Avery, Lara. The Memory Book
Booklist Reviews 2016 June #1
When Sammie gets the diagnosis her senior year—that a genetic condition will rob her of her mind, the one thing she valued over everything else—it's just one more thing for her to overcome, with the help of her "memory book," a diary that will remind her future self of the Sammie she once was. But as the realities of her condition become more glaring, Sammie has to reevaluate everything she thought made her who she is. Avery (A Million Miles Away, 2015) balances humor and devastating sadness perfectly. Sammie's voice is sympathetic but not pitiful as she relates her hopes for the future and thoughts on the past. Like Before I Die (2007), by Jenny Downham, the novel focuses on a teen trying to figure out what making the most of the time she has left means. Though there are moments recorded in Sammie's book that seem like they were captured at a very unlikely time to journal, each entry adds to a story of self-discovery that's hard to put down. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall
Eighteen-year-old Sammie, star debater and high-school valedictorian, refuses to give up her bright future--even to Niemann-Pick Type C, the fatal genetic disease robbing her of memory and eventually bodily control. So Sammie keeps a "memory book" to guide her future self. That book, and this novel, ultimately becomes a gut-wrenching but perceptive record of Sammie's decline and its effects on those around her. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
PW Reviews 2016 May #1
Samantha "Sammie" McCoy, 18, has big plans: win the National Debate Championships with her friend Maddie, become class valedictorian, attend NYU and law school, and become a human rights lawyer. These plans are derailed when she's diagnosed with Niemann-Pick, a terminal illness that will rob her of her memory and physical abilities before killing her. Through journal entries that Sammie writes to her future self, including occasional excerpts from text and email exchanges, Avery (Anything but Ordinary) crafts an emotionally charged story about a young woman who has kept her eyes trained on the future, only to learn that all she has is now. Determined to make the most of the time she has left, Sammie begins a relationship with her longtime crush and attempts to have "normal" teenage experiences like attending parties and getting drunk. Though the marketplace is crowded with stories of teens coping with serious illness, Avery's novel stands out for its strong characters, a heartbreaking narrative that shifts to reflect Sammie's condition, and a love story that will leave many readers in tears. Ages 15–up. Agency: Alloy Entertainment. (July)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC