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Friday, 24 February 2017

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

About the One Memory of Flora Banks
I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA BE BRAVE.

Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can't remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is.

Then she kisses someone she shouldn't, and the next day she remembers it. It's the first time she's remembered anything since she was ten.

But the boy is gone. She thinks he's moved to the Arctic.
Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust?
My review of The One Memory of Flora Banks
The One Memory of Flora Banks has been on my 'to be read pile' for a long time, and so I was very glad when I eventually had the opportunity to read it. I absolutely adored this book. It was such a treat to read.
The story revolves around Flora Banks, a seventeen-year-old girl who has anterograde amnesia. This means that she can only retain information for a few hours, so she has to be constantly reminded of who she is, what she has done and what she needs to do next. Her life is a series of notes, reminders and she cannot live without her notebook, which is where her whole life is documented. On her hand thee is a tattooed message that states, 'Be Brave' and Flora lives her life by this mantra. She is brave, she is exceptional.
Although YA, it is not the typical young girl falls in love with boy YA story, it is different, believe me, you have to stick with the story until the very end. This is not about teenage love, this is a book about self discovery, it is a book about how Flora finds herself. When Flora remembers kissing Drake one night on the beach, who is also her best friend's boyfriend, her whole world begins to unravel and changes forever. Although the novel begins as one of teenage love and of new love, this novel is so much more.
Flora takes the bold decision to travel to Svalbard, in the Arctic, so as to find Drake. This part of the book I absolutely loved. I could see, smell and taste the Arctic with the author's vivid descriptions. This young girl, with no memory, managed to get herself there, living up to her motto, Be Brave. Flora does indeed manage to get herself safely to Svalbard and she finds that she is loved by many of the inhabitants there, namely those of Toby and Agi, who are fantastic characters, that we meet through Flora's viewpoint.
I will just mention that this novel is repetitive, we read many times that Flora 'kissed a boy' for example, but this repetition is needed. It is Flora telling the story, and through the use of repetition I felt like I was able to creep inside her head and live her life throughout the pages of he novel. Without this constant reputation, I really do feel that a vital part of Flora would have been lost to me. I needed to understand how her amnesia impacted upon her life, and the narrative repetitions helped me to do so.
The main themes running throughout this novel are those of, Who is telling the truth? and, Who can Flora trust? Throughout the novel I just knew that something was amiss, I just couldn't put my finger on it, so the ending came as a complete surprise.
The One Memory of Flora Banks is an exceptional novel for any age. It is a story of self discovery, adventure and of never giving up on life. The One Memory of Flora Banks was published by Penguin on 12 December 2016 and can be found on Amazon here.
About the author
Emily Barr worked as a journalist in London but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. She went travelling for a year, which gave her an idea for a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became BACKPACK, an adult thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and she has since written eleven more adult novels published in the UK and around the world. THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS is her first novel for young adults. She lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. Visit her website at


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