Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Forgetting

The Forgetting

4.8 6
by Sharon Cameron

See All Formats & Editions

What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories -- of parents, children, love, life, and


What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories -- of parents, children, love, life, and self -- are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because she is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence -- before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Forgetting, a consequence-free night of lawlessness and bloodshed accompanied by a total loss of memory, comes to the walled city of Canaan every 12 years, and its citizens rely on their books to remember who they are afterward, unless they decide to start new lives. Teenage Nadia isn’t like the others: she remembers everything, and has been scaling the city’s walls for some time. When the charming Gray catches her and demands that she take him over the wall, she can’t refuse for fear of being reported to the Council. The setting is kept vague until the second half of the novel, when it truly finds its legs and a world-shattering twist is revealed. The sweet romance between Nadia and Gray is hard-earned and realistic, and Cameron (Rook) mines Nadia’s relationships with her family (including her heartbreak over her father’s abandonment) while steadily building tension as the Forgetting draws closer. Memory—and how it shapes identities and futures—is at the heart of this absorbing adventure, and the satisfying conclusion leaves an opening for further novels. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. (Sept.)
VOYA, October 2016 (Vol. 39, No. 4) - Barbara Allen
Every twelve years everyone forgets. People write the truth in theirr books to remind themselves of who they were before they forget. But, is it truth if no one remembers? Life can change because someone takes a book right before the forgetting. The people can lose who they were and become Lost. For Nadia, things are different. She does not forget. She knows that her father took the books of her sisters and her mother before the last forgetting. She knows that violent and horrible things happen during the forgetting. Nadia is a risk taker; she sneaks over the wall while everyone else is sleeping to get food for her family to supplement the meager supplies the city provides. Nadia does not make connections with other people because she knows they will forget her. Gray, the glassmaker’s son, has other ideas. He is intrigued by Nadia and catches her going over the wall and demands that she take him. At first she is not going to, but then things start changing around their city of Canaan as the next forgetting approaches. Nadia wants to know why she remembers when no one else does? Or do they? What causes the forgetting? Who wrote the First Book of the Forgetting? Gray and Nadia unravel the truth, a truth stranger than either of them expected. This novel begins as just another dystopian novel, but transforms into an amazing science fiction adventure. If people are made of nothing but their memories, what is a person who forgets? Cameron explores the human mind in this novel that questions what people would do to preserve or change their lives. Is there a universal truth, or just truth as the individual perceives it? Are humans just the sum total of their memories or are they more? If the citizens of Canaan forget everything, why does Nadia’s mother seem to be haunted by the past, a past she is not supposed to remember? Nadia and Gray will either save or doom the city with their actions to find out about the Forgetting. Reviewer: Barbara Allen; Ages 11 to 18.
School Library Journal
★ 06/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—Every 12 years, the orderly city of Canaan undergoes the chaotic, bloody time known as the Forgetting. During these brief hours, people's memories are erased. If it were not for the books in which inhabitants are required by law to record the events of their lives, they would have no way of knowing what happened before the Forgetting, or even of knowing their names or who their families are. Nadia is different. She remembers. The next Forgetting is a few weeks away. The teen is determined to keep her family together and away from the ensuing anarchy, but how? As Nadia works to this end, she comes up with more questions than answers. Why is the supposedly benevolent head of the Council, Janis, having some people's houses ransacked? What happens when people write lies in their books, or their books are stolen? The glassblower's handsome son, Gray, says he wants to help Nadia, but can she trust him? When Nadia searches for the truth, it is more shocking than anything she could have imagined. This fantasy is a marvelous achievement. Cameron creates a world filled with chilling dystopian constructs while maintaining a sense that it is as solid and convincing as our own. Each scene plays out in cinematic clarity—from the pristine walls that encircle the city to the rising of the three moons, from the perpetually anguished face of Nadia's mother, who remembers pain but no facts, to the labyrinthine underground lair where Nadia discovers the truth. VERDICT This excellent work belongs in every collection.—Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-06-22
Every 12 years, the people of Canaan lose their memories and must reconstitute identity and relationships from books recording their personal histories—but with her memory secretly intact, Nadia dreads the chaos and violence the imminent Forgetting will bring.Last time, Nadia saw her father replace his family's books with fakes, leaving her mother to raise three daughters alone. Their residual unease has led her mother and older sister to reject Nadia, now 18; only little Genivee accepts her as family. Isolated by what she knows and can't tell, Nadia's become a silent—but observant—loner. She's witnessed floggings and the plight of the Lost: those who've awakened without books, nameless, forced into servitude, penned into fenced quarters at night. She's alarmed at Jonathan's growing power within the governing Council. When handsome, sociable Gray, the glassblower's son, discovers she forages outside city walls, he blackmails her into taking him along. Smarter and tougher than she'd thought, he becomes an ally and friend—but Gray has secrets too. Effective worldbuilding and strong characterization (even minor players have emotional depth) add substance to the fast-paced plot. A cosmetic resemblance to blockbuster teen dystopias allows Cameron to toy slyly with readers' expectations, but this is no retread. The Forgetting ensures racial categories have no meaning, but characters do display differences in skin and hair color (Nadia is blonde with light eyes). A well-crafted fable for our time: as we focus on filling the plate in front of us, we risk forgetting where it came from, what it cost, and what that means. (Science fiction.12-16)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Forgetting:

An Autumn 2016 Kids' Indie Next List selection

* "Effective worldbuilding and strong characterization . . . A well-crafted fable for our time." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "This fantasy is a marvelous achievement." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"[An] absorbing adventure." -- Publishers Weekly

"Cameron reminds us, through Nadia's documented memories, that we must learn to appreciate the truth as much as question it, exploring the morality tucked within the fallacy of memory." -- Bookpage, Top Pick

Praise for Rook:

A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection

An Indiebound Indie Next Top Ten selection

Winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award

"The suspense kicks right off in this action-packed tale, quickly wrapping readers up in the drama." -- Romantic Times

"Full of derring-do and double crosses, this romantic adventure is thoroughly engrossing." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Cameron crafts a brilliant homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel yet also manages to make her telling unique, particularly in... the many twists, turns, betrayals, and lucky breaks [that] will keep readers breathless until the very end." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Rook is sure to be a read all readers will remember." -- Portland Book Review

Praise for The Dark Unwinding:

A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection

Winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award

"Utterly original, romantic, and spellbindingly imaginative." -- USA Today

"Haunting thrills unfurl..." -- Entertainment Weekly

"Gripping twists, rich language, and an evocative landscape." -- Publishers Weekly

"[A] singularly polished piece." -- The Horn Book

"A strikingly original, twisty gothic tale that holds surprises around every dark corner." -- Judy Blundell, author of What I Saw and How I Lied

Praise for A Spark Unseen:

"Gripping... [an] absorbing, intelligent adventure." -- Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
740L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sharon Cameron's debut novel The Dark Unwinding was awarded the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Sue Alexander Award for Most Promising New Work and the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and was named a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. Sharon is also the author of its sequel, A Spark Unseen; Rook, which was selected as an Indiebound Indie Next List Top Ten selection, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection, and a Parents' Choice gold medalist; and The Forgetting, an Autumn 2016 Kids' Indie Next List selection. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee, and you can visit her online at sharoncameronbooks.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Forgetting 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
BringMyBooks 5 days ago
I would like to start with a disclosure, of sorts. I want to tell you that I adore this author. I want to tell you that she is hilarious, and smart, and so much fun to talk to (or twitter watch movies with). I want to tell you that I received an ARC of this book for review from the Scholastic booth at BEA 16, and I want to tell you that absolutely none of these things had absolutely anything whatsoever to do with the fact that I freaking loved this book. I have been a huge, huge, huge fan of Sharon Cameron's since I was first introduced to her Dark Unwinding duology a few years ago by a friend. I love Sharon's books for a myriad of reasons: I love the historical touches and the research that goes into them, I love the characters (be they big or small, important or trivial), I love the dialogue (the WIT, the SNARK, the HUMOR, the HEART), I love the plot, I love the pacing (trust me, your heart is going to be going a bit faster by the end whether you think it or not). I also love that each of her books features a strong female character that is not always perfect, but always cares and always wants the best (even if they don't know how to go about making that happen). The Forgetting was no exception when it comes to Sharon's books, and I am so excited to have read it. To be totally honest, it took me forever to start reading (even as I had friends and co-workers that had already read it and loved it) because I was so nervous - what if I didn't like it as much? What if it didn't resonate with me the way her previous books had? What if the fourth book just wasn't as good? (Present day Lindsey is shaking her head derisively at the foolishness of past day Lindsey, don't worry.) ANYWAYS - totally not the case. The Forgetting hooks you from about 15 pages in, and it seriously does not let go. There are so many twists and turns, and so many instances where you think you're ready to put the book down for a few to talk to other humans in the real world and stuff, but there's something nagging you about a conversation you just read or something one of the characters did and you just have to keep going because YOU MUST KNOW. I loved Nadia as an MC, even if there were times it was hard to get to know her or relate to her. I loved Gray as the love interest that gets Nadia to open her heart, just a little, to see if he is worth trusting and if it's worth putting her heart out there for. (&&y'all? I SHIP IT.) I loved Nadia's relationship with her siblings, and with her mother (as difficult as that relationship could be). I was totally invested in each of these characters (except for two or three of her peers that I just didn't really care for their motivations or wants/needs so whatevs, but in the grand scheme of things that is like 3 characters I'm not interested in out of like 30 so no big deal). Once stuff started coming together and I thought I maybe sorta potentially knew where things were headed, I was so psyched to see if I was right and if this was going to be written in a way to make it all believable and interesting. Guess what? Totally written perfectly, and by the end I just wanted to read the last 50 pages all over again so I could make sure I didn't miss anything! (Which I did, and no I didn't miss anything, so yay for that, although to be quite honest I would still recommend re-reading the last 50 pages when you finish because they're just that good.) Mainly what I'm trying to get at here, in a word or two, is READ THE BOOK.
ShannonAThompson 7 days ago
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron I love Sharon Cameron. The first book of hers I read was Rook, only a month or so ago, and this latest novel sealed my commitment to read every book of hers in the future. I love how mind-blowing and wild her stories get, how she drops you in the middle of somewhere and challenges your mind with both a mystery and philosophy. This book is about memory. What makes memory? How does memory affect who we are? Where is the line drawn between memory and truth and lies? Is there a line? Oh, and I wish I could get into the sci-fi aspects of this book, but it would ruin half of the shock in this book, and I think everyone needs to go into this story blind in order to enjoy how crazy it is. Crazy perfect. Seriously, if you’ve never checked out Sharon Cameron, do so now. She has a way of blending us in with the future in a very believable and unsettling way, while entertaining everyone with a heart-pounding story. Highly recommended. ~SAT Recommended to: YA readers willing to stretch the imagination without all of the answers handed to them. A great novel for philosophical conversations. Favorite Quote: When I was a child, wanting to know the truth was called curiosity. Now that I am grown, the truth I want to know is called a crime. (pg. 190) Favorite Word: Surreptitiously - in a way that attempts to avoid notice or attention; secretively. Used in the sentence, “I try to surreptitiously wipe the soot off my face and neck while she digs around in the pot of dirt, and then I tell her she can keep the plant if she wants, which makes her happy.” (pg. 245)
GNadig 13 days ago
