Monday, February 20, 2012

YA Sci-Fi: The Forgetting Curve by Angie Smibert

Series: Memento Nora #2
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Date: May 1, 2012
Format: ARC
Acquired: from the publisher
Read: for review (disclaimer: I received my copy of this book in return for an honest review.)
Pages: 202
Reading time: two days

From GoodReads: Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He believes everything is part of a greater system: the universe. The universe shows him the doors, and he keeps pulling until one cracks open. Aiden exposes the flaw, and the universe—or someone else—will fix it. It’s like a game. Until it isn’t. When a TFC opens in Bern, Switzerland, where Aiden is attending boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately. But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing. Along with Winter’s friend, Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things... before someone else gets hurt.

My review: After reading a couple of romance-driven dystopias, The Forgetting Curve was absolutely refreshing. I love Smibert's writing; even in such a short book, she packs in a ton of exciting events and details - but doesn't let either the plot or the characters seem undeveloped! I'll admit, it was a bit difficult to step into The Forgetting Curve almost a year after finishing Memento Nora, but I caught back up.

What I love about the series: Smibert's dystopia is scarily realistic. I mean, if a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic was open right now, how many people do you think would choose to erase their worst memories? What Smibert explores are the memories we don't want to lose - even if they're bad - and how such a thing as the TFC could become corrupt and controlling. In this dystopian world, ignorance only appears to be bliss.

Unlike in Memento Nora, I didn't feel like the author was pulling the reader in so many (albeit interesting) directions at once. It seemed pretty clear that the focus was the authoritarian society, not the "gloss" and consumerism of Nora and Aiden's generation. Also unlike the first book, there were times when I was slightly confused in The Forgetting Curve. I never quite grasped how TFC managed to first control the town of Hamilton, much less spread to more of the world, and I missed exactly how the characters reached some of their discoveries. Whatever these quips, though, it still proved to be an exciting, thought-provoking, and overall great read. The series is definitely established as one of my favorites of the dystopias, and I can't wait to see what the next book will bring!

One note: of course, in a book titled the "forgetting curve," there's a doctor named Ebbinghaus. :)

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