Review: The Memory Key by Liana Liu

Book Title: The Memory Key
Author: Liana Liu
Published Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.

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 importantly, 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 longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

This book had a lot of potential to be something truly thought provoking and interesting, and for the most part, I was definitely intrigued and interested in what was going on and what Lora remembered about her mother.

The idea of Verget’s being a viral form of Alzheimer’s was very interesting to me. I wasn’t exactly sure how it would work, but I was definitely fascinated by the possibility of it. We think of Alzheimer’s as something that old people get, and that there’s no real virus or bacteria that causes it. Having Verget’s changes all that.

Lora has never doubted the fact that her mother died in a car crash on her way to work. That’s what she’s always believed and she’s trusted her father and Aunt Austin to have told her the truth about everything. When she gets a minor injury though, things go haywire and suddenly she’s forced to examine the idea that her mother’s death was no accident and that it was probably caused by the people at Keep Corp.

Then the questions continue to fly around her head, and she wonders who she can trust? Can she trust her longtime best friend Wendy and her brother, Tim, who Lora has had a crush on for years. Can she trust the new boy, Raul? Can she even trust her family? As the book continues on, she gets answers questions.

This book really could have been awesome if it weren’t for the very choppy pace of the book. The first 50% I found to be really slow and I nearly decided not to finish it. I was intrigued, but I wasn’t intrigued enough. Now the 2nd half of the book was a little better for me, but it was also increasingly choppy. Some parts were really intriguing and some parts were very boring which lead me to skim the book a little bit.

My feelings about this book are very conflicted. It wasn’t terrible, but I wouldn’t read it again. It was intriguing for a one time read. So I’m going to give it 3 stars. Maybe that’s a bit lazy, but I can’t give it anything else because it doesn’t fit any other rating. I would recommend it because the science fiction parts are interesting, but if you aren’t patient or if you hate books that are very choppy, then I’d skip it.

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