adds a level of depth to Memento Nora that I was not expecting to find. The events of Memento Nora all revolve around one word: Memento. Here it is not a trinket, but rather an ode to remembering. Remember the past: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Smibert effortlessly weaves this mantra throughout the tale. And I adored her for it. It really makes you think about how life is suppose to be savoured. That life is an experience, and that you have to take the good with the bad. Ultimately, Memento Nora is a novel full of surprises. It is an exciting look at what the world could be like if we all went down the rabbit hole. There seems to be a lot more up Angie Smibert's sleeve. And I cannot wait to see what it is.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kelly/yllektra

    Review to come... Yay I think I will start posting reviews again...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This book is brilliant! A must read - period.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike Mullin

    A chillingly plausible dystopian novel with my favorite kind of ending: one that leaves readers some space for their own interpretation of what just happened and what's coming next. A chillingly plausible dystopian novel with my favorite kind of ending: one that leaves readers some space for their own interpretation of what just happened and what's coming next.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bo Bruen

    The story of teenage rebellions against the expectations of their schools and their parents is a well traveled field however Angie Smibert brings a fresh perspective to the paranoia and rebellion of teenage life. Momento Nora, perhaps a play on the ancient Christian practice of Momento Nori, tells the story of Nora, the preppy rich girl, Micah, the artistic 'bad' boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and Winter, the quite but deeply observant anchor for the other two. The characters are a bit f The story of teenage rebellions against the expectations of their schools and their parents is a well traveled field however Angie Smibert brings a fresh perspective to the paranoia and rebellion of teenage life. Momento Nora, perhaps a play on the ancient Christian practice of Momento Nori, tells the story of Nora, the preppy rich girl, Micah, the artistic 'bad' boy from the wrong side of the tracks, and Winter, the quite but deeply observant anchor for the other two. The characters are a bit flat and, while they go on great adventures, I found it difficult to get emotionally involved in their journey. Despite its literary shortcomings, the book does provide some interesting fodder for conversation and thought about the nature of control over our young people and the value of our memories. A quick and relatively face paced book. I would recommend this for a holiday book between more substantive selections.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Danya

    Characters: Memento Nora is written from the viewpoints of three teens – Winter, Nora, and Micah – with the most central one being Nora. Each of these three characters has a distinctive voice that makes it easy for the reader to hop from one viewpoint to the next without getting confused. I found Nora to be relatable and fairly easy to sympathize with; yes, she was spoiled, thoughtless and somewhat shallow in the past, but since she's telling her story from a more mature understanding now, she co Characters: Memento Nora is written from the viewpoints of three teens – Winter, Nora, and Micah – with the most central one being Nora. Each of these three characters has a distinctive voice that makes it easy for the reader to hop from one viewpoint to the next without getting confused. I found Nora to be relatable and fairly easy to sympathize with; yes, she was spoiled, thoughtless and somewhat shallow in the past, but since she's telling her story from a more mature understanding now, she comes across as having grown beyond that. I immediately liked the boyishly adorable, cocky-on-the-outside but sweet-on-the-inside Micah. The way his relationship unfolds with Nora is cute to watch, especially since we get to see both of their perspectives. Unlike a lot of YA novels these days, however, the romance doesn't take over the point of the book. Micah and Nora's romance is of the sweet and innocent variety that simply adds to the storyline without overpowering it. I didn't connect with Winter as well as Nora, but I did find her personality interesting. Although it's never stated outright, we're given hints that she has some sort of mental health issues, perhaps bipolar disorder. Winter's artistic skill of crafting sculptures out of various materials also added some depth to her character, as did her relationship with her grandfather. Premise/plot: Having studied psychology in university, I found the concept of erasing memory to deal with trauma to be quite fascinating as a premise for a dystopian novel. It was simplified, certainly – memory is an extremely complex thing, and in real life I doubt the forgetting pill could target such specific memories like that so effectively – but it made Memento Nora rather different from most other dystopian YA reads. And for the purpose of the story, the science behind the forgetting pill made sense. I also enjoyed that the dystopian aspect of this novel wasn't as "epic" or broad in scope as some books are. There isn't the "top-down" hierarchical feel that so many dystopian societies share. Rather, the dystopian flavour is inherent to everyday life, due in large part to the citizens relying so heavily on being able to pop a pill and forget. Their world is not that far from our own, and some of the comparisons hit a little too close to home for comfort. Moreover, Smibert brings the focus of the novel to the lives of three teens, and we learn about the world through that lens. The idea of having them unite to create a comic book was creative, but I did want to see more of the effect of their work on the kids at their school. I had a hard time believing that the comic book would inspire such a panic in certain powerful quarters. The ending was just perfect. It really resonated with the novel's message and drove the point home with a strong finish. I am always impressed when an author dares to take the premise as far as it'll go, so I was certainly pleased when Smibert didn't shy away from that. Writing style: The personalities of Winter, Nora and Micah were reflected in the tone of Smibert's writing as well as word choices. I thought certain words – "glossy" by Nora, "hummingbirds" by Winter – were used a bit too frequently, but they worked to remind the reader of which character's viewpoint it was. I did find the writing a bit choppy in places, and the message sometimes phrased too obviously for me, but it is a debut novel. Also, while overall the book was fairly well-paced, I found that the writing fell a little short for me in the action scenes; I wasn't getting the heart-pounding adrenaline rush as I read that I think the characters must have been experiencing. Perhaps more vivid description would have helped me to visualize it in more detail. Final verdict: 4 shooting stars. Smibert manages to pack quite a thought-provoking story into a deceptively simple and short book. In particular, I think Memento Nora would be a great introduction to the dystopian genre for younger teen readers. My full review is available at my blog, A Tapestry of Words .

