Books Magazine

Megan G Reviews Forget Yourself by Redfern Jon Barrett

Posted on the 20 July 2017 by Lesbrary @lesbrary
Megan G reviews Forget Yourself by Redfern Jon Barrett

Blondee's world is comprised of fifty huts divided between four groups of people: least, minor, moderate, and severe. Each person is grouped based on what crime they committed in their previous life, though nobody can really know for sure what their exact crime was, as everybody comes into this world with no memories of who they previously were. The few memories people have are recorded in a book and used as rules to govern this world. The memories Blondee begins to have, however, will change the course of her world.

This is a tough book to review. It's speculative science-fiction unlike any I've read before. Blondee's world is new, both to the reader and to the characters, creating a deep sense of uncertainty throughout the novel that never fully dissipates. Every character is an amnesiac, making the world outside their prison compound a complete mystery and creating a strong sense of claustrophobia. We don't know where we are, and we don't know where we came from. I will admit, the eventual reveal left me scratching my head, but it also left me thinking in a way that very few dystopian novels ever have.

The issue of sexuality is just as complex as the rest of the narrative. Although Blondee's world seems far more open-minded than our own, monogamy is still the law of the land, and when Blondee begins to shift into the world of polyamory she is quickly shunned by the rest of the compound. This is a world where everybody must act in the same way and follow the same rules, and having two lovers simply doesn't fit with those rules. Despite the reaction of the rest of the compound, Blondee continues to date Burberry and Fredrick simultaneously, and, for a short time, this works for all three. Then, Blondee begins having memories.

The way that memory is dealt with in this book was something I found particularly intriguing. Everybody arrives into the world fully formed, but with no idea of who they are. When they do have memories, they're vague. "If one person cheats, the other breaks up with them." Nothing is personal or specific, and so it is believed that all memories are simply reminders of how the world works. When you're with someone, they live with you. When you break up, you have sex once, and then one of you moves out. Things that in our world are decided based on personal preference are rules in Blondee's world. This eventually leads to terrible consequences when Blondee remembers marriage, finds a bridal magazine, and re-introduces heteronormativy and traditional gender roles into a world that operated rather smoothly without them. This shift is one of the many social commentaries embedded within the narrative, and it may potentially be the only one that I fully grasped.

There are a few warnings you should be aware of before picking this book up. There is a decent amount of fatphobia within this book, all dealt with in a very casual way. Suicide is also a theme, and while it is not omni-present, it is rather explicit when it comes up. [major spoilers]This book also includes the death of a queer woman and of several queer men [end spoilers]. There is also explicit sexual content throughout the book, if that is something you prefer to avoid.

Overall, Forget Yourself is a tightly woven, complex story that deeply examines our society, sexuality, and the personal in contrast to the general. While I did greatly enjoy this story, I must admit that a lot of what happened in the final section went over my head, leaving me confused and a little unsatisfied. A second read might be in order, now that I (sort of) know where everything ends up.

One final note about Forget Yourself: don't be fooled by the quick pace. This book initially seems like a light, easy, mindless read. It isn't. It really, really isn't.

Megan G reviews Forget Yourself by Redfern Jon Barrett

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The Adventures of Big Beery

    Mr Litlove is a man who works in insidious ways, and so I can’t recall how he first brought up the topic of moving house. All I can remember is being in the... Read more

    6 hours, 17 minutes ago by   Litlove
    BOOKS, CULTURE
  • I Love My Mom

    I loved loved loved this video. In it, parents describe all the ways they think they have failed their children. "the I'm not a good enough parent" syndrome. Read more

    6 hours, 39 minutes ago by   Joanigeltman
    FAMILY, PARENTING
  • Indian School of Hospitality Transforms Education Standards @ISHOfficial

    Education is finding new ways. While the government is busy in bridging the gap between education and industry needs, some intelligent educational institutes... Read more

    7 hours, 42 minutes ago by   Jaideep Khanduja
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Pretty as a Prayerbook

    Pretty Prayerbook

    Stolidity. Canons all across this deck are known for it. Visions of unchanging texts, however, tend to be false perceptions. Even the canon of the Bible differs... Read more

    9 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Steveawiggins
    POLITICS, RELIGION, SOCIETY
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Incineration

    Advantages Disadvantages Incineration

    What is Incineration? Incineration is a method of waste treatment involving the burning organic materials found in waste. Incineration and other high-temperatur... Read more

    9 hours, 54 minutes ago by   Rinkesh
    ENVIRONMENT
  • Rebel ACA & French Monkey Wrench - Sunday's Cool

    Rebel French Monkey Wrench Sunday's Cool

    Fun With Song Titles!: The scene opens on an African James Bond.He stands confidently posed in front of enormous marble columns, a picture of strength living... Read more

    10 hours, 43 minutes ago by   Ripplemusic
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Top 8 Places To Visit Near Mumbai In Monsoon

    Places Visit Near Mumbai Monsoon

    Mumbai rains play a magical and refreshing role in every Mumbaikars life. And to celebrate this season there are perfect companions Cutting Chai, vada pav, and... Read more

    12 hours, 13 minutes ago by   Jayshreebhagat
    HAIR & BEAUTY