The One Memory of Flora Banks

The One Memory of Flora Banks

by Emily Barr


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The One Memory of Flora Banks 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Evelina_AvalinahsBooks More than 1 year ago
Do you know those games? Where you're supposed to imagine you wake up in a room with several items and you're supposed to figure out where you are, who you are and where you're going based on clues? Well, that is Flora's - who is the main character - life, that's her everyday existence. The idea of it is pretty daunting, and the book does a good job of making you feel like you're in this experience. However, it takes an awfully long time to go anywhere - partly because of precisely the same thing - that Flora goes through the same stuff a lot and talks about the same stuff a lot. I know it's supposed to be repetitive to illustrate her condition, but it kind of gets old quite fast. I feel like this book could have been printed on at least half as many pages as it is... this becomes okay about halfway in the book, but before that, you might be tempted to just give up. The good thing is at least that it reads fast, and it won't take you longer than an hour or two to reach the middle of it. However, this book talks about some very serious and important stuff. Like how people who can't fend for themselves often lose their rights because their caretakers make their decisions for them. And that disability shouldn't mean that you should relinquish your rights and not live the way you want. And how easy it is for a person who doesn't adequately understand their surroundings to be taken advantage of by someone. But it's not just about the bad stuff. It's also about the fact that good people who are willing to help a perfect stranger are always around. That as mean and dark as it gets when it comes to humanity, there's light there too. This book also comes with a hearty dose of #FEELS. It's definitely a good choice for people who love reading YA, but if you don't like unreliable narrators or knowing only as much as an amnesia sufferer does, you might not enjoy it.
xokristim More than 1 year ago
This was not the first book I’ve read where the main character has amnesia, I tend to really enjoy these types of books. I noticed that this book stood out from others I have read because it repeated things multiple times, but with a slight difference in wording each time. For example the main character Flora would ask herself the same questions many times over. I found this extremely frustrating. I found the writing style very choppy and hard for me to get a good flow while reading. On the other hand I completely understand the reasoning behind why it is written like this. I saw myself getting very frustrated with the writing style the whole time I was reading. I also found myself getting very annoyed with the main characters obsession with her love interest. I found it above and beyond and extremely frustrating. Overall this book was not for me, The story was sub par in my opinion. I am usually a big fan of books focusing on a character’s amnesia, but not this one. If you don’t mind a repetitive writing style definitely give this book a try.
AReadingRedSox More than 1 year ago
An interesting premise, and there were a lot of good things going on. I loved Flora and the person she became throughout the novel. The ending was a bit "been there done that" and kind of took away from the rest of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book! It immedietly caught my attention and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to put the book down. Flora is an amazing character and the way she's portrayed is even better. This book made me sad, mad, and confused but all in the most pleasant ways!
Rosemary-Standeven More than 1 year ago
From the opening sentence of this book: “I am at the top of a hill, and although I know I have done something terrible I have no idea what it is” you know that you are in for a treat. Flora Banks is 17. She knows this, because it is written on her hand. She also knows that when she was 10 “a tumour grew in your brain, and when you were eleven surgeons took it out. Part of your memory went with it” because her mother wrote this in her book of memories. Apart from things that happened before the operation, Flora is unable to retain any memory for longer than about an hour. Anything she needs to remember she writes in her book, on her hand or arm, or on post-it notes scattered around. Though she cannot always remember why she needed to write something down. Then suddenly she manages to hold on to a memory for several hours, several days, weeks!!! The memory of when she was kissed by Drake. Her world changes. Unfortunately, Drake was the boyfriend of her best friend, Paige. Now she doesn’t have a best friend, and her parents are away. Flora is 17 years old, with a 17 year old body – but the experience of a 10 year old. If you have no memory, how can you grow up, mature? What is your identity? What do you want from life, and what can you expect? How can you cope when your only anchors to the world have disappeared? Actually, Flora copes amazingly well – so much better than anyone (except her brother) expects. For the last seven years she has built up coping mechanisms – she notices everything around her, and writes notes to herself. Somehow, without a memory, she retains more knowledge than most of us manage with our memory fully intact. What she wants, needs, is Drake, so that she can be