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia Tuckness

    (just upped my rating to 5 stars because of the lasting relevance of this book--2016.) I really really enjoyed this book. It has a great combination of interesting characters, a setting that's all-too-believable in our near future, and enough action to keep it moving. Nora has it all--a glossy Pink Ice mobile, a mom who takes her shopping whenever she closes a big real estate deal, a successful father, and a well-established place at the top of her social hierarchy. One day while shopping, she wit (just upped my rating to 5 stars because of the lasting relevance of this book--2016.) I really really enjoyed this book. It has a great combination of interesting characters, a setting that's all-too-believable in our near future, and enough action to keep it moving. Nora has it all--a glossy Pink Ice mobile, a mom who takes her shopping whenever she closes a big real estate deal, a successful father, and a well-established place at the top of her social hierarchy. One day while shopping, she witnesses a violent bombing and it bothers her so much she can't sleep. No problem, say her parents, and her mom brings her for her first trip to TFC, where she can take a pill that will erase the traumatic memory and allow her to continue her comfortable life. Since her mom has been doing this for years, Nora doesn't question anything--until a boy from her high school (Micah) walks out of the clinic and spits out the pill. As Nora and her mother recount their traumatic experiences to the clinician prior to erasing them, Nora learns something so shocking about her mother, something so important that she too decides to spit out her pill and remember. The rest of the book chronicles her interactions with Micah, his best friend Winter, and their attempts to fight back against the government and corporations, as they learn how much they are controlling. This book is similar to Little Brother except their method of fighting back is through artistic and written expression, rather than technology. This book also has a more lyrical pace. As in Little Brother, it is so easy to read this book and see so many characteristics of our current society reflected here. It was a quick read (and I am looking forward to the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy) and would be enjoyed by fans of near-future science fiction and possibly also readers who enjoy books about kids in high school that are just a bit out of today's reality. SPOILER ALERT!!!--facts I want to remember about the book-- --Nora's dad has been abusing her mom for a long time. He used to make her cocoa with the forgetting powder in it so she didn't remember and her mom would go to TFC. --Nora and her mom visited the beach back when she was a defense lawyer--she was defending Winter's parents actually. Their vacation was cut short when her dad came along unexpectedly and said her mom's job was changing. --At the end of the book her family is moving into a gated community, which means she will have an ID tag implanted into her. --All 3 of the teens are arrested for distributing their comic--they do it on purpose to get some press. They all have to make a full confession and take a "big pill", which wipes out in their memories everything that has happened in the book, basically. These confessions form the book. --Nora and her mom are again on the beach, and her mom tells her everything that happened. She doesn't believe it. --Before the confession she wrote something in her history book to help her remember--I think it was Your dad beats your mom. --Winter is a classic bipolar artist who refuses to take medication. She is very well portrayed--realistic, a bit sympathetic, but not overly so. I was impressed. She also is a lesbian, in love with Jewel (I think) who is a tattoo artist and has a girlfriend who is the reporter that covers the teens' arrest. --There is a police officer who is a security guard at the HS and also a member of an underground group. --He is in love with the librarian, who ends up being a mole/spy in the underground group. I think. It's complex. --Micah lives with his mom in a community of transients (kind of) behind some business. It's a beautiful family community thing that is obviously fragile. --The teens publish a comic called Memento that tells the stories they experience. Winter sets up a dot matrix printer/printing press thing. They carry them into school in library art books that they took all the insides out of. (Carefully of course and they still have the insides.) They put them in bathroom stalls because those are the only places not on camera.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kulsuma

