Title: Unremembered (Unremembered #1)
Author: Jessica Brody
Published: March, 2013 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Purchase: The Book Depository
When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.
Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.
Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, she struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.
Though this took place over only a matter of days, possibly a week, Unremembered felt like such a journey, character-wise. Even from the beginning, I knew it would be. This girl woke up in the middle of the ocean, clinging to a piece of plane wreckage, no memories of herself or the world. She was an enigma, such a deviation from the usual YA heroine we usually get handed. I kept bursting into fits of laughter at all of her inane responses to things that would seem like basic knowledge to most people. I mean, this girl didn’t know what a hug was.
What made her more interesting was her seemingly advanced mind when it came to mathematics. She couldn’t remember her own name, or what she looked like, but she was able to calculate the total of the shopping docket before the cash register did. It made her seem more robotic, which another character remarks on at a point. Always inquisitive, she soon started building up knowledge of the world and becoming a slightly more rounded person. But I appreciated that she didn’t suddenly change and become some regular YA girl, she still had that naivety about her, one that was actually believable and not just stupidity on the character’s part to push the plot along.
While finding out how she came to be on the plane, and how she survived it, do play on her mind, it didn’t come across as the central focus. Figuring herself out was more important. The introduction of an eighteen year-old boy added more confusion to that, which was fun for a while, but once he started spouting answers, I wanted her to just hurry up and believe him. However, it makes sense for her as a character—and made her a smarter character. Believing a boy who just shows up out of nowhere, with no proof—that would seem crazy.
The romance that ensued between them wasn’t as fleshed out as I would have liked. I couldn’t really jump on the bandwagon, because, to me, it felt like we were simply told they were soul mates—yes, that word was used—and expected to believe. The prequel may help build up their relationship, showing us what their lives were like before the memory loss, but based simply on this book, I have to say that I didn’t care one way or the other whether or not they were a couple. I cared about their survival, mainly because the bad guys were an embodiment of totalitarianism—kind of like what I imagine the higher ups on Orphan Black to be like.
Shifting heavily into sci-fi in the second half of the book, clues I hadn’t realised we’d been given started unfolding, showing promise of becoming quite an addictive series. This was definitely a set-up book though, leaving us on the edges of the science and mystique behind it all. With plenty of story left to tell, I have no doubt that I will be coming back for more—and checking out that prequel!
Fans of All Our Yesterdays. They both have that race-against-the-clock feel to them with a heaping of sci-fi and drama thrown in.