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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Lucy Miller’s family has the unique ability to remove people’s painful memories—but Lucy isn’t prepared for truths she will uncover in this twisty speculative thriller, perfect for fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Neal Shusterman. People come from everywhere to forget. At the Memory House, in Tumble Tree, Texas, Lucy’s father can literally erase folks’ heartache and tragic memories. Lucy can’t wait to learn the family trade and help alleviate others’ pain, and now, at sixteen, she finally can. But everything is not as it seems. When Lucy practices memory-taking on her dad, his memory won’t come loose, and in the bit that Lucy sees, there’s a flash of Mama on the day she died, tinged red with guilt. Then Lucy wakes up the next morning with a bruised knee, a pocketful of desert sand, and no memory of what happened. She has no choice but to listen to Marco Warman—a local boy she’s always wondered about, who seems to know more than he should. As Lucy and Marco r…

Remember Me Gone

By Stacy Stokes

Overall Book Review:

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love a book that takes the real world and infuses it with a little magical realism, especially if it’s done in a way that is almost believable and makes my imagination run wild. That was certainly the case for me with Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes. Though the cover of the book didn’t really draw me in, once I began reading it was difficult to put this book down!

Lucy Miller and her father run a thriving business that brings in people from near and far, waiting in long lines for the chance to be rid of memories that they want to discard. Lucy has seen how enlightened customers are when they are done meeting with her dad and unburdened of their heavy memories and she knows some day she will step into her father’s shoes and take over the family business. But as Lucy observes the work her dad does, she begins to catch on to some things that don’t quite add up. 

It was interesting to me to read this book from the perspective of Lucy, because as the story moves along she comes to a point where she begins to question the work her dad does and if it’s as helpful as she always thought it was. She’s never had a reason not to trust her dad and obviously she’d prefer to keep it that way; however, the more she learns about her past and things that she simply doesn’t remember (her dad wouldn’t take memories from his own daughter without her consent, would he?) the less she trusts in the ethics of the family business and the work she has always believed in. 

Remember Me Gone not only has a unique premise, it also offers a bit of mystery and a dash of romance as well. Though the ending seemed a bit sudden to me, I was very impressed by this debut and will be on the lookout for more books by Stacy Stokes in the future! 

Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy from Penguin Random House

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 5 religious exclamations; 19 mild obscenities; 3 scatological words; 1 anatomical term.

Violence/Gore: A scene occurs where a minor recalls when her mother passed away in a car crash; an armed man has a verbal altercation with another man and is slammed to the ground; a minor is hit with a heavy object so she will be unable to run away, sustaining a bruise and some pain the next morning; a minor observes a scene where verbal threats are made between adults; two minors hide from a corrupt authority figure who points a gun at one of the minors; a minor hits a mirror with her fist in anger and slices her hand open, some blood is mentioned and the injury is referred to multiple times; a scene occurs where a minor drives recklessly with other minor passengers in the vehicle; a brief scene occurs where police verbally threaten a group of minors when they don’t follow their instructions; a man hits a minor on the cheek in a brief scene; an intense brief scene occurs where a minor experiences traumatic flashbacks; an armed police officer threatens a corrupt man in a brief scene; a minor girl uses a sharp object in self-defense.

Sex/Nudity: A minor recalls kissing a boy and holding hands and dancing; a brief kiss occurs between minors.

Mature Subject Matter:

Corruption; Abandonment; Deceit; Loss of a loved one.

Alcohol/Drug Use:

Minors at a party are mentioned to be consuming drinks spiked with alcohol; a brief scene occurs where cigarettes are mentioned; a man is reported to drug a woman’s drinks; a flask is mentioned to be hidden from view of police in one brief scene; a mention is made of drunk and rowdy citizens.

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
4
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
3
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
2
10

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.