with the one she loves and continue to remember. Flora is an innocent abroad, even in her home town. But she brings out the best in virtually everyone, and they all do their utmost to protect and help her. Few would ever consider taking advantage of her disability, so her trust of complete strangers (that is, everyone except her parents and Paige) is generally justified, and with their help she gets to Svalbard. Just ask yourself for a minute, how many normal teenagers could manage that, could they even find it on a map? Perhaps, few normal teenagers have the drive and elemental need that Flora has. Without Drake, Flora may never remember again. Finding him is her one chance at being seen as a regular human being. Flora is exceptional, and you cannot fail to fall in love with her. She will never be a regular human – she is something much more, someone quite amazing. Her story is utterly compelling, and you are with her all the way; whooping at her highs, and distraught at her lows. Few books can grab hold of your emotions as completely as this one. Flora’s outlook on life is a lesson for everyone: “Live in the moment whenever you can. You don’t need a memory for that”. I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
MsArdychan More than 1 year ago
Told in a unique voice, this book was bittersweet, yet satisfying. Please note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher. This did not influence my opinions of this review in any way. Many people ask me why I (a person long past her teens) read Young Adult novels. How can a book aimed at teenagers be appealing to me? The answer is easy. Many books of general fiction end on a bleak note, in an attempt to be realistic. I like YA books because, even in the grimmest of circumstances, they offer hope. The One Memory of Flora Banks, by Emily Barr, tackles tough topics but ends on an optimistic note. It is told with an original voice, and raises troubling questions about how we treat people with disabilities. I finished this book a week ago, yet I am still thinking about it. What I Liked: Narrative Style: The book is told completely in Flora's voice. At times, the reader is confused, just as Flora is. The narrative bounces from past to present. Flora sometimes questions what her age is. Is she a ten year-old, or a teenager? Flora has a life-altering event happen when she is ten years old. Did this leave her with the mind of a ten year-old forever? At times, reading this book was a challenge, due to the relentless repetition of facts that Flora must recite every time her mind resets. But this also gave me great empathy towards Flora. Flora has words written on her arm that say, "Flora, Be Brave", and she is, facing uncertainty and confusion every few hours. Never the less, she persisted... Characters: Flora goes from confused to bold then back to confused every few hours. This gets seriously worse as she stops taking her medications. I loved how, despite her own immediate problems, Flora is concerned for other people. She loves and worries about her brother in Paris, and is heartbroken that she may have betrayed her best friend, Paige. This shows Flora is an amazing person who will only become more astonishing if she can get better. I also loved Paige, and Flora's brother, Jacob. They both love Flora and want her to make a fuller recovery. Flora's parents were well written. Even though I understood why they did certain things, I hated how they treated Flora. Without giving too much away, I think the mother should be prosecuted for abuse! The mistreatment isn't obvious, but it is devastating to Flora. Minor Characters: I love books where there are many smaller characters that are fully realized. This attention to detail fleshes out a scene to reveal that there are interesting people everywhere, if you just take the time to see them. As Flora is constantly relearning her environment, she is the perfect person to encounter. She is completely in the moment, and people respond to that. I loved it! Individual dignity: As a person who works with students with disabilities, I am keenly aware of how I must work to maintain each student's personal dignity. This can happen in small ways (not speaking about the student as though they aren't there), to significant ways (appreciating how the student is on any particular day). I am there to help him or her access her education. I am not out to change a student to fit my needs. Someone needs to clue Flora's parents into these things! I was livid with how she was being treated by them!!! I hope that anyone reading this book will come away with this messege: Everyone should be treated with respect. Everyone's voice should be listened to.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I'm a sucker for an unreliable narrator, but couple that with a Memento-like premise and I was sold. I liked Flora well enough. She is in an odd situation and the majority of her actions are based on that. At times it was trying to be in her head because it was so so so repetitive, but it was an effective way to tell the story. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about parts of the plot. Namely the Drake parts. The ending was definitely interesting, but infuriating at the same time. Partially because I've seen it before. And yes, I'm being vague on purpose. Overall, it was an interesting and quick read. **Huge thanks to Philomel for providing the arc free of charge**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored Flora and cheered her on throughout this book!