The One Memory of Flora Banks

By: Emily Barr

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories.

ISBN: 9780399547010

JLG Release: Jun 2017


Sensitive Areas: One instance of self-harm, mild sexual themes
Topics: Memory , Amnesia , Love , Mental health , Romance , Norway

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Awards & Honors

Booklist Top 10 Books for Youth 2017, Crime Fiction
Summer 2017 Kids’ Indies Next List, For Teens
BuzzFeed 28 Best YA Books of 2017

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine*, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

Flora Banks, 17, who lives in Penzanze, England, has only one memory: kissing her best friend’s boyfriend, Drake Andreassen, on the beach the night before he leaves for Svalbard, Norway. Flora has anterograde amnesia. Her memory is spotty at best and lasts from one to three hours until it resets. Because of this, Flora writes everything down Flora Banks, 17, who lives in Penzanze, England, has only one memory: kissing her best friend’s boyfriend, Drake Andreassen, on the beach the night before he leaves for Svalbard, Norway. Flora has anterograde amnesia. Her memory is spotty at best and lasts from one to three hours until it resets. Because of this, Flora writes everything down on her arm, which is tattooed with her mantra, “Be Brave.” But why does she remember this kiss? Flora’s parents leave in a hurry to help her dying brother, who lives in France with his partner. Flora’s best friend, Paige, is supposed to stay with her during this time, but Paige refuses to help her because of the kiss. After receiving adoring emails from Drake, Flora is off to Norway on her own to find him, only to discover the truth about not only Drake but also herself. Flora must verbally repeat what she believes to be true over and over. While this detail may make the book sound repetitive, it truly allows teens to understand the protagonist’s condition. The story is fast-paced, and even reluctant readers will be engaged by Flora and her family, who are in dire need of an intervention. Ultimately, this title will leave readers with a sense of hope and faith in the human spirit. VERDICT True fans will await the possibility of a sequel. A strong choice for YA shelves.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

Horn Book

[STARRED REVIEW]
Ever since, as she’s been told, Flora had a brain tumor removed when she was eleven, she’s been unable to make new memories. She can remember things for only a few hours and must negotiate her life by means of copious notes and reminders (written on Post-its and notebooks and all over her hands and arms) and
[STARRED REVIEW]
Ever since, as she’s been told, Flora had a brain tumor removed when she was eleven, she’s been unable to make new memories. She can remember things for only a few hours and must negotiate her life by means of copious notes and reminders (written on Post-its and notebooks and all over her hands and arms) and the care of her parents and best friend, Paige. Then, when she’s seventeen, she kisses Paige’s boyfriend Drake on the eve of his departure from Cornwall to Svalbard, Norway. Somehow, that kiss stays in Flora’s memory, and Flora is convinced that Drake is the answer to healing her anterograde amnesia. Defying her parents, she follows him north—her quest fraught with uncertainties, and not just because of her amnesia. Barr sets herself quite a challenge with this first-person narrator, who can’t remember anything much about herself from one hour to the next. The resulting story is a subtle progression of repetition and variation; declarative statements that often repeat but even so build toward an increasingly mysterious, then revelatory, journey. Cumulatively, Flora wins us with her spirit and bravery—a bravery deepened by her intense, amnesia-induced naiveté and dogged commitment to her one memory. Barr’s tale mingles Oliver Sacks-like scientific curiosity with Arctic adventure and YA novel in a way that’s equally unsettling, winsome, and terrifying. deirdre f. baker

Book Details

ISBN

9780399547010

First Release

June 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

304

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.2; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.7; Points: 19;

Lexile

Level HL640L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Philomel

Potentially Sensitive Areas

One instance of self-harm, mild sexual themes

Topics

Memory, Amnesia, Love, Mental health, Romance, Norway,

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