    Memento Nora was a gripping, exciting and unique book. This dystopian world came about after numerous terrorist attacks. To keep people safe and to allow them to continue with their lives without constant memories of continuing terrorist attacks, everyone can take a pill and forget. Then, if they witness another terrorist attack or anything bad in general, they can take another pill and the unending process begins again. This leaves people feeling 'glossy'. Memento Nora was really inventive. Thi Memento Nora was a gripping, exciting and unique book. This dystopian world came about after numerous terrorist attacks. To keep people safe and to allow them to continue with their lives without constant memories of continuing terrorist attacks, everyone can take a pill and forget. Then, if they witness another terrorist attack or anything bad in general, they can take another pill and the unending process begins again. This leaves people feeling 'glossy'. Memento Nora was really inventive. This dystopian world was very believable as I am already seeing the beginnings of it in our current society. It reminded me of date rape pills. The forgetting pill allows anyone and everyone to completely forget terrible memories just by reciting what said bad memory is and then taking the pill. Realistically, this means that a really bad person (and that's putting it lightly) could go and do unspeakable acts on another person and then the victim could just take the pill and forget it. Where's the justice in that? The realisation of this process left me absolutely horrified and more so because this could be the future. Who wouldn't want to forget all their bad memories and live in a 'glossy' world? All it takes is one pill. It's so convenient. On the surface, the answer might be yes, but delve deeper and in truth, those memories are useful and a part of us. We learn from them. They change us. Nora was a fantastic main character. She was a strong, believable character throughout the book and I cared about what happened to her. I learnt shocking thruths as she learnt them and hoped she could change things for the better. She became increasingly brave as the story continued. I especially liked how she dealt with the truth of her mother's secret as she proved to be very mature. Micah, the love interest, was also a great character. Though the romance aspect was there, luckily, it didn't take over the main plot. It was very sweet nonetheless. Micah helps Nora to see the truth and it changes everything for the both of them. Winter was a creative character. Her entries were filled with the artwork she was making and left me with fantastic visual images. Overall, I liked all the characters, even the secondary characters, as they were all useful to the plot and I wanted to know what their role would be in the story. Furthermore, I wanted to know how this dystopian world had effected them and those that they loved. Memento Nora was very mysterious, but happily, a lot of my questions were answered throughout the course of the book. The plot was intriguing as I was continuously looking for clues and suspecting suspicious characters. The climax was really interesting and I couldn't put the book down by that point. Memento Nora ended well but I wished that it had been longer as it felt abrupt. The ending came about very rapidly and though I understood that events were moving very fast, it didn't satisfy me as much as it could have if some of the secondary characters had been more developed and there was a longer explanation at the ending. Furthermore, having a few more characters would have meant that there would have been more people to be suspicious of. As it was, there were only a few suspects. From the beginning, the reader knows an inevitable part of the ending because of the chapter subheadings and I wished that this hadn't been the case. This meant that when the inevitable incident occurred, I wasn't as shocked by it as I could have been if I hadn't known. Overall, Memento Nora was an extremely great dystopian novel and I look forward to a sequel as it is a strong possibility. I believe Memento Nora could have been even better if it had been longer as I wanted to explore Nora's world in greater depth-the good and particularly more of the bad. Readers who enjoy the dystopian genre should enjoy this fantastic addition. However, I recommend everyone to read this as you won't be disappointed. Thank you to Marshall Cavendish for sending this to me for review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ava Rojas

    This bock looks really good.....

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily S.

    *Won ARC through a giveaway hosted by the author. This book will be released April 28, 2011* When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued. There have been so many dystopian books published lately, and I wondered if this one would take things in a similar direction as the recent additions. Nope. I was wrong. Flat out wrong. I finished this book in a couple of hours, couldn't put it down, and ended up with a big old WHHHAAAAAATTTTTTT going through my brain. Here's the story, in brief: in Nora' *Won ARC through a giveaway hosted by the author. This book will be released April 28, 2011* When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued. There have been so many dystopian books published lately, and I wondered if this one would take things in a similar direction as the recent additions. Nope. I was wrong. Flat out wrong. I finished this book in a couple of hours, couldn't put it down, and ended up with a big old WHHHAAAAAATTTTTTT going through my brain. Here's the story, in brief: in Nora's society, terrorism is commonplace. Bombings are at least a weekly occurrence and people are dying all over. A wack-job group called The Coalition claims responsibility for the bombings. The citizens are so freaked out that they take special pills to 'forget' certain memories. They live their lives in a 'glossy' state, knowing that they can always take a pill to forget what they don't want to remember. They'll just go on extra-special shopping trips to make up for it all. Sounds perfect, right? No unwanted memories and lots of shopping? Read on, my friend. Nora witnesses a bombing one day, and a body falls to the ground right at her feet. Prime candidate for forgetting, right? Nora's mom takes her to the TFC to get her first forget pill. While there, Nora makes eye contact with a boy from school just leaving. He sticks his tongue out, and the pill is there. He trashes it and mouths 'remember' to her. Nora is intrigued. She goes through the forget doctor's rhetoric and makes the decision to trash her pill as well. What follows? Well, you'll have to read the book. And you should. You definitely should. Here's the thing: I was terrified throughout this book. It's not that there were horribly graphic things going on like in The Hunger Games. It's not like Nora didn't have a choice. It's not like the big bad wolf was breathing down her neck. In fact, it was what Angie Smibert DIDN'T say that scared me the most. This is a book where you can read between the lines from the get go and it's terrifying. You'll find yourself asking questions, and you may not like the answers you come up with. I know I didn't. I thought I had things figured out. I didn't. I thought I had people pegged. I didn't. I thought there was NO way that this one character was involved. He/she was. Whaaaaaaaaaatttttt!? Mess with my brain! See, I could see our society degenerating into this very kind of behavior reeeeaaaaalllly easily. And it scares me to death. It would be SO easy to fall prey to the hyped beauty of not having to remember certain things. There are definitely things in my life that I'd rather forget about. The question is, what's the ultimate price you pay for forgetting? Do I really want to know the answer to that? And the ending?! WHHHHHAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! The characters were STRONG. I could never make myself remember that they were young teens. They were mature beyond their years, which would be totally expected from living in the society they live in. At the same time, they were SO vulnerable and so fragile at times. There wasn't a single unimportant character in there. Some that seemed to just flit across the page came back later and played a role. I love when that happens. Memento Nora was perfectly set to have a sequel, which I understand is in the works. I can't wait. I'll be preordering the minute it's available. (and keep in mind, this is Angie Smibert's debut novel. If the debut is this good, just wait for things to come. And I kind of feel like a fortune teller.) This really is one of the best dystopian novels I've ever read. I highly recommend it, and I give it my 'Pick Me' rating. You should preorder before you forget.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Keri Payton

