One of the best character driven books I’ve read, The Memory Book is about a character who seems confidently able to voice out those crazy thoughts that an average person usually just says in her head, who’s constantly hilarious, highly intelligent, self-deprecating and always positive to a fault. That’s Samantha Agatha Mc Coy (even though she was never coy and had no understanding of small talk and social cues).
“This is why I don’t make friends easily. Small talk, among many other things, makes me want to punch a hole in the wall.”
…and I have fallen in love with her character. Instead of succumbing to her sickness, (Niemann-Pick Type C, a kind of illness that causes dementia among many other symptoms), she concocts action plans, charts, motivational diagrams to plan for her future.
“What are people who are completely screwed supposed to do? Look forlornly out the window? I’m not good at the feelingsy things. Let’s move on.”
Girl doesn’t know the concept of giving up or even just taking a break and because her memory has been her super human power and the organ that has made her into the supposed genius that she is, she resolved to do everything she could to hold on to what she thought was the best part of her through her “Memory Book” where she writes to her future self.
I was just savoring the unique narrative and the creative journal entries, I even had to control myself from reading so fast because I wanted the story so much to last that I didn’t realize the sickness was slowly creeping in on Sammie as evident in her latter entries and it smashed my heart to pieces as much as it did her family and friends to see her shed layers of herself and yet they (her family and friends) prove (especially Cooper, my love) that Sammie’s best part isn’t just her memory, it’s her everything, her character, her love, her light, her confidence and compassion that make up who she is. And soon my incessant laughter during the first two-thirds of the book has been replaced with abandoned sobbing. Oh gawd!
This book is beautiful, honestly hilarious, so inspiring and utterly heart shattering. I’m not sure if I’ll get over it. Definitely one of my favorite reads this year.