Monday, May 18, 2015
THE MEMORY HIT by Carla Spradbery
Release Date: 6/4/15
On New Year's Eve, Jess's life is unrecognizable: her best friend is in the hospital, her boyfriend is a cheater. A drug-dealing cheater it would seem, after finding a stash of Nostalgex in his bag.
Nostalgex: a drug that stimulates memory. In small doses, a person can remember the order of a deck of cards, or an entire revision guide read the day before an exam. In larger doses it allows the user detailed access to their past, almost like watching a DVD with the ability to pause a moment in time, to focus on previously unnoticed details and to see everything they've ever experienced with fresh eyes. As Leon, the local dealer, says 'it's like life, only better.' What he fails to mention is that most memories are clouded by emotions. Even the most vivid memories can look very different when visited.
Across town Sam Cooper is in trouble. Again. This time, gagged and bound in the boot of a car. Getting on the wrong side of a drug dealer is never a good idea, but if he doesn't make enough money to feed and clothe his sister, who will?
On New Year's Day, Jess and Cooper's worlds collide. They must put behind their differences and work together to look into their pasts to uncover a series of events that will lead them to know what really happened on that fateful New Year's Eve. But what they find is that everything they had once believed to be true, turns out to be a lie ...
'A pleasingly dark teen thriller with fun, fresh characters. Spradbery is a debut author to watch.' James Dawson
My thoughts on the book:
I feel like The Memory Hit tried to be Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and failed miserably. That's not to say there was nothing good about this book. It just wasn't captivating enough. It jumped around so much, it was hard to keep up with what was happening and what character we were supposed to be following, and the characters felt a little like stereotypes. The ending was a shocker, though, and I did read it all the way through because I wanted to see what happened, so at least I was able to get invested in it, even if the story's potential wasn't fully realized.
Jess and Cooper were okay characters. I didn't feel much for them either way. They weren't as defined as they could have been. The rest of the cast (Leon, Luke, Scarlett, etc.) all just felt like stereotypes to me. Leon the drug dealer whose dad was in jail was the biggest cliche. I just couldn't take any of the characters seriously because of their pasts. I did feel some sympathy for Scarlett, even though she had cheated with her best friend's boyfriend. That doesn't mean she deserved to be in the hospital severely injured like she was.
The plot was disjointed and jumped around too much. There was no flow to it at all, and that made the story seem longer than it was. I lost interest a few times and had to put the book down and come back to it later because of the ADD-style writing. The ending shocked me, but it made sense, at least. I didn't feel much emotion other than shock at the big reveal due to the fact that I couldn't get invested in the characters.
Overall, I didn't really enjoy this book. That doesn't mean that other people won't, though. The jumpy plot just really ruined it for me. If you try it, I hope you like it more than I did.