Review: “The Forgetting Curve (Memento Nora #2)” by Angie Smibert

Title: “The Forgetting Curve”

Author: Angie Smibert

Genre: YA, dystopian, sci-fi

Publication Date: May 15, 2012 (expected)

Summary: Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He believes everything is part of a greater system: the universe. The universe shows him the doors, and he keeps pulling until one cracks open. Aiden exposes the flaw, and the universe—or someone else—will fix it. It’s like a game.

Until it isn’t.

When a TFC opens in Bern, Switzerland, where Aiden is attending boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.

But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing.

Along with Winter’s friend, Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things… before someone else gets hurt.

☆: 3.5/5 stars – not everything I was hoping for, but still a great sequel!

Review: It wasn’t everything I hoped for in terms of a sequel, but the ending made up for some of the weaker (and repetitive) parts of the book. I seriously can’t wait for book 3! This book goes about its business quietly (and quickly) but asks us to keep in mind – is this a future that might actually happen? Moreover, would we cooperate in similar circumstances?

So, if you haven’t read the first book (“Memento Nora”), you might be a little lost here. Even if it’s mostly narrated by a minor character in the first book, Aiden (cousin of Winter), I highly advise you read the first book first. Taking that into account, this second book starts with a flow that’s nearly uninterrupted from the end of the first book. We get a look at how life has changed in the months since the end of the first book, and none of it is for the better. In fact, it’s gotten a lot worse – to the point where the TFC (The Forgetting Center) now has a mobile app that will replicate the same effects of the happy pill you take if you go into any TFC worldwide – but now, on your phone. With how conservative the US has gotten within the past decade, I really felt like the author was trying to tell all of us something, not just trying to write a consumerized-dystopian YA book. Aside from “don’t drink the kool-aid”, I think the author was trying to get across that by willfully forgetting something traumatic, you’re just going to harm yourself more.

Which is exactly what happens to our heroes in this book, even if it’s not their own will that they forget things. No more spoilers to be had, I swear, but it just gets worse and worse, and while Smibert tortures her darlings a fair degree, I feel like she held back a fair amount as well. She seemed to do torture them more in book 1, and so that was a bit of a letdown. However, the cliffhanger that Smibert leaves us with kind of makes up for that, so in the end, it was adequate. The world and the sensory details were just as great as the first book, and the characters felt just as full, if not fuller. But the plot and arcs could have been executed a little better (perhaps a little more length of this particular book in general might have done it well – it’s a pretty quick read, almost a novella in length). Maybe with another draft might have done it good? I just feel like it could have been better than it was.

Final verdict? If you’ve read book one, definitely give book two a whirl. It’s pretty good. “The Forgetting Curve” will be out May 15th from Marshall Cavendish in North America, so be sure to check it out then!


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