Review: The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source – Reviewer Purchase

Synopsis from Goodreads
Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

Ronnie’s Review

When I read Sharon Cameron’s The Rook last year, I was immediately hooked by the style and prose of her writing. She has a knack for being intricate with the text, but not overwhelming the reader with inane or meaningless details. And she writes the rare 4-leaf clover in fantasy YA , also known as the “standalone” novel. Plus, while not being pertinent to the review, but perhaps to the readers, her publisher, Scholastic, makes their e-books loanable.

I would love to be able to unabashedly recommend this book, but there are a couple of things that stop me from doing that. For instance, the pacing on this book is really pretty slow. It takes quite some time to build up to why Nadia risks breaking the rules and the characterization on her part as well as other characters is pretty slim. This might be in part to the first person narrative, so you as the reader, are learning what Nadia learns and you only see things from her point of view. One of my favorite subgenres is Urban Fantasy, and I’d say that most UF contains 1st person present tense, so I enjoy and am very used to it, but it’s not style of writing that will appeal to everyone.

I also wasn’t sold on the romance between Gray and Nadia because for me, a romance has to give and take.. and there wasn’t much give on Gray’s part. It seemed like he kept coming around Nadia because of what she could do for him. And for the girl who keeps herself aloof, the feeling of being wanted and desired would act like a balm for the loneliness that resides in her.

The ideas and creativity behind The Forgetting are what drives the book. It’s what kept me turning the pages. I wish I could say I felt the same way about the main characters, but I didn’t. They were mostly interchangeable, subject to the whims of the plot. I feel like that’s pretty par for the course with any sort of fantasy that has a dystopian or science fiction-y feel to it. While I can’t unreservedly recommend the book, if you like fantasy standalones, or fantasy YA with an odd twist, you might want to check out The Forgetting.

Rating: 3 Stars = C+

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