    What if all you needed to forget was a single pill? When Nora witnesses a terrorist attack, her mother takes her to the TCF – Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. When terrorism is a dime a dozen, everyone makes frequent trips to the TCF and then goes about their lives as if nothing happened. A chance run in with Micah, a boy from her school and the revelation of the memories her mother is desperate to forget, cause Nora to spit out her pill and choose to remember. Teaming up with Micah and his friend, What if all you needed to forget was a single pill? When Nora witnesses a terrorist attack, her mother takes her to the TCF – Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. When terrorism is a dime a dozen, everyone makes frequent trips to the TCF and then goes about their lives as if nothing happened. A chance run in with Micah, a boy from her school and the revelation of the memories her mother is desperate to forget, cause Nora to spit out her pill and choose to remember. Teaming up with Micah and his friend, Winter, Nora sets out to produce a comic, illustrating all the things the TFC wants them to forget. There’s something strange about the TFC. Is there really a mass terrorism group called the Coalition? Or could there be something far more sinister behind it all? I learned about this book at Book Expo America last year, where I happened upon the author doing signings at one of the booths. That same week, I attended a mass author signing in a store and listened to her read an excerpt from ‘Memento Nora.’ I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this book. It’s short but addictive and I can’t stop thinking about it. Fear is a powerful weapon and the novel makes you wonder about whether forgetting is really a cure or if it is even more of a danger. I’ve been on anxiety medication for more than two years, popping a couple of pills a day. Yet, in the past I’d always been set against taking medication unless I felt I seriously needed to. Reading ‘Memento Nora’ made me ponder just what limits would have to be breached for me to voluntarily take a pill to forget a memory…and how I would feel if I had memories robbed from me. Angie Smibert is an excellent writer. The subject of the novel wasn’t overstated but written in a way that intrigued me and left me in constant suspense. It is written in first person narrative, by Nora, Micah and Winter, although Nora is the prime narrator of the book. Each of the three protagonists was sympathetic but I was drawn in by the strength that they each had as individuals. I loved how dreams were used throughout the novel. Dreams are vague and difficult to remember...but they are powerful. The dreams of the characters really helped to reflect the struggle of each individual, trying to keep a hold of who they are. ‘Memento Nora’ is a fascinating concept that triumphs in execution. It reads perfectly as a stand-alone novel but I was pleased to discover that there is something of a sequel/companion novel with ‘The Forgetting Curve.’ I look forward to reading it. If you could take a pill to forget something painful or traumatic, would you? (From my blog: Quill Café) In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I received this book from Marshall Cavendish at Book Expo America. The opinions expressed are mine and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    This review was first posted on http://www.rubysreads.com. I jumped all over this book when I first spotted it on Goodreads. I really love the cover, but that might have something do with the fact that I've lusted after that model's haircut for-freaking-ever, and long since resigned myself to the fact that my own hair will never look that good. Sigh. Still, I was pleased to receive a copy of Momento Nora for review. Not just because of the lovely cover and the great title. I was intrigued by the This review was first posted on http://www.rubysreads.com. I jumped all over this book when I first spotted it on Goodreads. I really love the cover, but that might have something do with the fact that I've lusted after that model's haircut for-freaking-ever, and long since resigned myself to the fact that my own hair will never look that good. Sigh. Still, I was pleased to receive a copy of Momento Nora for review. Not just because of the lovely cover and the great title. I was intrigued by the idea of a future where you could voluntarily have bad memories removed. Momento Nora is a short book, and it feels shorter due to the fact that its told from three different perspectives. This was a problem for me because I felt that the characters suffered from getting so little screen time. I don't feel that I got to know any of the characters very well. Nora, in particular, felt unexplored. She goes from being an accepting drone to a dissident with unbelievable rapidity. I buy that the discovery she makes about her mother would lead her to the action it did, but jumping feet first into helping to publish Momento doesn't jibe with her character. I think she'd have either been more skeptical in the beginning, or have taken more convincing to get involved in something which had such serious consequences. I also wasn't certain what Nora and Micah's motivation was in creating Momento. Were they trying to convince others not to participate in Therapeutic Forgetting? It felt like teenage mischief--which would be a stupid reason risk "The Big D". It would have made more sense to me if Nora got involved because she didn't want what happened to her mother to happen again--or to anyone else. But once Nora is aware of what's going on with her mother, she's more concerned with creating Momento than the fact that her mother is being abused by her father. Another thing I noticed was that people didn't wonder about what they were forgetting. It drives me nuts when I can't remember something. I can't imagine going through life with pieces of my memory missing. I'd constantly be wondering what I'd forgotten, and I think that thought would probably consume me. It would be different if I didn't know my memory was being erased, but if I knew it? It'd be like worrying a cavity, and it surprised me that nobody ever had a similar thought. On reading Momento Nora, I was struck by the similarities between this book and Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. In part, this was due to the use of the word "glossy". It reminded me of "bubbly". I don't mean that Momento Nora felt derivative, but that it didn't feel particularly new or inventive to me. Which is, frankly, something I look for in a Dystopia. So, while there was food for thought in Momento Nora, I didn't love it. The lack of characterization, the rapid speed of Micah and Nora's romance, and missing motivation conspired to leave me feeling ambivalent. I'm going to wait for book two to solidify my opinion--but as an introduction to a series, I'm officially on the fence about Momento Nora.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Momento Nora was engaging. It takes place in a futuristic United States, which is hauntingly reminiscent of 1984. It was a good reminder of why law enforcement should not be privatized. In Nora's city, terrorist attacks happen nearly three times a week, forcing everyone to travel in armored vehicles, routinely visit Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic and even move to compounds. The compounds include malls, schools, movie theaters, etc., so that no one in the compound ever has to leave. Also, compound Momento Nora was engaging. It takes place in a futuristic United States, which is hauntingly reminiscent of 1984. It was a good reminder of why law enforcement should not be privatized. In Nora's city, terrorist attacks happen nearly three times a week, forcing everyone to travel in armored vehicles, routinely visit Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic and even move to compounds. The compounds include malls, schools, movie theaters, etc., so that no one in the compound ever has to leave. Also, compound members have to have ID chips put inside them, so they can be identified and tracked. The people who don't have ID chips inside them, have "mobiles", which are also used to identify and track individuals. The Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, or TFC, is supposed to help individuals avoid post traumatic stress disorder by giving the patients a pill to forget traumatizing or unpleasant memories. But as Nora finds out, some things need to be remembered. The following are some of my favorite quotes: "We walked up to our house in silence. Mom lagged behind as if she were trying to enjoy the scenery. We do live in a pretty area. Eighteenth-century town houses in alternating blues and creams and grays. Tree-lined streets with big oaks and maples forming a canopy over the pavement. Cobblestone sidewalks" (pg 20). "These streets used to make me feel safe. And inside the foyer, the gleaming hardwood floors so shiny you could see your face in them and the historic-trust sage green walls with wide antique white molding-all of which mom had painstakingly restored-used to make me feel safe, too. Now I wasn't so sure" (pg 20). "We'd stayed at a little cabin a block from the beach. The sheets smelled funky, and it had been cold out, too cold to swim. We'd walked barefoot on the rocky beach, eaten popcorn shrimp and saltwater taffy, and watched the stars at night. The beach town didn't have a curfew like Hamilton and the other big cities did. I'd loved that freedom. the world seemed so much bigger" (pg 60). I think there should be a distinction made between memories which effect our lives today and ones which have nothing to do with the present, but still haunt us. For example, I'm sure there are some war veterans who would love to forget some of the things they have seen. I think that would be completely justified. However, if you are in an abusive relationship, and your partner makes you go to the TFC so you won't remember your partner is abusive, then that is wrong and shouldn't be allowed. The book made me think about the things I remember, and why it is important to hold onto those memories. It also made me think about forgiveness. It is important to forgive people, but that doesn't mean you act like nothing ever happened. You can forgive someone without trusting them again. Furthermore, we are supposed to learn from our experiences. If we just went around erasing the parts of our lives we-or other people-want us to forget, then we lose all that knowledge.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    Full review posted at Amaterasu Reads Would you rather forget things that can hurt you? Or remember and live on to tell it to the world? This question has been going through my mind over and over while reading Angie Smibert's debut novel, the thought provoking, timely read, Memento Nora. "Memento". Remember. It all started with that word. Had Nora not seen that on Mica's cast, she might not have chosen to not swallow that pill. Micah might not have known Nora, and Winter might not have been pul Full review posted at Amaterasu Reads Would you rather forget things that can hurt you? Or remember and live on to tell it to the world? This question has been going through my mind over and over while reading Angie Smibert's debut novel, the thought provoking, timely read, Memento Nora. "Memento". Remember. It all started with that word. Had Nora not seen that on Mica's cast, she might not have chosen to not swallow that pill. Micah might not have known Nora, and Winter might not have been pulled into Nora & Micah's plan of sharing what they do not want to forget by helping them publish a comic. Told through Nora, Micah and Winter's perspective, Memento Nora paints a picture of a future society that is frightening and disturbing yet it felt so real. Through different circumstances and situations of all three characters, they form an allegiance that got out of hand, but through it, the sleepy, forgetful minds of the citizens slowly started waking up, and what started as a simple form of "remembering", of telling people their stories, becomes the start of something powerful that none of them can't stop. Memento Nora's story echoed deeper into the recesses of my mind more than I wanted it to. It made me look back into the situation my own country was facing, all the bombing and the killings done by terrorist groups. It's happening right now. The only problem is we do not have pills we can take to forget. But if we do, would I want to forget, given the choice? Would I be able to take my own stand and encourage people to remember and fight back instead of hiding away all those memories? Memento Nora sends such a strong message to readers like me that I couldn't help responding to. When you look at it, Memento Nora's story is simple, even short by normal standards for a book, set in a world years from now yet it tackled issues our society is facing today. Terrorism and consumerism told with a sci-fi twist. You can't possibly classify anyone as a "minor" character because each story arc is an integral part of the story. Micah's situation with his mom, their bad standing, Winter, with her parents locked up by the government, and Nora, living a life she thought was perfect but slowly realizing she had a mother so scared she'd rather forget, and a father who plays a larger role in the bombings. You can't throw away any of it. Each had their own distinctive voice that helps paint this violent, and terrifying future, possibly just a few years away from where we are now. Angie Smibert's debut novel is a stunning, thrilling, suspense filled read full of interesting individuals, a gripping storyline and a stirring theme. I highly recommend this book to everyone, even to non sci-fi & dystopian fans!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Schuyler Esperanza

