Remember Me Gone

Viking. Mar. 2022. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593327661.
Gr 8 Up–In the dry-as-dust town of Tumble Tree, TX, Lucy Miller’s father practices a mysterious family trade: removing memories from grief-stricken travelers. As Lucy begins to learn the business of taking memories, flashes of guilt and frightening recollections start to haunt her and her friends. Why doesn’t Lucy remember her mother’s death? Or anything at all about Marco, a boy she has known all her life? As memory turns to mystery, the citizens of Tumble Tree face a reckoning. Fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not will recognize the theme of lost memories found and the power of memories have over the soul. This YA thriller is an excellent introduction to speculative fiction. Stokes breaks down complex emotions, such as grief and guilt, and makes them accessible to young adult readers. The author is on shakier ground, however, when exploring mental illness as a consequence of altered memories; those passages should be taken with a grain of salt.
VERDICT The narrative is compelling and plot-driven. Avid readers may find themselves staying up late to finish the story.

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