Thursday, February 26, 2015

ARC Review: The Memory Key by Liana Liu

The Memory Key
Author: Liana Liu
Publication: HarperTeen (March 3, 2015)

Description: Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother's been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most important, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer's, that isn't easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora's key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother's disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora's story of longing for her lost mother—and for the truth behind her broken memories—takes readers on a twisty ride. The authentic, emotional narrative sparks fascinating questions about memory and privacy in a world that increasingly relies on electronic recall.

My Thoughts: This is a science fiction story which takes place in a future United States. Since the outbreak of Vergets Disease, which is a form of Alzheimer's, most people have been implanted with memory keys which preserve memories. Lora's mother worked for Keep Corp until her death in a car accident five years earlier. Since then it has just been Lora and her absent-minded professor of a father. Lora is still grieving her mother's loss and sad that the memories she had of her mother are fading.

Then she has an accident in which she bumps her head and now her memory key is malfunctioning. All of a sudden she is remembering things about the time her mother disappeared which makes her think that her mother was the victim of foul play. But can she trust her new memories? Lora is also subject to memory cascades and crippling headaches which she self-medicates. She becomes determined to find out what really happened to her mother.

The basic theme of the story - a massive corporation more concerned with the bottom line than doing good - is not new. However, the execution of the story was very well done. Lora's relationships with her best friend Wendy, with Wendy's brother Tim, with potential new boyfriend Raul are all complex and interesting. I enjoyed the twists and turns in this tale.

This book will appeal to science fiction fans, mystery fans, and fans of stories with strong relationships.

Favorite Quote:
I'm surprised: I didn't know Keep Corp was able to track each individual memory key in this way. I'm unnerved: it's sort of disturbing that Keep Corp is able to track each individual memory key in this way. So the secret I thought was mine alone is actually a secret I'm sharing with a huge corporation.
I got this ARC from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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