    This review originally blogged at Dystopian Divas: http://dystopiandivas.blogspot.com/ Nora James is into having "glossy" days: ones spent shopping for the latest trends, watching her favorite shows, and spending time with friends just like her. So when she witnesses an event that won't leave her mind, she wants to go back to being glossy--by going, as so many do, to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic (or TFC). Only once she's there, she decides she doesn't want to forget. This decision leads her to This review originally blogged at Dystopian Divas: http://dystopiandivas.blogspot.com/ Nora James is into having "glossy" days: ones spent shopping for the latest trends, watching her favorite shows, and spending time with friends just like her. So when she witnesses an event that won't leave her mind, she wants to go back to being glossy--by going, as so many do, to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic (or TFC). Only once she's there, she decides she doesn't want to forget. This decision leads her to find different friends and learn truths about the world around her--scary things. With the help of new friends Micah and Winter, she embarks on a project to write these truths. Thus, an underground comic called "Memento" (meaning "remember") is born. This slim novel charts the path of the three main characters, Nora, Micah, and Winter, in turn. Despite the grim reality of the world around the teens, Smibert inserts flashes of humor and also a celebration--of art and its power to heal and to revolutionize. The underground comic is a notable example, but there is also sculpture, architecture, graffiti and tattoo art. Reading this book made me want to read more about these types of expression, and make more of it, too. All three of the main characters are compelling and very different from one another. Yet as the book progresses we see factors that tie them together, as each sees the way the other lives and thinks. This is often showed through the sharing of memories. As a reader, I pondered my own memories, and how it has felt to share the more traumatic ones with others. It has often left me feeling more whole, and closer to the person with whom I've shared. In Memento Nora's world of forgetting, there would be no such cathartic moments. There would be no real therapeutic times--just a pill to take the bad thoughts away. As a person with PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), I had to think very hard about whether I'd want a pill to forget. PTSD has harsh symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks, and acute anxiety. There are days when these symptoms are strong, when I know the temptation to go to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic would be a terrible struggle. However, my memories--even the traumatic ones--are also what helps me to understand myself and others. Without that, I'd just be...glossy. Without cares, but also without the capacity to be truly caring. Memento Nora is a dystopian book that has at its heart the meaning of friendship. The meaning of what it takes to care about people and the world around you. I personally loved it, and since it's to be a trilogy, am ready for more! Think the world of Memento Nora is far away? Take a look at this article from MSNBC: "Pill Could Help You Forget Bad Memories" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29284885

