Author: Eileen Cook
Published: February 24, 2015 (Simon Pulse)
Genres/Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Memory Loss, Romance
Source: I received an E-ARC for Remember via Edelweiss and Simon Pulse, this is no way affects my thoughts or opinions in this review.
Rating: Four Stars
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…
Purchase: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository
Cover Thoughts: I don’t have any special feelings about the cover.
First Line: It’s not clear if Saint Thomas More had murder on his mind when he fell from his alcove in the north stairwell and onto my friend Win.
Remember was definitely a dream to read. It featured all of the things I love in fiction:
▪Memory Loss Treatments
What caught my eye from the very get go is the memory loss treatment called Memtex. This instantly made me think of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. Memtex is a procedure that “softens” memories for people. When Remember begins, the treatment has just been opened up to children and teenagers. This of course doesn’t fare well for everyone because there are protesters who are against the treatment.
I have to say, I would love a treatment that helped erase or soften memories. I can see why people would protest it though, especially if they’ve seen someone suffer from the treatment.
The main character in Remember is Harper, a girl whose father just happens to be the head of a company called Neurotech which has created a memory loss treatment called Memtex.. I thought this aspect was extremely interesting. When her dad comes to talk to the school, he announces the product for teens. I loved that Harper was defensive over her dad, she always immediately defended him, the treatment and the company. Even to her best friend, Win, which is short for Winifred.
“I still stand by what I said: You have to learn to deal with life. Whatever it throws at you, good and bad.”
“But if you can make it easier, why shouldn’t you? I said. “Isn’t that the point? Life is hard, but if there’s a treatment that can make it less difficult so that you can focus on other stuff, positive stuff, that is dealing with it.”
Remember really made me think about my position on memory loss treatment. I know that’s weird, having a “position” on something that doesn’t even exist, but it made me think. Would having a treatment done to lose memories make things easier? Wouldn’t it be sort of running away from it all? I loved that Win wasn’t interested in this treatment at all. It reminded me of a character in Free To Fall (by Lauren Miller) who also wasn’t interested in something that everyone else was. I really loved the science fiction element of Remember, that part was really interesting to me. I liked seeing how Memtex took effect exactly.
I thought Harper was a great main character. She was funny, intelligent, and pretty positive which Win gets after her for once in Remember. Since Harper’s dad is a neuroscientist, Harper’s picked up various information about brain function which was great.
What really stood out to me about Harper was that she did horseback riding and not just any horseback riding, but she actually did competitions! I always love it when teenager characters actually have hobbies, especially rare ones. Horseback riding in competitions is something I used to want to do (thanks Full House and 7th Heaven), but alas, no horse and too old. It’s a big part of Harper’s life too, she has her own horse that she calls Harry.
Win was a fantastic character. She was the highlight in Remember for me.From the very get go, I loved her scenes with Harper. At times she was over-dramatic though, but she still made me laugh. I liked how sarcastic she was too. Win was a really good friend to Harper and there for her throughout the story, mostly anyway.
I really loved Harper and Win’s friendship. I liked that it wasn’t perfect though. Harper and Win get mad at each other at separate times and I thought their arguments were realistic. They were really sarcastic with each other which I loved. I also loved the humor they had, Win was really entertaining with it all. Win had a lot of great one-liners. Especially with Josh, Harper’s boyfriend. Josh was an irritating character for the majority of the book.
At the start of Remember, Harper and Josh have been dating for two years already. When we meet the couple, we discover that there have been some troubles in paradise. This was where I was a little antsy because these sort of things always worry me. Especially when there’s a third guy in the picture and then I worry about cheating.
Harper ends up meeting Neil, a very strongly opinionated protester who she first sees after her dad’s talk to the school. Normally, I would hate the love triangle between Harper, Josh and Neil. I’m not a fan of love triangles at all. Somehow though, Eileen made this one work very well. Maybe it was because Josh was such an annoying character that I didn’t really care how he ended up. I liked the relationship between Neil and Harper. I thought it progressed mostly naturally, although maybe a bit too fast. I also loved Neil’s thinking, though he may be a little paranoid when it came to some things. He was very anti corporation and anti technology.
I thought Eileen did very well with displaying Harper and Josh’s relationship. Josh plans to go to Stanford, unfortunately, he can’t afford to. Luckily, Harper’s dad puts together an internship position that will the student a grant for college. To say Josh idolized Harper’s dad would be an understatement. Josh was crazy about her dad, there were times in Remember when I was just like “Seriously?” because of how into her dad he really was. This of course clouds his eyes to any of Memtex’s flaws. It also annoyed me when he would rather spend time with Harper’s dad than her.
After Harper loses someone, she’s left wanting to get the Memtex treatment, she thought her dad would be okay with it, except he’s not. This of course, raises red flags because why would he be against it if it were perfectly safe? She ends up getting the treatment anyway which has some very weird side effects. Flashbacks. Sensory overload. Passing out.
Yeah, that sounds perfectly fine, right? Ha.
We then launch into the mystery surrounding Memtex. I have to say, Remember definitely had a lot of twists and turns. All of which I enjoyed. It kept me invested in the story and on my toes. I thought the mystery was great, I was interested in what exactly was going on, if anything. The writing style was done well. There was a small thing I wish had been elaborated on, but that didn’t take anything away from the story for me. I loved how driven Harper was to figure out the truth behind her dad’s company and what was going on in her own head. Overall, this was a great mystery that kept me guessing and in suspense.
I loved Harper and Win as characters. I found the memory element throughout the story to be interesting. Remember definitely made me think about if I would ever get a similar procedure done. I liked how the mystery was grounded in a company and thought Harper being the daughter of the head of it was a nice twist. There weren’t many downfalls other than I wish Josh and Neil had been fleshed out a bit more. I also wish Harper was a little more engaging. While I loved her friendship with Win, her relationship problems with Josh and dealing with her memory loss, she was self-involved at times. I couldn’t always emotionally connect with her very well.
~Do I Recommend?~
Fans of memory loss stories
Fans of sarcastic characters
Fans of slight science fiction elements
Fans of Lauren Miller’s “Free To Fall”