Monday, 30 May 2011
Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Released: June 6th, 2011
Grade rating: B+/A-
Here's the thing about me: I can see the future in flashes, like memories. But my past is a blank. I remember what I'll wear tomorrow, and an argument that won't happen until this afternoon. But I don't know what I ate for dinner last night. I get by with the help of notes, my mom and my best friend Jamie, and the system works... Until now. Everything's falling apart. Jamie's going of the rails. My mom is lying to me. And I can't see the boy I adore in my future. But today, I love him. And I never want to forget how much...
Forgotten is one of my favourite 2011 debuts so far. It's well written and mind-boggling, and deals with a form of time travel. I knew I'd like it as soon as I read that, as time travel is one of my favourite theories. The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my best-loved books and, though it's an adult read, I think fans of Clare and Henry's epic story will similarly enjoy Forgotten. Both books are very different, of course, but both have this feel to them, a feeling of both disbelief and fascination.
I was hooked right from the start of Forgotten. London grabbed my attention straight away, though initially the lists she writes for herself confused me. I didn't know why she was writing them, but then I did and I was drawn into her story faster than Superman chasing a train. I couldn't get enough of Patrick's terrible but brilliant story of a girl who remembers the future but forgets the past, and I think it's one of the most unique plots to turn up on the pages of a YA book in recent years.
As with most YA novels, there's a romance. London falls for a boy called Luke, and gets the pleasure of meeting him for the first time every single day. She quickly falls for him, hard, and their feelings for each other reach intense heights in what is a fairly short space of time. As of late this has bugged me, but in this instance it didn't. London and Luke's feelings seem real and right, and I never questioned their choices. I'm crediting Cat Patrick with overcoming that particular hurdle, as I think her writing is what made the characters so believable.
My one main problem with Forgotten is the ending. For me it was too abrupt, and I felt like there was more to say, more story to tell. I won't say it comes across as rushed, but maybe premature? I don't think it should have ended where it did and, if what I hear is true and there's no sequel, it will make the ending even more frustrating. I have a feeling there will be more from London, but don't hold me to that.
This book made me think about a lot. Without memories, what do we have other than an empty history? Sure, a knowledge of the future would no doubt make up for that, but I'm not sure I'd want to know what my day was going to be like before I'd even left my house. Forgotten is an excellent debut novel, and I think it's going to be huge when its simultaneous publication day finally hits bookshelves. There's something utterly enthralling about London and her fractured memory, and just thinking about her makes me grateful that I can remember my past.