I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this book. I had never read a story about a teen with dementia so I did what I do best – I went into this blind. I did not read any reviews beforehand, nor did I skim GR to see other ratings. I think this was the best thing I could have done because this book hit me hard in the feels. By the end, I was in tears.
Short recap: Samantha McCoy had normal teenage dreams – graduate high school, go off to college in the big city, and make something of herself. Everything she planned for changed when she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that is very similar to dementia. Preparing for the upcoming and inevitable memory loss, Sammie starts a Memory Book to keep track of everything.
This book gutted me. I don’t know how else to say that. I adored Sammie’s character and my heart went out to her. I loved how smart and determined she was about her disease. She chose to handle everything in a very grown up way and that said a lot about her. It did make me sad when she experienced some of the symptoms and I felt like I was freaking out right along side her. I wanted to hug her and tell her everything was going to be okay. Her voice sounded so sincere and I believed the feelings she expressed throughout this story.
The other characters in this story were just as important. Sammie’s character need a strong support system and she got that from her family. Reading about how hard this was on her parents was difficult. But at the same time, it made them seem that much more believable. What parent wants to watch their child go through something as awful as this?! Then there was Stuart and Cooper. Now I have a few things to say about these two because the two boys plus Sammie equaled an awful love triangle I saw coming a mile away. From the moment Stuart was introduced, I never really felt anything for him. He is portrayed as the super hot, super cool guy that every girl wants. Typical, right? So why does Sammie choose to not tell him about her medical issue right away if he’s that important to her? Great question! The answer is because he wasn’t the right guy for her! In comes Cooper. Just thinking about him brings a smile to my face. This is who she was supposed to be with! It just flows! It just makes sense. Why fight it, Sammie? Probably because it helped move the story along, but I can tell you it added a level of frustration that probably didn’t need to be there.
I really am kicking myself for not reading this sooner. The audio was so well done that the narrator nailed Sammie’s voice, feelings, frustrations, all of it. It made me heart this story so much more. This story left my heart both full and empty at the same time. I hope everyone gives this a chance because this book is powerful. It is not completely sadness and crying, it also shows a protagonist character being strong, self-assured, and determined. I believe that type of character is always needed in literature. Please, give this a chance and let me know what you think.