I find the human mind to be fascinating, in so many ways.
There’s a whole universe hidden inside such a tiny little thing, and as much as we like to think that we are starting to conquer the actual Universe (though by that I kind of mean observe it from a distance), we still know close to nothing about our own little brains.
There is one thing that haunts me, one scary thought: how much of us is ourselves and how much is shaped by external factors (people around us, experiences, memories, etc). You might not want to get an answer to that, because you see, we really are “such tiny little things”, too easy to change, to break, to become something else entirely. It’s so damn easy to make others believe some things or to believe them ourselves… If only someone would mess just a bit with our heads.
What I learned from my research so far was that the brain was a weird thing and not to be trusted.
REMEMBER is a story that hints to that, to what a person is without some memories. Imagine a world in which all bad memories could be given away, all sadness taken from you. Would you be a better person? Would that be actually better for you? And how much would you be inclined to lose, how bad those memories should be for you to want to erase them? And how much of you would that erase as well? And what if this intervention would have its own risks, would you still do it?
Some books need time for me to like them, to get into them, but there are books like this one that actually intrigue me from the synopsis and they keep me there, with the book in my hand, turning page after page until there’s nothing left to turn. And I like that feeling, I like to follow mysterious paths that could lead to anywhere, I like being surprised and realizing how the small details can hide something bigger than life.
Harper is a girl that seems to have pretty much everything, but she carries a hole inside her heart that she cannot seem to fill. So when she loses the thing that means the most to her she decides that she can’t live with that pain, she wants it to be taken away at all costs.
You might think that she didn’t have quite enough of a reason to go through the “Memtex” procedure, I found myself thinking that too (more than once), but later on it is explained why that moment hit her so hard. Then again there’s talk about how ‘big’ or ‘small’ things can be for each and all of us, in our minds. How different we see things, how disproportionately they can affect us.
So there’s no wonder that the mystery kept me turning page after page. And though I did figure out some things before the main character even got to question them, I still enjoyed the ride.
Please. People need to ball up. Life isn’t all sunshine and unicorns. Now they’re selling it to people our age? What, because not getting into the college of our choice is crushing? No date for prom causing premature PTSD? It’s not trauma; it’s real life. Life is hard sometimes. It doesn’t mean you don’t face it.
Now, the story is also based on trust. Harper trusts the procedure to be safe against all proofs, she trust Neil way too easily, judging by the fact that he is so against her father’s company (you would think that she would at least consider some hidden reasons, or she would be more careful with her confession)…
And I am not like that, I like to doubt everything and prove myself wrong. So there were times when I wanted to shake Harper a bit and tell her to be cautious. That’s good, it means I cared about her.
And talking about Neil, yes he can be dreamy, loyal and pretty much adorable, he could be in fact my favourite character (well, that might not be true, because Win – Harper’s best friend – has that spot already. She is awesome and fun and cute and so supportive, I truly loved her). I guess I can love them both!
I liked the interactions between Neil and Harper and their friendship, how they got closer with every page, how they tried to help each other. They were sweet and perfect for each other.
“And what are you going to teach me?” I asked.
“That it’s possible to get through the bad stuff.”
Still, the ‘i love you’ part came out of the blue (though it was very cute, in a goofy kind of way), because -as I said before- trust between them came too easily and too soon (though maybe some people are just like that).
I was glad that others pointed it out to Harper too – it felt like it was her flaw, not the story’s, and I can always relate better with a character that feels real through all the mistakes made.
There is a bit of a love triangle going on, I just didn’t mind it at all (even though I didn’t get why Harper didn’t break up sooner). Her thoughts of him were not very nice at times, but I could still easily like him and sympathize with him and his actions.
The adults in the story were one-dimensional, but Harper, Neil and Win were all very well developed and I thoroughly enjoyed the dynamics between them. The ending was a tiny bit convenient, but it left us in a good place – it was not all rainbows and sunshine, which I appreciate because that gave it half a dose of realism.
All in one, I deeply enjoyed this story. It kept me on the edge and I loved uncovering all the secrets hidden inside it.
There is one more thing I want to talk about…
This is not my first book from Eileen Cook and I absolutely love her writing style – it is witty and fun and beautiful, and I can’t wait to read another book from her. There is something about the way she tells her stories, it makes me want to come back to her books over and over again. Just try one, you’ll want more for sure!
Early Review: Advance copy provided by the publisher for review. Thank you!