Synopsis from Blink YA Books:
In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.
Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.
To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.
About: The Memory Thief is a young adult fantasy written by Lauren Mansy. It will be published on 10/1/2019 by Blink YA Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, 368 pages. The genres are young adult, fantasy, and fiction. This book is the author’s debut and is intended for readers ages 13 and up. According to the publisher’s website, “Blink YA Books is home to some of the most engrossing teen publishing anywhere. Here at Blink Young Adult Books, we publish clean young adult fiction and nonfiction. The literature published by Blink is a positive reflection of what is inspiring and heartening while maintaining a tradition of imaginative and exciting storytelling that will bring readers to the edge of their seats, immerse them in a heartrending love story, or engross them in a story of a life well-lived.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Memory Thief on 8/10/2019 and finished it on 8/14/2019. This book is an okay read. The whole idea of memories being the greatest priced possessions are interesting. I like that twist as Etta arrived at Aravid. It’s good and unexpected. The bit of banter between Reid and Etta makes me smile. This story focuses a lot on how guilty Etta feels about the mistakes she made 4 years ago. It’s a good reminder of how it’s hard for us to forgive and move on. I like the idea of a prison set up as a maze with traps. I also like the cover of this book!
This book is told in the first person point of view following Julietta (Etta), 17. Etta lives among the Ungifted even though she’s Gifted. People who are Gifted can read other people’s minds. Etta’s mother’s life is in danger. Four years ago Etta makes deals with the enemy by betraying her allies to save her mother and today she is forced to reach out to those whom she betrayed to save her mother again. In this world, memories are talents and experiences and they can be stolen, use as payment, sell off for expenses, or forcibly taken as a form of punishment. There are 4 different realms: Craewick, Kripen, Blare, and Aravid where each realm has a ruler but one ruler, Madame, wants to rule all realms and controls all groups. Then there’s the Shadows who protects the Ungifted. Etta is to go on a mission with Reid on behalf of the Shadows to rescue the Shadows’ leader because only him may be able to stop the upcoming war.
The Memory Thief is a good idea yet the story seems to lack excitement for me. The main character, Etta is a broken girl. She seems to have more loss than gains and it’s eating her up. This book has an attempt at having a slow burning romance where it grows from dislike to love but love seems to grow rather quickly. Etta is too trustworthy even when her trust brought troubles to her in the past. She readily believes Aravid’s leader’s words and drink that medicine from Felix without verifying if it’s real knowing the leader is a master manipulator. Though I would have loved to read how he manipulates people. I do like Etta’s other qualities like helping the helpless such as her mom, Ryder, and Penn. Readers learned of how evil the villain is through Etta’s memory but there’s hardly any actions to justify it. The ending got me confused because I was under the impression that Reid left the maze with Greer and Etta to fight in the war and then go to the asylum to rescue Etta’s mom but somehow Etta’s mom says Reid has been in the asylum for two days.
Pro: cover, easy to read, memory idea, maze, banter, very light romance
Con: lack excitement, main character too trustworthy, character being in two places at once
I rate it 3.5 stars!
About the Author:
Lauren Mansy lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. You can visit her online at http://www.laurenmansy.com (Photo and info obtained from BlinkYABooks’ website).
More Information about Blink YA Books
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Blink YA Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.