Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for a while, but I finally picked it up a few days ago as something light to read after the long-windedness that was The Kraken Wakes (review here). It may also have had something to do with The Hangover From Hell that wouldn’t let me concentrate on reading for more than 7-10 minutes, but never mind.

Here’s the thing about me: I can see the future in flashes, like memories. But my past is a blank. I remember what I’ll wear tomorrow, and an argument that won’t happen until this afternoon. But I don’t know what I ate for dinner last night. I get by with the help of notes, my mom and my best friend Jamie, and the system works …Until now. Everything’s falling apart. Jamie’s going of the rails. My mom is lying to me. And I can’t see the boy I adore in my future. But today, I love him. And I never want to forget how much …

The short version is that I really enjoyed this book. I read it in pretty much one sitting (with breaks for painkiller swallowing and self-pity) and felt much better for it afterwards. The long version is that it’s a light-hearted yet moving description of London Lane’s struggles with her backwards memory. There seems to be a lot of memory loss related books about recently (see my reviews of The Adoration of Jenna Fox and What Alice Forgot), but this is definitely one of the better ones.

Although there are some quite obvious flaws and unexplained bits (like why does London forget Luke one day and then suddenly remember him the next?), it’s easy to look past most of them. The one thing that really bothered me was the growing relationship between the two of them – if London forget every little detail of her life every night, there’s no way she’d cuddle and sleep with  somebody she didn’t know the next. A person with such a memory problem just wouldn’t be able to get close to anyone.

But like I said, it’s written so well that it’s easy to ignore the holes. I mean, it’s been slated by some other blogs who said that London’s thoughts were too trivial, but she’s a teenage girl. Of course she’s going to be concerned with her appearance and boys.  I particularly liked the details Ms Patrick threw in to make London’s problems more real – simple things like forgetting to lend her best friend a shirt or what she wore the day before. That’s what makes this novel so good – it’s not just about the plot, it’s about London’s daily life and what a struggle that is.

It surprised me how dark it was in parts. London’s condition obviously means that she knows exactly how the lives of her friends will pan out, and some contain shocking situations that she daren’t speak of. Her deliberation of whether or not to warn her closest friend, Jamie, of her future is extremely well written and very adult.

This is the perfect book for curling up in a ball and forgetting the outside world. The unique story, interesting characters and dark moments add up to an excellent novel deserving the highest praise. I’m disappointed that there won’t be a sequel as the ending seems to call for one, but Ms Patrick’s website states that the book was always intended to stand alone. Shame, I’d have been first in line!

Comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    Great review! I really enjoyed this book as well. The things you described as unexplained though are things I thought were described in the story, myself.

    SPOILER alert for people who haven't read it!

    —————–
    When she remembers him one day, it's because she lost the blockage she had of what happens to him and she lost it after suddenly remembering the memory of her brother. And since she'd blocked Luke, yet was meant to be with him, she woke up feeling the same for him every day, but not remembering him until the blockage disappeared. That was how I got it at least. 🙂

    —————–
    END of spoiler.

    I agree that it's definitely a good book for forgetting the world for awhile. Quick and very enjoyable!

  2. Hanna says:

    @Rebecca – Firstly, thanks for the meaningful comment; I love them 🙂

    I know that suddenly remembering the loss of her brother resulted in remembering Luke, but I just didn't get why. I mean, as far as I could see, they weren't connected in any way, so why?

    Like I said in my review though, it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. Just made me scratch my head a bit!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Hmm, well I guess I figured they did. Since she had those strong feelings every time she saw him, I figured they were meant to be together. Since she remember things from the future but blocked the horrors, she didn't remember him other than the strong feelings. Or something!

    Haha, it's hard to explain I guess, but that's how I thought it was. But yeah, I guess it's a bit reading between the lines how you want to interpret it too! So I guess I see your point of not being really explained. 😉

  4. Rebecca says:

    Wow, that was a lot of guesses! Lol!

  5. I just bought this one. I read the first few pages and really liked the writing style. Can't wait to read it, though I hate loopholes or flaws:( Still, sounds good.
    -Jenna @ Fans of Fiction

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