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cait

    Living in a world where terrorist attacks are so common place that there are clinics where citizens can go to have their memory of witnessing an attack erased, Nora witnesses a boy spit out his pill as he winks at her. She makes the quick decision to do the same, and so begins a journey into discovering whether everything society has been told, and forgets, is real or staged. MEMENTO NORA is a book that delves into what it means to be able to forget anything bad that you see, or happens to you. I Living in a world where terrorist attacks are so common place that there are clinics where citizens can go to have their memory of witnessing an attack erased, Nora witnesses a boy spit out his pill as he winks at her. She makes the quick decision to do the same, and so begins a journey into discovering whether everything society has been told, and forgets, is real or staged. MEMENTO NORA is a book that delves into what it means to be able to forget anything bad that you see, or happens to you. It explores a government that doesn’t answer to anyone except the companies that have more power than they do, and how even a few people can cause enough of a stir that those in power become nervous and silence the voices rising against them. After Nora sees Micah choose to remember at a Forgetting Clinic, she does the same. Joined by Micah’s friend Winter, the three begin an underground comic called Memento, detailing the events that they choose to remember, when everyone else would have them forget. They join in on trying to discover if the terrorist attacks that happen in the city are actually acts of terrorism, or horrible acts committed by the government and companies for money, and to keep the population complacent. Nora, Micah and Winter are great together. All three have such distinct personalities that really shine through in the writing. And yet, they are so similar. All three, brave, damaged teens who just want to make sense of the world they live in and have some closure to the problems in their lives. The alternating viewpoints gives great depth to the story – we’re not just seeing one side of the action, but all of it, and how it clicks together. I thought the pacing was a little fast at points, but it kind of lends itself to the desperate feel behind the plot, and how Nora, Micah and Winter are determined to get their message heard, even at cost to their own safety. As with all stories that are scary looks into what a future may look like, it was gritty and glossy all at once. On the surface, it doesn’t seem so bad, until you get to the terrorist/forgetting/deadly underbelly. The revelations shown throughout the story as Nora uncovers more of what is going on – especially in connection with her own family – are often heartbreaking. MEMENTO NORA is a quick but intense read, and the end was so expected and yet not. It’s one of those stories where you know something is coming but you wish so hard that you’ll be wrong and things will be different than what the plot is leading you to believe will happen. So well done. Originally posted at Escape Through the Pages with a 4.5 star rating.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen Bigheart

