Written by: Sharon Cameron
Published: September 13, 2016 by Scholastic
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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.
*** I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***
Oh man, this was fantastic. I don't want to give a lot away because so much of the best things about this book is that it's full of surprises. But if you are looking at the synopsis and thinking you know what it's about or what it's like, do not be fooled. It's much more complex. The Forgetting is not at all what I was expecting but honestly that made it all the more interesting because his is a really creative and compelling read.
One thing I loved about this book is the mystery. It's one of those SF/F reads that is full of mystery. I mean with a book called The Forgetting you would assume that remembering would be a big part of the book and it was. This is a book where you start about being so confused and then things slowly start being revealed. When everything is all said and done there is more than one big twist in this book and all of them were fantastic. That had little clues along the way to help you piece it together but ultimately it was full of surprises and I loved that.
I also really loved the world and the world-building. I can't go into any specifics here because that would give too much away and so much of the mystery here is related to the world. But suffice it to say, this is a really creative world that place around with science fiction and dystopian tropes. It made for a really engaging setting especially as you start learning more about it. And the author does a great job with the show instead of tell style of world-building. The more you see, the more you learn, the more invested you are.
You also get really invested in the characters. Pretty quickly into the book you are able to empathize with the main character, Nadia. She's in a very unique position of remembering when others cannot which made here one of those "too smart for her own good" protagonists. It is a little tropey at times but it kind of worked. But the think I liked most about Nadia is that she was motivated by her love of her family and her desire to help people for the greater good. It made me get behind her struggle and want to see her succeed.
There is also a ton of really great secondary characters here too. I already mentioned Nadia's family and I thought they had such a great relationship. She cares so much about them even when they don't really get along. I liked the way Nadia and her sister Lilya interacted. It felt so honest how they would bicker but still support each other. And while the romantic lead wasn't great for me from a romance standpoint, he ended up being a more layered character than I was originally expecting. So many of them are really complex and walk the line between good and evil, which I loved. On top of that it made for an interesting situation with antagonists. There's a lot of great conflicts here stemming from the fact that the characters are so complex.
My only problem however was with the pacing. This is a book which slowly builds to a thrilling conclusion which I liked but it wasn't very balanced. The beginning is a bit slow. Things are happening to move the plot along but it didn't really take off until half way through. Then when you get to the final act it was like a full-on sprint. I would have liked a little bit more of a balance. But that's just me being nitpicky.
Because seriously, this is a fantastic read. It's got likable and complex characters, a plot full of suspense and surprises, plus a really fascinating world. It's a book that while it can stand alone I would love to see a sequel for because it is so good that I'm not ready to let it go.
I give The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron 9.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read The Forgetting? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!