What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.
Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.
In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.
But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.
Canaan is this crazy dystopian city where every 12 years every single person forgets everything – their identity, their past, their feelings… They wake up with absolutely nothing but whatever records they’ve kept from the before. No one is exempt.
That is, no one except for our daring protagonist, Nadia, who is perhaps the only person in Canaan to have never forgotten anything. Now, as a new forgetting (the second in her lifetime) approaches, she’ll have to use all of her memories and wit to uncover difficult truths about the city and its strange ways. Before it’s too late.
This book will hook you in the first chapter. Within minutes, I was dying to know everything – What the heck is The Forgetting? Why does it happen? Why can Nadia remember the time before the last one? Who the heck is running this show?
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a great dystopia, and I especially loved that Sharon Cameron plays with memories – one of the most dangerous things to mess with in a society (as proven by one of the best dystopians ever written, The Giver). The characters are very well rounded, and OH MY GOSH GRAY. Gray is probably my favorite because he’s quippy and sharp and oh so scrumptious. He makes for such a great love-interest.
In many ways, this book kind of feels like an apocalyptic novel, because let’s be real – forgetting EVERYTHING basically means that the world ends every twelve years and starts over. That concept terrified me in the best possible way, and definitely adds a layer of urgency to the plot that might have been lacking otherwise.
The deeper Nadia travels into her memories (and Canaan’s past) the more trouble she finds, and every single chapter of this book builds to the layers upon layers of mystery and intrigue until you are dying to know what’s going to happen next. Piecing together all of the clues is challenging, but I loved how it drew me deeper into the story and made me feel like I was getting the chance to crack the mystery right alongside Gray and Nadia.
All in all, if you’re looking for a dystopia that will have you reading through the night, The Forgetting will knock your socks off (and keep you too enthralled to sleep). This is a brilliantly done edge-of-your-seat adventure story that will have you rooting for the characters until the bitter end.
And that ending might not be what you expect.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages. She lives with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.
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