Memento Nora by Angie Smibert and Interview

Click the cover to purchase at Amazon
Book: Memento Nora
Author: Angie Smibert
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books
Release date: April 1, 2011
Source: I Read Banned Books ARC Tour

Summary: (from Nora, the popular girl and happy consumer, witnesses a horrific bombing on a shopping trip with her mother. In Noraâ??s near-future world, terrorism is so commonplace that she can pop one little white pill to forget and go on like nothing ever happened. However, when Nora makes her first trip to a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic, she learns what her mother, a frequent forgetter, has been frequently forgetting. Nora secretly spits out the pill and holds on to her memories. The memory of the bombing as well as her motherâ??s secret and her budding awareness of the world outside her little clique make it increasingly difficult for Nora to cope. She turns to two new friends, each with their own reasons to remember, and together they share their experiences with their classmates through an underground comic. They soon learn, though, they canâ??t get away with remembering.

First impressions: This book is under 200 pages, so it doesn’t waste any time getting moving. The opening scene is quite haunting and really sets the stage for the events to come.

Lasting impressions: I’m having a really hard time deciding exactly how I feel about this book. I think the length kept me from truly connecting with the material, if only because it was such a quick read.

Conflicting impressions: To me, this was really Nora, her mother, and Micah’s story. I would have enjoyed seeing the third perspective of this book told through Nora’s mom and not Winter, to whom I felt significantly less connected.

Overall impressions: I really loved the idea of this world, with a society of people who have been trained to forget. How many of us would like to cut our bad experiences from our memories? I think some more backstory could have helped me fully understand how things got to this point, but I still bought into it quite easily.

The pacing really keeps things moving. Smibert is direct while still being mysterious, and it serves the dystopian theme well. Though Nora no longer takes pills to forget what is happening around her, she can only watch in horror as others around her experience painful things only to never remember they happened at all. It’s a terrifying notion, and on this point Smibert really delivers.

There is a love story between Nora and Micah, but I felt the exploration of Nora’s relationships with her parents was much more touching. Smibert beautifully captures those moments when you start to see your parents from an adult perspective. Watching how Nora handles those moments is truly compelling.

A great dystopian read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

But wait! There’s more! Angie Smibert was kind enough to do a short, fun This or That interview for me.

This or That with Angie Smibert

Who would win in a fight:

Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte? Austen.
Stephen King or Dean Koontz? King.
Dan Brown or Robert Ludlow?Brown.
J.K. Rowling or Stephenie Meyer? Rowling.
Lauren Conrad or Snookie? Snookie.

Which would you rather read:
Newsweek or Time? Time.
Genre or literary fiction? Genre.
The New York Times or The Guardian? NYT.
Poem or sonnet?  Poem.
Ebook or paper?  Paper.
Do you prefer to eat/drink:

Cupcakes or cake?  Cupcakes.
Bacon or sausage?  Bacon.
Coffee or tea? Tea.
Sweet or salty?  Both.
Beer or wine? Wine.
When you write, do you prefer:
Quiet or noisy? Quiet, but with noise way in the background.
Computer or pen and paper?  Both. First pen and paper, then computer.
Outlines or notecards?  Outlines.
At home or in public? Home, but sometimes I go to a coffeeshop.
Pronto or procrastination?  Pronto. Most of the time.
When you read, do you prefer:
Savoring or speeding through? Savoring.   
Chair or bed? Comfy Chair.
Dog-ear or bookmark?  Bookmark–but it’s usually just a scrap of paper.
Long or short?  Either as long as it’s good.
Hardcover or paperback?  Hardcover, but depends on the book.
Love is:
A battlefield or a many splendored thing? A many splendored battlefield.
Dreamy or complicated?  Complicated.
Slow and steady or fast and fleeting?  Slow.
Calm or turbulent? I prefer calm but doesn’t always work that way.
Uplifting or frustrating? Frustrating.
Which is cuter:
Pandas or koalas? Both.
Babies in costumes or dogs in costumes?  Babies.
Puppies or kittens? Both, but since I have a kitten in my lap as I type, I’ll say kittens.
Gizmo or E.T.? E.T.
Stitch (from Lilo & Stitch) or Toothless (from How to Train Your Dragon)? Neither.
Which team do you support (for whichever of these books youâ??ve read):
Team Stefan or Team Damon? (Vampire Diaries) Damon.
Team Edward or Team Jacob? (Twilight) Jacob.
Team Peeta or Team Gale? (Hunger Games) Gale.
Team Bill or Team Eric? (Sookie Stackhouse) Eric.

Thank you for being with us today Angie and congratulations on the upcoming release of Memento Nora!