This one was really, really good. No, really. ;) Okay, you're not a fan of the "reallys." How about "This book was stupendously, fantastically good" instead. Better? Good. Moving on. The style of writing, atmosphere, and overall feel of the book reminded me a lot of Matched by Ally Condie, but slightly darker. I can't really put my finger on what it was, but I kept thinking about how similar it felt while I was reading it. And since the Matched trilogy is my favorite dystopian trilogy (Shocker! I know. Not a fan of The Hunger Games), it made me like The Forgetting even more. The characters were well-developed, and fit together like pieces in a puzzle. Nadia especially was a unique heroine--she stood out from the crowd of cookie-cutter YA heroines, and made herself heard. I really liked her style of character. It was refreshing. Gray, on the other hand, was a little bit cliche in his "I'm a player but I love only you" style of character, but I liked him anyway. (It seems that everyone can't help but like Gray.) Liliya--vindictive, nasty Liliya-was sympathetic, even though she made herself disliked from the beginning. And Genivee was an adorable little cinnamon roll. The plot was engrossing. I was continually mystified as it progressed, and was only able to say"Aha! So that's explains it," at the very end. Sharon Cameron did an excellent job in layering her plot, and I'm sure you all will enjoy it. Note: I had problems with her other book, Rook, because of the intense romance and...ahem...the stuff it led to. She did a lot better in this book, but there was still a good bit of romantic stuff. See the content guide below for details. The world-building in this one was excellent as well. It developed along with the story, and surprised me a lot. I'm not going to say anymore because of spoilers--you'll just have to read it for yourself. *evil grin* One issue I had: Eshan. He wasn't well-developed anyway, so I was slightly annoyed at how much emphasis was placed on him, even though he didn't contribute much other than being a plot device to get the main characters together. Also, I didn't like the fact that the author made him (minor spoiler) gay. Completely unnecessary. I guess the author was just trying to throw in "diversity" to broaden her fan base. Overall: I immensely enjoyed this read. It was complex, and developed layer upon layer, so you felt like you were there, discovering and learning along with the characters. Rating: 5 stars. Recommended: 14 and up. Content guide (may contain minor spoilers): Language 0/10 (none that I noticed) Sexual Content 5/10 (kissing and embracing, semi-detailed. characters almost lose control and go 'all the way,' but it doesn't get beyond kissing and embracing on a bed. some mentions of unwanted/unexpected pregnancies. mention of 'dalliances.' overall, not as bad as Cameron's other book, Rook.) Violence 7/10 (there is a lot of violence in this one. torture, beatings, attacks, blood, wounds, burns by acid, etc. not overly gory, but not good for sensitive readers either.) For more reviews, see Gabriellenblog.wordpress.com, or fullofbooks.com.
Sandy5 24 days ago
What an exciting journey I had inside this novel! As the days were ticking away, I wasn’t sure exactly if Nadia would be able to accomplish everything that she set out to do. The Forgetting is drawing near and the truth is still unclear. Why, oh why Nadia, the dryer’s daughter is this happening? Why is The Forgetting occurring every 12 years? Why are individual’s minds being erased every twelve years? Why is there a wall around your community? Is it to protect you from something? The more that I read, the more questions I had but Nadia was right behind me. We were thinking alike for she was questioning the world that was around her as she moved about and the time for The Forgetting was nearly upon their community. Others around her were accepting of their destiny for that was how it had always been but Nadia was sharp and inquisitive and as she pursued the answers to her questions, she went full-heartedly. Nadia takes short trips over the wall, time where she should have been napping but its answers that she’s looking for. These answers come slowly and It isn’t until she’s forced to take Gray with her that things start to accelerate. The two of them, sometimes battling amongst themselves and other times feeding off each other provided an intense and riveting quest for answers that was amazing. It had my mind going the whole way, questions and concerns, thoughts and ideas where flooding my mind as I read. So, would you want a fresh start every 12 years? How is this even feasible? What about your children? I loved every minute of this novel. Nadia’s adventure for the truth, became my own quest.
thereadingchick 25 days ago
Every twelve years Nadia's town of Canaan goes through the Forgetting. Everyone in town forgets everything, their names, who their loved ones are and who they hate. Everyone but Nadia. Nadia remembers everything and she doesn't know why. They all keep a record of who they are, carrying around books like we carry drivers licenses or ID's. Nadia lives in a town that is barricaded against the outside world, but she frequently sneaks over the wall to explore. One day she gets caught by a boy named Gray who blackmails her into taking him over the wall with her. As they explore the outside world they make a discovery that makes them realize that they are a small part of a bigger picture and that someone may be using the Forgetting for their own nefarious reasons. This was truly one of the most original stories I have read this year and the fact that it is Sharon Cameron's debut novel is pretty incredible. Nadia is one of the great female young adult heroine's, in the same vein as Tris from Divergent. Her taciturn personality slowly changes as her friendship to Gray solidifies and she becomes more confident. When they realize what they are up against, she is willing to sacrifice her own happiness for the good of the people in her town. I can't imagine being the only person to remember, seeing your own father wed and start a family with another woman. It would be pretty traumatic and I'm sure I wouldn't have been as stoic. The romance between Nadia and Gray, grew with their friendship and having the next Forgetting hanging over their heads added a tension that grew as each fact was revealed. The Forgetting is my Unforgettable pick for 2016!
