Lies My Memory Told Me

Inkyard. Oct. 2021. 304p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335018274.
Gr 6-8–Nova may not understand how Enhanced Memory works, but she knows its value—with the push of a button, she can experience the world without traveling or even having to talk to a stranger. She can master new skills in minutes. And it is all perfectly safe; her parents invented it after all. Nova has no doubts about Enhanced Memory until she meets Kade, who first mistakes Nova for someone else. Nova blows off his outlandish conspiracy theories, until she starts to realize that pieces of her own life don’t add up. But if she isn’t Nova, who is she? Wunsch begins the book by building increasing tension and asking probing questions that promise a fantastic exploration into what makes a person themselves. However, the narrative spirals when answers become predictable, a grand rescue feels much too easy, and suddenly all is well again without nearly enough closure or explanation. While Nova’s initial, frustrating, devout defense of Enhanced Memory makes sense by the end, the story’s ending diminishes the stakes that felt so high halfway through. All characters present white.
VERDICT A decent dystopian thriller for young readers just getting started with the genre, not quite ready for more nuanced worlds like Neal Shusterman’s Unwind.

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