Thursday, December 8, 2011

Forgotten review

Forgotten
by Cat Patrick
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
June 2011

16 year-old London Lane is harboring a secret. Her memories and her mind work differently than most. Instead of remembering the past, she remembers the future, seeing the next day very clearly, and further events slightly less so. Every morning at exactly 4:33 am, the slate is wiped clean and she forgets the events of the previous day.

This book is, dare I say it, eminently readable. Even that beginning premise isn't explicitly given away to readers right away. I had read the first few chapters before I figured it out. She "remembers" the events that will spawn a long-running inside joke between her and her best friend Jamie, and knows that she and Jamie will backpack Europe together, that Jamie will develop a signature flirting move and have her heart broken by several bad romances in college. There's a fascinating dynamic to their friendship, as Jamie is one of the few people who knows about London's ability. Jamie helps London cover for her memory lapses at school and London futilely tries to keep irrepressible Jamie from falling for the wrong guys.

The plot thickens when London meets a new guy who she didn't predict coming into her life, and who she consistently doesn't see in her future. She writes careful notes to herself so she can quickly catch up on what she did the day before and it's interesting to see how she approaches things with her new boyfriend Luke. After they have a fight, she alters her past notes, effectively "forgetting" him for a while. They eventually work things out, and London continues to feel that rush of euphoria of first-time attraction every time she she sees him.

London begins seeing disturbing visions for the first time. "Memories" that aren't quite clear to her, but she sees herself at a funeral for a little boy and lives with a sense of dread, not knowing who the boy is, or how he will come into her life, but knowing that she will feel awful about his loss. Unless...? Maybe this vision is so different from the rest because she's finally remembering her past?


There were a few things that I wondered about. With an ability like hers, why doesn't London read up on winning lottery numbers and buy a winning ticket? I found it odd that she and her mother are reluctant to seek any medical attention to find out why her brain is wired like this. Why on earth is Luke the sole exception to London's memories. He does feature in her future, why can't she see it? What makes him different? And, of course, her vision of the funeral is so mysterious. What does it mean? Everytime you think you have things figured out, Patrick throws another spanner in the works, introducing yet another surprise twist of the plot, ret-conning things over and over again. Everything wraps up very satisfyingly, with most questions answered by the end. This feels like a stand-alone book, rather than the start of a series.

I preferred the cover on my Advanced Reader's Copy, rather than the finished cover which I can't help but read as three words: For. Got. Ten. It took me a second to realize that it's the same photograph! Fast-paced, smoothly-written mystery and adventure makes this an easy book for me to recommend.


I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

2 comments:

  1. I always wonder why characters don't take advantage of their powers (or, in this case, damages?) to make money. :P I'm with you on the title, too. I say For.Got.Ten. every time I see the US cover.

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  2. Yes, it really is like a disability for her. Especially when she forgets her boyfriend and panics! I do love the British cover.

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