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Review–Unremembered (Unremembered #1) by Jessica Brody

Posted on the 27 June 2013 by Megan Love Literature Art & Reason @meganm922
Unremembered (Unremembered #1)
by Jessica Brody
Summary: 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.
Even 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.
Her only 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 forget?

Source: I won a hardcover copy of this book in a giveaway hosted by a fellow book blogger.
I really enjoyed Unremembered. I had no idea what to expect from the book and I was pleasantly surprised by the direction of the plot throughout the story. Instead of a science fiction story being told in a chronological order, Unremembered was told out of order because Seraphina had no order what her story was in the first place. She was a blank slate with no memories and only trusted her instincts. Bits and pieces of the plot became clearer as Seraphina regained her memories and/or was told what was happening to her.
I loved how Unremembered didn’t follow any typical pattern. I had no idea what was happening to her, what would happen next, or what the conflict really was. All I knew was that something weird was going on and someone was after her. It could have been anything. And once the full story was revealed, I was impressed. I was not only impressed with the interesting direction of the plot, but I was impressed by the way the story was told. It could have been told in chronological order and been just as adventurous. But the fact that it was told from Sera’s point of view when she knew absolutely nothing about herself was clever.
For some reason, I was really afraid Unremembered would be one of those series where you don’t find out the twist or get any answers until the end and then it would have a giant cliffhanger ending. I am happy to say that it did not follow that pattern at all. I feel like I got a lot of answers throughout the book and I was satisfied with the ending. I am still looking forward to the next installment and I’m eager, but it wasn’t one of those infuriating endings that a lot of book 1’s seem to have these.
Unremembered was a bit mysterious, highly adventurous, and definitely imaginative. Seraphina was a wonderful heroine because she was smart, courageous, and sweet. I couldn’t help but want to know more about her. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about her being seen as such a perfect specimen, but I thought it was incredible that the people who cared about her loved her for who she was and her fierceness when she could have been thought of as nothing more than a pretty face. I loved the kind of message it sent and the other themes that were present in the book.
The love story (of course there’s a love story) was both good and bad for me. I thought Sera and the mysterious boy were sweet and had a great connection. The eternal love that courses through beings so deep that it’s unforgettable really had a place inside of a plot where the main character remembers nothing. I was thinking that it makes for a wonderful anchor. It was sweet. But I needed more. I needed a plot where love wasn’t the prime motivator in an instance where thousands of other things could have been. The sweetness of the love story wasn’t really enough to counterbalance the ridiculousness of it all being done in the name of love and running away together. If you know me, then you know Romeo and Juliet-ish love-transcends-all plots aren’t really my thing. I need more, at least something else underlying that makes the character’s decisions logical as well as emotional. I love love, but sometimes, when you’re facing some interesting and diabolical concepts in fiction, I don’t have time for it. I need characters to be a little more interested in figuring out their lives and what decisions they’ll make next. Seraphina’s background made her naïve, but also smart enough to figure things out quicker than most people. I just expected more from the character and conflict the author created in regards to the love story.
The perfection thing also irked me to some degree. I don’t want to get too in depth in my review, but I think it’s really difficult to write from the point of view of perfection and I don’t quite understand why the author chose to do that or make that an issue or a motive. And the whole 16-is-the-perfect-age explanation irked me, too. Because… what? Really? On what planet? I don’t know, maybe I ought to Google that and see if there’s any factual basis for that or that was a plot hole that was plugged quickly. I don’t know.
Overall, I enjoyed Unremembered. I could have given it 3 stars based on some of the issues I had with it, but I enjoyed reading it so much that I couldn’t lower my rating to that. Perhaps it is because I read this in the middle of contemporary reads. I thought it was a great read with wonderful writing that flowed nicely. I do recommend it, especially to people who aren’t too familiar with YA science fiction or don’t typically read it. It’s a nice book to introduce someone to science fiction concepts without being too much to take in. Compared to other science fiction novels, it isn’t quite as well developed or executed, but it was a good read.
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