    4.5 Stars Set 30-40 years in to the future, New York City isn't exactly paradise. Police patrol the city and there are mandatory curfews in place. People try to stay "glossy" by shopping from their cars and phones, but the truth is, unless you live in a compound with high security, the city is not the ideal place to live. After seeing a gruesome murder, Nora takes her first trip to the TFC - Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. With one tiny pill, Nora can forget the incident ever happened. The TFC is 4.5 Stars Set 30-40 years in to the future, New York City isn't exactly paradise. Police patrol the city and there are mandatory curfews in place. People try to stay "glossy" by shopping from their cars and phones, but the truth is, unless you live in a compound with high security, the city is not the ideal place to live. After seeing a gruesome murder, Nora takes her first trip to the TFC - Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. With one tiny pill, Nora can forget the incident ever happened. The TFC is the first time she meets Micah, a boy who spells trouble with a capital T. Micah lives in a seemingly abandoned building inhabited by the cities mutts, and at one point was homeless. He isn't exactly a boy you would want to take home to meet your father, but soon Nora and Micah, with the help of Micah's friend Winter, begin to wonder why everyone needs to have their memory erased at the TFC. Why would a city that abides to a curfew witness so many events that memories need to constantly be erased? Soon, with the help of memories they refuse to let go, they begin to make connections to the pill, city violence, and the TFC. Only problem is....who can they trust, and how can they pretend to be "glossy" when the world around them is literally being blown apart. Memento Nora is a great blend of violence, mystery, suspense, and romance. We aren't smothered with futuristic terms and devices. Instead, Smibert spends her time painting a dark and gloomy picture of a decaying New York City. Abandoned buildings, ram-shackled houses, and boarded up businesses are described with ominous detail. It is something no wants to see in the future. When she isn't horrifying us with descriptions of a destroyed city, Smibert spends her time shaping the personalities of three young people. Nora, Micah, and Winter seem to have few things in common, but when their lives overlap, they are unstoppable. Told from their point of view, we jump from the three friends perspectives at just the right moments to keep us staying tuned and the pages turning. There are a few side characters, Winter's grandfather and Nora's mother, for example, that are notable in their own right. I loved the way Nora's mother's story unfolds through the eyes of her daughter, Nora. We sense something isn't quite right after her first confession at the TFC, but I didn't want to imagine what was eventually uncovered. Oh, the secrets...the lies! Not everything is predictable. This novel goes by quickly, it's not even 200 pages. I'll be honest, I wanted more, but I so love that this book is a stand alone. OR, I should say, could be a stand alone. Either way...it's a winner! 4.5 Stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ivy

    Some things are worth remembering and some things aren’t worth remembering, right? For Nora, it was her first time at the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic (TFC) because something had happened that her parents thought it was best for her to forget what had happened. People would then feel "glossy" about themselves after forgetting that memory. Waiting for her turn to forget this memory, a boy comes out showing that he did not swallow his pill. This pill helped people forget a specific memory. When it Some things are worth remembering and some things aren’t worth remembering, right? For Nora, it was her first time at the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic (TFC) because something had happened that her parents thought it was best for her to forget what had happened. People would then feel "glossy" about themselves after forgetting that memory. Waiting for her turn to forget this memory, a boy comes out showing that he did not swallow his pill. This pill helped people forget a specific memory. When it was her turn, her mother showed her how easy it was to just forget what happened. Her mother triggered her memory by speaking of it and then swallowed the pill to forget. Now it was Nora’s turn. She mentioned what had happened, but instead of swallowing the pill, she spit it out on the way out of TFC, just like the boy had. I liked the idea of the purpose of what the pill does. I would love to be able to forget some memories, but that doesn’t mean it will be okay. It doesn’t mean that other people won’t forget either. Somehow forgetting about a specific memory or memories seems so easy. And this book made it easy with the pill. However, in real life we cannot do that. We don’t have anything like the pill (but I wished we did so I can forget about specific memories). Everything seems so much easier with this pill. Nora was strong and different from Micah and Winter. They didn't hang out together because they were from different scenes. But that didn't stop Nora because she has found people who shared a same interest, to remember. She does start to have a thing for Micah because he understands her and knows what she went through. Remembering was where it ties them together. Nora and her new friends, Micah and Winter, were rebellious. They want to hold onto the memories so they started a little comic strip about these memories calling it Memento. Writing, drawing, etc. is a great form of remembering specific events or memories that someone wants to hold on to. I love how they knew they would be in trouble for doing so, but kept on doing it because they wanted to remember. Remembering can be dangerous, but they didn’t care. It was the memories that kept them together and wanting everyone to just remember. But it wasn’t easy when TFC and their little crew were around. The end wasn’t what I thought it would end like. I didn’t like it, but what could I do. I think it was best to end it that way anyways. This was a great story. I feel pretty glossy after reading it! It gives me a message telling me to: Fight for what I believe in. And I think I might do that…

