Monday, 11 March 2013

Review // Unremembered - Jessica Brody

Published - 28th February 2013
Publisher- Macmillan
Format - Paperback
Synopsis - Sixteen-year-old Sera is the only survivor of an explosion on a plane. She wakes up in hospital to find that she has no memory. The only clue to her identity is a mysterious boy who claims she was part of a top-secret science experiment. The only adult she trusts insists that she shouldn’t believe anything that anybody tells her. In a tense and pacy novel exploding with intrigue and action, Sera must work out who she is and where she came from. Eventually she will learn that the only thing worse than forgetting her past is remembering it.

This was my first time reading anything by Jessica Brody and initially I only picked it up because it sounded reminiscent of Teri Terry's Slated which I simply ADORED. I read a lot of reviews and it seems most people feel like it's 'been done before' and I thought I would end up going along the same lines but honestly, it felt new and fresh. Sure, there were a lot of comparisons to other books but that's the same for any genre now. People are working on older concepts and making them better - isn't that what draws our attention to them in the first place? Because it's the kind of book we like? Anyway - getting off track. Unremembered was a great read.

Violet/Sera (I much prefer Violet so I apologise if I switch names throughout) wakes up surrounded by a plane wreckage and no idea who, or where, she is. Brody doesn't patronise the reader by explaining every little detail which I LOVE and so although a little confusing, the puzzle works itself out. We're introduced to fascinating characters such as Cody & Zen. Each character is distinct and i'm fairly positive that even without names guiding me to the speech, I could tell who was talking in this book anyway as they're all so unique.

As I said earlier, I felt this would be similar to Slated but I was wrong. Sure there's memory loss and secrets etc but it is so different. Brody mixes up a few different genres within Unremembered that surprisingly all work really well together! I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of romance in the book - although we're told and I guess even see the love between Sera and Zen, it's not screaming at you. More of this please! Nobody wants over-done romance shoved in their face and Brody did this well. 

The book was fast paced and I read the whole thing in around 4 hours. I did have a few minor problems with the book though. Cody should not be 13. I have the same problem with the age of Percy Jackson. I just don't think it's believable that a child of 13 would (or even should) be able to just hop on a bus, travel so many miles away from home, with a stack of cash and know exactly what he's doing with no worries or fears. Maybe it's an American thing? I don't know, but this definitely wouldn't happen in my reality. The last thing really I don't even know how to comment on. On one hand, I understand that having the story come solely from Sera means that the reader is kept away from information that furthers the plot line and keeps a sense of intrigue etc but I felt like something was missing. There are a lot of important characters in Unremembered and I loved a good deal of them ..but they fell a little short. We only got glimpses of other people and thoughts because Sera either didn't want to think about it or didn't care. Personally I felt at times that the reader was left hanging because Sera couldn't handle thinking about it. I guess all of these little things will be resolved in the next few books and that's why it's like this but I definitely would have liked to understand what Zen and Cody were thinking more.

Overall I loved Unremembered and i'm really excited for the next book! It was a great plotline, exciting and interesting new ideas in a genre that I love and Brody's writing was excellent. The paperback in the UK comes with a gorgeous free bookmark too so not only do you get a fabulous book but freebies!

1 comment:

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