“THE FORGETTING,” by Sharon Cameron, Scholastic Press, Sept. 13, 2016, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Who we are, who we love, who we hate and everyone in between are all tied to our memories. So what would happen if those memories disappeared? And what if that happened every 12 years? What would you do? In Sharon Cameron’s “The Forgetting” people in the city of Canaan face just those questions.
Canaan is a place of safety. White stone walls protect the citizens, and no one goes beyond them. They can’t. What’s out there isn’t just an unknown, it’s a continual cycle of unknown. And for the most part, people don’t mind. The walls are there to keep them safe; to protect them when the Forgetting comes.
Every 12 years, the Forgetting comes and Canaan descends into chaos. Every 12 years people forget everything — parents, children, themselves. But people don’t have to; they can remember with the help of their books. From the time they’re born, children learn to record every moment of their lives — both significant and not. Your book is your truth. Without it, you’re lost.
Except for Nadia. Nadia doesn’t need a book because she’s never forgotten. She remembers, but no one knows. No one can know. If they find out, Nadia’s whole family will be in danger.
It’s hard to run from the truth, though, and as Nadia begins to use her memories to unravel the mysteries surrounding her and her family, she discovers truths that will change her world forever. The Forgetting is fast approaching, and if Nadia wants to end the cycle of anarchy, she must move before all is forgotten — again.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a strong dystopian YA novel. There are tons of copycats, so “The Forgetting” came as a pleasant surprise.
“The Forgetting” begins small. It’s Nadia’s first Forgetting and chaos ensues, and when everything settles down, key elements of her life have changed, are forgotten. To the surrounding world, this is truth, but Nadia knows differently.
Author Sharon Cameron is to be commended for creating an emotional pull so early on. She sets up her novel quickly without pushing. You’re drawn in with enough base information for reference but left wanting/needing more. Her pacing is well planned and organized.
“The Forgetting” has something for everyone — mystery, suspense and romance — while avoiding the pitfalls many books in this genre get sucked into.
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