  29. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    In Nora's world, people are encouraged to do their duty as good consumers and buy plenty of products to help the economy. There is also the constant threat of terrorism, with things constantly being blown up, although the government does not want people to dwell on it. Instead, they are encouraged to go to a center, take a pill, and erase stressful memories. When Nora witnesses a horrific event and goes to the center for her pill, she encounters Micah, a boy who changes her entire world view. Bu In Nora's world, people are encouraged to do their duty as good consumers and buy plenty of products to help the economy. There is also the constant threat of terrorism, with things constantly being blown up, although the government does not want people to dwell on it. Instead, they are encouraged to go to a center, take a pill, and erase stressful memories. When Nora witnesses a horrific event and goes to the center for her pill, she encounters Micah, a boy who changes her entire world view. But how can you make an impact on the world when nobody remembers the bad? In some ways, Memento Nora reminded me of the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The major message of the book is that we have pain so that we can learn from it. By erasing bad memories from our minds, we are setting ourselves up to repeat the mistakes of our past. Nora learns that her family life is terrible--she just didn't see it before, because her mother is in a constant state of forgetting. The dystopian society presented in this book is like an extreme view of today's America. Consumerism is at a high point, and like a snake eating its own tail, Americans are encouraged to spend as much as possible to keep the economy healthy. Sound familiar? Americans also live in a constant police state. It's questionable whether the violence in the streets is really caused by terrorists, or if the government is creating fear as a tool to keep the population too afraid to realize that their rights have all been taken away. I really hope that young people read this book and look at the way the world is today. High school seniors graduating now were only about 8 years old when the attacks on 9/11 occurred--I think we can acknowledge that we live in a very different world now, and that we seem ready to go along with such things as the Patriot Act and TSA back scatter machines. Franklin once wrote: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." This book is written for a younger teen audience. It's told through the first-person perspective of three of the characters, although they all sound a bit alike. The key slang word used constantly was "glossy"--life is glossy, those clothes are glossy, I was feeling very unglossy. Whenever fake slang is made up it rubs me the wrong way. It never sounds natural. I like the ideas behind this book. I think it was written a bit young for my tastes, but would like to see a younger audience picking up on its themes and considering the kind of world they would like to live in, and the consequences of turning over freedoms blindly.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Memento Nora was a unique and twisted dystopian novel that I flew through in a couple of hours. The concept behind Memento Nora was very different from other dystopians and it was surprising to see how alike, yet so different, Nora's society was to our own. There are random bombings, organized social structure, and a pill you can take to forget, yet they also have bookstores, regularly attend school, and have a police force. The novel was told in alternating perspectives of our three main charact Memento Nora was a unique and twisted dystopian novel that I flew through in a couple of hours. The concept behind Memento Nora was very different from other dystopians and it was surprising to see how alike, yet so different, Nora's society was to our own. There are random bombings, organized social structure, and a pill you can take to forget, yet they also have bookstores, regularly attend school, and have a police force. The novel was told in alternating perspectives of our three main characters- Nora, Micah, and Winter. Nora was very different from the other two. She was a popular, good student, with a well off family, and she was previously sheltered from some of the harsh truths of her society. When she is taken to the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic after witnessing a bombing while shopping, she meets Micah for the first time. From there, her world begins to spin out of control. She spits out the forgetting pill, keeping her own memories as well as a secret her mother revealed before taking her own pill. I liked how Nora was strong enough to take her life into her own hands, but I think it came on a little fast. It was intriguing to read about the comic she begins with Micah and Winter; to see how they put keeping their memories and the things they discovered to good use, though. While the book mainly focused on Nora and how she coped with everything that was happening- both with her family, friends, school, and the outside world- Micah and Winter each played a part as well. They were both interesting characters. The "rebels" of the school so to speak. I liked watching their relationships with Nora develop and seeing how brave they were in the face of danger. There were quite a few secondary characters that tied into the story and either helped out the trio or brought them harm. A mystery was spun into the plot as well and all isn't revealed until the end. I liked how it kept me guessing and I was on edge throughout, hoping for the best for everyone. The plot line was overall very well orchestrated and the ending was a huge cliffhanger. I think this could have been even better if it was a tiny bit longer. I didn't fully get to know and understand the three characters and some of their actions seemed a bit rushed. In all, I'm glad I picked up Angie's debut and fans of dystopian novels about teens making a difference will be all over this. The Forgetting Curve is definitely on my 2012 wishlist! Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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