Great Illustrated Books

The One Memory of Flora Banks

Emily Barr

Penguin Random House
Pages : 304
Suggested Ages: Young Adults
ISBN: 978-0399547010

All Flora Banks wants is to be normal, but she has no short-term memory. Emily Barr has written a gripping young adult thriller. The One Memory of Flora Banks captures the struggle of being different by placing readers in the mind of a teenage girl who cannot remember. You cannot help becoming engrossed in Flora’s world of mental illness, lies, and romance.  The story’s twists will blow you away.

After having a tumor removed from her brain at the age of ten, Flora can no longer produce longer-term memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend. Drake has now unlocked Flora’s brain and given her the ability to remember. He is her chance to get her memory back and finally be normal. However, Drake is leaving Penzance (England) to study in Svalbard (Norway). With this one memory of kissing him, Flora travels all the way to Svalbard to find Drake. Since her surgery, she has been sequestered in her own home by her overprotective parents, and going on this grand adventure is a big move for Flora, who has never left Penzance. To jog her memory, she writes reminders all over her arms. In moments of panic, not knowing where she is or why she is in an unfamiliar place, she looks down at her arm and is reminded, “Flora, be brave.” However, once she finds Drake, she discovers that nothing is as it seems. For Flora to uncover the truth about her condition, she must be brave. Bravery is hard enough for a normal seventeen-year-old girl, let alone one who cannot remember anything. Flora rises to the occasion; she is extraordinarily brave.

Not only is the story of Flora Banks suspenseful and chilling, it contains all the elements that a good thriller thrives on: friendship, romance, adventure, and self-discovery. The story grabs the reader’s attention from the first chapter and holds onto it throughout. The novel emerges as a true page-turner with an incredibly unexpected twist, followed by more mind-blowing twists. Flora’s story of conquering her fears and her inner struggle to find her own identity is something that any reader can relate to.   

Reviewed by : Elora Weil

Themes :

If you love this book, then try:

Letters to the Lost By Brigid Kemmerer
Words in Deep By Cat Crowley
The Start of Me and You By Emery Lord
Windfall By Jennifer E. Smith

Critics have said

“Perfect for fans of both young adult romance and psychological thrillers, The One Memory of Flora Banks is destined to become one of your favorite beach reads of 2017. Promise.” —Bustle

“Mesmerizing, electric, and achingly lovely, The One Memory of Flora Banks is unforgettable. One of the best YA novels I’ve read in a very long time.” —Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places

“Ultimately, this title will leave readers with a sense of hope and faith in the human spirit….A strong choice for YA shelves.” —School Library Journal

“Flora’s situation may be singular, but her desire for autonomy should speak loudly to teens in the midst of their own journeys into adulthood.” —Publishers Weekly