Review: The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

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Published: September 13th, 2016 by Scholastic Press | Series: N/A | Length: 403 pages | Genre: YA, sci-fi, dystopian | Source: Borrowed from library/bought 

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Summary from Goodreads:

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

This was one of the many (MANY) September releases that I was really excited for. I ended up taking awhile to get to it because soon after its release, I started seeing quite a few negative reviews for it and got nervous about reading it, haha. However, I eventually did pick it up and I’m really glad I did. Although The Forgetting had a bit of a slow start, the action through the second half of the book more than made up for it and the book ended up being really enjoyable.

There are a lot of things about this book that I enjoyed. First of all, our main character, Nadia, goes through great character development. She starts off as being very guarded, not letting anyone in because she’s afraid of how much it will hurt her when others forget her since she’s the only one in the city who doesn’t forget everything every 12 years. I really liked seeing her grow and become less afraid and guarded as the story progresses.

I thought the love interest, Gray, was a pretty good character as well. I would’ve liked to see more of him and his background (which I realize is difficult since he forgets things every 12 years like everyone else) because when we did get glimpses into who he is, I really enjoyed it. Generally, he was a great character and I liked how stubborn and charming he was and how willing he was to risk things to help Nadia.

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There were some potentially triggering things that came up in this book that kind of caught me off guard. Nadia’s mother self-harms and deals with other mental health issues kind of similar to depression and PTSD. I wasn’t expecting this going in and so the first time it came up, it surprised me. There was one scene with some sexual harassment/attempted assault that kind of came out of nowhere, too. If any of this might be triggering for you, this is definitely something to keep in mind.

I appreciated that Nadia’s family actually plays a pretty big role in this book, although their role still wasn’t quite as big as I would’ve liked. I’ll take what I can get, though, haha. Nadia is really close with her younger sister, Genivee, and I loved seeing the relationship between the two of them. Nadia’s older sister pretty much hates her, but she was still a big influencing character on the story and I thought she was an incredibly interesting character. As I already mentioned, Nadia’s mother is struggling with mental health issues and this causes some problems between the sisters. Mostly they try to work together to help their mom, but it also causes tension between the sisters, especially between Nadia and her older sister who blames Nadia for their mother’s mental health problems.

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The dystopian elements of this book were incredibly interesting to me. The very opening scene shows us some of the corruption in the government, but more and more corruption is unfolded as the book goes on and the final scenes uncover so much. I loved watching Nadia and Gray discover all of the information that’s been hidden from everyone in the city and struggle with fighting back against their corrupt and manipulative government.

Although it took me awhile to really get into The Forgetting, I ended up really enjoying it. There’s plenty of dystopian elements that were fun to uncover as well as interesting family dynamics and impressive character development. This is definitely something that I think a lot of readers will enjoy as long as they can get past a bit of a boring beginning.


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