Young Adult/Science Fiction
Farrar, Straus + Giroux
Available March 5th
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
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, Seraphina 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.
hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the
crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And
will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her
Unremembered starts with a shock of cold water and a slew of questions and from there barely gives us a moment to breathe, catapulting us forward as a young woman with a blank canvas for a mind struggles to fill it once again with color. What's instantly noticeable and infinitely more intriguing than the amnesia alone is that Sera doesn't simply struggle to remember her past, she struggles to understand her environment as well; technology, slang, food and so many other things utterly foreign to her when they should be familiar. The classification of this story as sci-fi tips us off to the fact there's more at play with Sera than memory loss, so her curiosity with regard to day to day life after her release from the hospital has our minds churning out possibility after possibility as to what exactly it all means, and we eagerly turn the pages to hurry alongside Sera as she attempts to find out.
Sera is a young woman it's nearly impossible not to like, an innocence and utter guilelessness to her that charms us immediately and brings a smile to our faces as she attempts to sort out what she doesn't understand in her head, often arriving at an amusingly incorrect conclusion. For all that she is brilliant intellectually, she's awkward socially, inexperienced with the nuances of conversation and often stumbling her way through face to face interactions much to our delight. She does have some serious trust issues, but as the story unfolds it's not difficult to understand why, and we find our own ability to trust something we clutch to our chests and protect fiercely, waiting for certain characters to earn it and recognize it for the gift it is.
Zen is someone we don't come to know all that well over the course of this first book, but we what we do know is enough to satisfy the romantic in us, his deep abiding love for Sera apparent to us long before it is to her. Their relationship is an interesting one, neither new nor old, but something in between; Sera's broken memory making their every interaction a first for her even as her heart recognizes the familiarity of every smile, every meaningful glance, and every whispered plea to try and remember. As a result there's a certain level of comfort that exists side by side with the tense newness of it all, a combination that has us fairly vibrating with the desire to peek inside Zen's head in order to help us fill in the blanks we find in Sera's.
Overall, Unremembered is an extremely quick read with a protagonist we look forward to spending a great deal of time with despite the swirling mass of confusion that is her head for most of this first installment. There are certainly unanswered questions by the time we reach the last page, but they are more the kind that stem from simple want rather than need, and so we find ourselves content to wait for the next book when we close the back cover.