I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Memory Jar by Elissa Janine Hoole
Published by Flux on April 8, 2016
Genres: Social & Family Issues, Teen, Young Adult
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Since the accident, Taylor's memory has been fuzzy. But at least she's awake. Who knows what her boyfriend, Scott, will remember when he comes out of the coma. Will he remember that Taylor was driving the snowmobile when it crashed? Will he remember the engagement ring? Her pregnancy?
Will he remember that she tried to break up with him?
Taylor doesn't know. And she doesn't know if she wants him to remember. Plenty of things happened that night and before—secrets wrapped in secrets—that she'd prefer be forgotten.
Facing choices she'd rather ignore, Taylor searches for something more solid than whispers and something bigger than blame to face the future and forgive herself.
The Memory Jar is a book about secrets. Secrets that could potentially ruin the life of the seventeen-year-old narrator. It is told in a non-linear format, jumping between the past and the present as the narrator tries to piece together what happened to her and her boyfriend. Taylor and Scott are the picture perfect teen couple. Then an accident on a snowmobile changes everything. Scott is in a coma and Taylor cannot remember the entire events of the day. She knows she is pregnant and now has an engagement ring; but she is not sure if she is happy about either.
The plot of The Memory Jar had a lot of potential – teen pregnancy, a terrible accident, a coma boyfriend and more. However it tried to throw in too many other elements such as a weird girl and mysterious text messages. The writing seemed chopped up at times, as the sentences and chapters were very short. It seemed to hamper the plot as it did not flow well. The pacing was very good, it encompassed a few days well and I did enjoy the non-linear story telling. Elissa Janine Hoole can really build a world. Full of sensory touches, I could feel the cold and the vibrations of the snowmobile. The emotions were a little flat to me. Taylor skipped around so much with what she wanted and how she felt that there was no real cohesion to the emotional arc. The characters varied wildly. I really liked Scott’s little brother, as he was a great connector of tidbits of emotions and people. Taylor was so all over the place it was hard to connect with her. The mothers were fine but added little to the story, and the addition of a college friend of Scott’s was just not a good match. She did not seem to fit the rest of the story and seemed to be there just to add one more plot twist that was not needed.
The Memory Jar had potential, it just fell a little flat to me. In areas that could have had a great deal of tension, there was none, and other areas had too much trying to happen at once. Elissa Janine Hoole can create a very real world and that helped me enjoy a plot that seemed thrown together at times. With short chapters, multiple narrators and the non-linear timeline, The Memory Jar attempted to mix too many writing devices together to create tension and instead it created a mishmash of ideas. Now, The Memory Jar was not a bad book, it just could have been much better with some more focus.
Favorite lines – …everything that afternoon seems etched in my mind. That’s exactly how it all is—all my memories from before the crash. Like an etching, a work of art careful and precise on my mental canvas. A story gone to press, ink to page. So what to do with these murky shapes beneath the surface, when the transparency of the past starts looking a little bit cloudy?
Biggest cliché – As long as no one knows, everything will be okay.
Have you read The Memory Jar, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge