It’s an ambitious concept. Emily Barr’s ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ is her YA debut and the back of the book makes it sound like a real trip. Literally. Reading this will take you all the way to the Arctic.
Still not convinced your imagination is ready for that kind of adventure? Welp, maybe this will persuade you further. There is a boy… And a kiss….
And basically that is ALL Flora can remember. It’s her one memory. The only one she’s had since she was about ten. Since then? Nothing new. Think ’50 First Dates’ meets ‘Momento’ but this gets a whole bucketload better because it’s a book. And it’s YA. And the writing is impeccable!
We say the word ‘ambitious’ in the intro up there because how exactly do you write a whole novel where the protagonist suffers amnesia; her brain essentially resets every few hours. So Flora forgets and has to go through the process of remembering.
And this actually should be boring. But it 100% is not. Serious kudos to Emily Barr for creating a narrative that has to undergo a lot of repetition… but constantly feels fresh and new.
Ok, so back to that boy. And that kiss. Some of you will be muy relieved to know that this ISN’T a typical contemporary romance. In fact, really, the more you read the more you realise that the romantic element is more of a motivator. It’s what pushes Flora into action, but it’s not the main focus. And that is refreshing too.
“Flora, be brave.” The single piece of repetition that you can grow to enjoy more and more. Because Flora Banks is brave, and fierce, and goes on the kind of adventure that most of us wouldn’t even dare to attempt. And we’ve got a fully functioning memory! Plus, the descriptions of the Arctic? They’ll give you real wanderlust.
Be warned. There are may twists to this tale and those twists will undoubtedly smack you right in the feels. The touching moments between Flora and her brother are enough to bring you to tears. Seriously fat, blubbery tears.
What struck us the most was the “realness” of the story, despite it being one epic trip that is almost hard to imagine happening… And yet, Flora’s experiences and the things people say and do to her are incredibly real.
We won’t spoil it by saying whether or not there’s a HEA or not, but we will say that the ending is very satisfying.
A moving tale of passion. A passion for love, but most importantly, for life. Flora Banks IS brave, and her story urges the reader to be the same.
Read this book, friends. It will get stuck in your head and it’s worth every single page.
Have you already read #FloraBanks? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below!