CJListro 9 months ago
This review originally posted on Sarcasm&Lemons: http://www.sarcasmandlemons.com/2016/09/arc-review-forgetting-by-sharon-cameron.html in depth If you've read and enjoyed Cameron's razor sharp steampunk-esque historical fantasy, you're in for something entirely different but just as thrilling. The Forgetting is a science fiction drama reminiscent of The Time Machine, with an atmosphere of sinister mystery that pulls you along and endearing characters that keep you invested. Nadia is unique. In her small walled city of Canaan, where everyone loses all of their memories every 12 years, she is the only one who can remember. Everyone else uses books, diligently written in daily. But she knows whose books are forged. Who is living a lie without even remembering they've lied. It's a wicked cool premise that just keeps getting twistier as Nadia discovers more of Canaan's secrets, and you as reader begin to understand that this is more than an iron age commune. It's difficult to gush about this properly without spoiling something. Cameron weaves together a mystery as enticing as her historicals, and knows just when to throw in a shocker. As with a lot of young adult science fiction, I was a little spotty on the details. Some of the science seemed plausible, other parts seemed hand wavey and yanked me out of the story a bit. I'm still torn in my feelings about the source of the Forgetting itself. There's also a missed opportunity to make the cast explicitly ethnically diverse; many of the side characters are non-white, but you don't know that right away and they don't all have huge roles. However, the mains are strong, lovingly imagined in that way Cameron has. Nadia's voice leaps off the page--suspicious, sharp, drearily hopeful, abandoned. Gray, the boy who becomes her fellow sleuth, is a sweet mix of bantery and perceptive. The silences between them mean as much as the words, and their chemistry is spine-tingling. Nadia's family also remains super important, which is a nice change. I didn't totally understand her older sister's scalding hatred of her, and her younger sister is that precocious younger sister trope, but they grow into their own people as the story goes on. The fraught relationships between them felt entirely authentic. And of course, it's all pulled together by Cameron's writing. Taut, sharp, no words out of place, it's frequently beautiful and sneakily builds up a sense of eerieness and wonder that chills the skin as well as any sci-fi movie score. She paints a vivid picture of Nadia's strange world; I could see it. There's something haunting and wonderful about a world built on writing. On the truths people tell themselves, and the lies they choose to believe instead. Literally everything anyone knows about themselves after the Forgetting is what they've written down, or what others wrote about them. Engagements are written. Children are marked. It's a little breathlessly terrifying to read, thinking about what you really are as a human without your memories. Whether you're still you. Talk about philosophical mindf*ck. I'd have liked a bit more depth into the psychopathic Purge-like Forgetting chaos, but probably that's just me. By that final page, I was reluctant to leave. It's all a bit neatly wrapped up, and I'd have loved to get to know the side cast more, but it's also a lovely one-off adventure in a place I loved living for a few days.
Alyssa75 11 months ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron Publisher: Scholastic Publication Date: September 13, 2016 Rating: 5 stars Source: ARC received from trade Summary (from Goodreads): What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes. Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written. In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten. But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her. What I Liked: OH MY GOODNESS! I don't even know how I'm going to write a coherent review of this book! I'm no stranger to Cameron's books - I've been following her publications as they publish - and I feel like they get better and better as she writes more and more. This is quite possibly my favorite Cameron book! By rating, it must be (I've given her other three books four stars each), and I think I indeed like this one the most! Every twelve years, the Forgetting occurs, in which one day, people forget everything. And so everyone must keep a book on them at all times, and write down everything, so that when the Forgetting occurs every twelve years, each person will know their lives by their memories. But Nadia the dyer's daughter remembers everything. She remembers when the last Forgetting occurred, when she was a little girl. She remembers the chaos that fell on Canaan. She remembers her life and she remembers that her book, after the Forgetting, was taken, and a forgery was left in its place. Now, on the eve of the next Forgetting, Nadia is determined to understand the Forgetting, and make this one different. She wants to know why Canaan is walled and no one is allowed out, why the Forgetting occurs, why her father left and her mother and sisters. She and Gray the glassblower's son uncover a history of truths that are nothing like what is told to the people of Canaan. Nadia only has so much time before everyone - including Gray - forgets everything. What an incredible book! I'm going to be honest - I knew very little about this book before reading it. I didn't even read the synopsis. I saw that it was a Cameron book and I added it to my to-be-read list without a second thought. I loved The Dark Unwinding, A Spark Unseen, and Rook, and I knew I would like this book too. And I loved it! Nadia is so different from the YA heroines of late! She's so quiet - literally. She just doesn't say much. When she and Gray first interact, you can see how it sometimes frustrates Gray, how Nadia is so tight-lipped. I love this quality of Nadia's. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)