Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

Memento Nora
Series: Memento Nora #1
by Angie Smibert
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Published by Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
Pages: 184
Source: Requested from Publisher
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound 

(from Goodreads)

On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget.

In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC--a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can go on like nothing ever happened. But at TFC a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora's life. She doesn't take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember.

With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?

Angie Smibert's remarkable debut novel takes readers on a thrilling ride through a shadowy world where corporations secretly rule and consumerism is praised above all.

My Thoughts

There is nothing scarier than a dystopian novel that is only one or two steps away from the reality of the world we live in today. While reading Memento Nora, I was really freaked out by the reminder that almost all of our movements are traceable - by mobile phone, internet, purchases, and ways that I can't even imagine - there isn't any anonymity anymore.We are always being watched even though we may not know how much we are being watched or by whom. Can you sense my paranoia here? Um yeah, just a little bit.

Memento Nora is set in a future plagued by a terrorist threat called the Coalition who've claimed responsibility for several attacks and numerous bombings. These events have become so common that the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic (TFC) was created to help people deal with their post-traumatic stress. People just go into the clinic, tell all of their worries that they want to forget, pop a pill and presto-magic all of their worries are erased. Oh and the best part is that every time they go to the clinic to forget, they earn points which serve as currency to buy "glossy" things. 

Told through Therapeutic Statements, the book begins with Nora describing her "glossy day" out with her mother when the top floor of the building they are walking beside blows up and the body of a man falls right in front of her. Having witnessed this, her mother has taken her to the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic so that she can have this horrific memory erased. But the strange behavior of Micah, another TFC patient, and her mother's shocking confession, convinces Nora that she may not want to forget it all and she fakes taking her pill. Her run-in with Micah, and their friendship that follows, allows Nora to realize that her life may not be as glossy as it seems (and may never really have been). 

I loved how the story is told from the perspectives of Nora and her friends, Micah and Winter as they try to figure out who is behind the Coalition and all of the mysterious bombings. Filled with intrigue and danger, and with a kick in the consumerist's pants, Memento Nora hits a little too close to home. 

Memento Nora is the 2011 debut novel of Angie Smibert. It will be available April 1, 2011 from Marshall Cavendish publishing. More information can be found on the Memento Nora website at

Disclaimer: I requested this book for review from Marshall Cavendish and this review is based on the Advanced Reading Copy. I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. this sounds really cool and different and gripping. thanks for the review ~ I've stuck it on my wish list ~ it's not too far away!

    xo Nomes

  2. great write up! You do MN justice. I can't wait to read it. Moreso now. (Can you sneak me an ARC?) :)

    Thanks for supporting all us debut authors by reading and blogging.

  3. I was lucky enough to read this arc and agree wholeheartedly with your review. Smibert has created such a real world that will definitely resonate in our own gimme-gimme-gimme socitey.

    I also loved the way she chose to tell the story -- made for a heartbreaking ending (but not without a glimmer of hope).

    Can't wait to read Angie's next book!


  4. I'm feeling so ARC-less! :-(

    Looking forward to this coming out. Thanks for the great review...and I'm like you. I get creeped out by fiction that feels a little too close to fact.

  5. I LOVED this book! I am so happy to see it getting such good reviews, and I hope everyone picks it - it's a very refreshing read. Fantastic review!

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  6. It sounds Great! I am a new follower! I hope you can take a look and follow my blog!
    Thanks so much!


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