Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

Book Description:

ARC, 184 pages
April 1, 2011, Marshall Cavendish

Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Nora’s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her mother’s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they can’t get away with remembering.

Source: Marshall Cavendish & Diana (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Memento Nora was a quick read but it was enough to tickle my mind. Nora’s society experienced constant attacks by terrorists to the extent that it became an almost daily thing. Bombings, blood and death were everywhere. The survivors and witnesses fled to TFC and swallowed a pill to avoid trauma and wipe out bad memories from their heads. For me, memories are very important. I would fight for them just to keep them in my head. Not all memories are good but there is always a reason for the bad ones.

Nora did not swallow her first pill from TFC. She carried the weight of her mom’s forgotten memory, as well as her own. It was not easy to know that she did not know her mom well. She knew that her mom frequented TFC for a reason and it made her sad. She met Micah, a boy from her school who was also in TFC when she first visited. They both refused to swallow the forgetting pill for their own reasons and together, they worked on Memento – their way of preserving their memories and telling it to people. But as the days passed, Memento was no longer just a tangible evidence of the things they have seen and experienced, it could also be the perfect medium in letting everyone know who were the ones responsible for the violence in their city.

Memento Nora was told from the perspectives of Nora, Micah and Winter – three teenagers with different problems and situations. Nora was a rich prep, the girl who got everything she wanted, Daddy’s girl. She was the one who worked on the dialogue and the story of Memento along with Micah, the artist. Micah had a crush on Nora but his best friend, Winter, did not think that Nora was good for him. But aside from Nora being the girl who never talked to them, she had other reasons. When their comic book attracted the attention of several people, Nora and her friends knew that things could get messy. Soon they were being chased. There was a price for remembering.

The ending was perfect. I will never forget it. It stirred something inside me. Memento Nora is disturbing, terrifying, lonely, nostalgic and violent. I found myself anticipating and dreading the next chapter. So much happened in this little book – more than I imagined. I recommend this to dystopian enthusiasts!




  1. l agree! So much does happen in such a little book, l didn't think it was possible. Glad you enjoyed it =)

  2. I guess what they say is true - 'good things come in small packages'. Memento Nora sounds brilliant! When I realised how many pages it was, I stupidly wasn't expecting it to really make an impact since I'm used to larger books. But I guess with the right talent, you can pull off something fantastic no matter how short it is. I'm really excited to read this now, thanks Precious!

    "Not all memories are good but there is always a reason for the bad ones." - completely agree with that!

  3. This sounds so good! I’m definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for the great review!

  4. It looks like a really good book. I'll have to check it out soon.