Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr @PenguinTeenAus

The One Memory of Flora Bank

Series : N/A

Publisher : Penguin Teen Australia

Source : Publisher

Release Date : January 12th 2017


Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home… goodreads

TashTash M


I have been tossing around trying to write this review for hours. There is a lot going  on with this novel, it is confusing yet it so good .  Barr’s first YA novel is the type of diverse novel that will appeal to readers with its tale of self discovery and much more.  There is  much to love  about Flora whose whole  entire life revolves around the fact that she can’t make short term memories and relies on others and her copying methods to survive.

Whilst slow to start this YA contemporary was surprisingly engaging and engrossing.  Flora has lived since the age of ten with memory loss and it dictates her everyday life. Her life is far from a normal teenager, she has to rely on her methods, family and her best friend Paige to survive everyday. She  isn’t painted as an oddity, she manages to have a pretty normal life despite the control she has on her life placed by her parents.

Her parents feel that they know the best doesn’t most parents do however they don’t know her deepest secrets.  She has a memory of a boy named Drake. An illusive figure she doesn’t seem forget like anyone else in her life.  He isn’t part of the revolving door of memories that flitter through her head.  Drake is an enigma  and the  only problem  is that he is Paige’ s boyfriend….

And he has moved to other side of the world. A mere formality as Flora’s believes that he is her saviour as her memory has finally returned….

However there more to the story that blurb  will  hints at and it one that you have to experience for yourself as Flora’s voice is distinctly different from other heroines. She doesn’t fit in a box exactly, as every day is a new day to here aside from the long term memories she has prior from the tumour which  makes  her life and reality to be interesting to be frank.

She views the world differently obviously and her motto is the only other consent in her life ‘ be brave’ .  This could be best to sum up her journey yet it can’t.

Honestly I don’t know how I feel  about this book.  On  hand this was a beautiful story yet on the other hand I feel that it is problematic on some aspects  given  the heroine and her condition.  Whilst I admire the brave aspect that made Flora for who she is. I wonder about the  what if’s that was posed in the story as well as the whole story  as it was unfolded  and we saw the truth. Flora’s reality was painted with rose tinted glasses for a lot of this novel and don’t’ get me started on  Drake , it was a whole another story.

It made for a harsh reality yet you have to wonder as the pieces fell into place and we went on this journey of self discovery. The author painted such a false reality for Flora and you have to wonder why a seventeen year old took  one memory as the answer to all her problems.

Nevertheless it is an amazing concept and this book should be celebrate for its diversity but the fact is Flora travels so far on her own and is so open to so much vulnerability and this book does little to address those concerns. At times I had to wonder even though she would forget, that why  not remind herself that she  needed to deal with these problems.

A complex little book, The One Memory of Flora Banks is one book that people need to start talking about . There something  unique about this story and whilst it isn’t perfect. There a lot to love about this story and tale of diversity. Flora’s voice is unique and  offer an intriguing insight to unfamiliar world. A promising YA debut from a new voice, Barr’s book is one that should be read but with some caution.






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