Book Review of Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Posted March 8, 2013 by Kara in Kara / 18 Comments

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Release Date: March 5th, 2013
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult-Science Fiction
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher
Series: Unremembered #1

Description from GoodreadsWhen 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?

Review: Unremembered actually started out great. I liked the idea of this girl being the only one found alive at sea amongst the wreckage and bodies of a plane crash. Then we learn that she wasn’t on the passenger manifest at all, so how did she get there? She has amnesia and doesn’t remember anything at all, so it’s a complete mystery. I was involved in that and the book started out great for me and I couldn’t wait to find out more.

Unfortunately, a little more than midway through the book, it all fell apart. I don’t know what happened or why exactly, but it was the combination of the plot letting me down and the nausea of another instalove relationship that really got to me and made me start rolling my eyes in disgust. That’s right, disgust. 

Let’s start with that then. I am not a fan of relationships in YA where all the couple does is dote on each other and act sappy and pathetic. I like strong people, some independence, outside interests, etc. I realize with a plot like this that’s sort of difficult to accomplish, but I would have liked to see there be more to Sera and Zen other than each other. Not only that, but the chemistry between the two of them was totally not working for me. So yeah, the relationship was a bit nauseating and a lot pathetic.

I also had issues with the way the story arc was unraveled. The way this book started you would have thought that there was going to be a big reveal, a big shocker, some surprise, something. But that’s not the way the author chose to unravel the story. Little by little, piece by piece things were revealed and it ended up being very anticlimactic. There was no big reveal. It ended up being like every other YA novel out there. I know readers that are big fans of R.J. Anderson’s Ultraviolet, and I was sort of expecting something like that to happen here. But this ended up being a complete letdown. 

I did like the author’s writing style for the most part, but there were times when it was too choppy and didn’t flow well. This happened mostly toward the beginning and I guess maybe I got used to it and then I didn’t notice it as much anymore. I liked the tone of her writing and I liked her word choices, but the book was a little less vivid than I would have liked it to be.

The book was a page turner alright, but I was never fully engaged, and the more I read on, the more the book lost me. I normally like books like this. But this one completely did not work for me. It started out as a 4 star book in my mind and there were times when I almost wanted to drop it to one. It wasn’t quite THAT bad but it was pretty disappointing. So no, I cannot recommend this one, unfortunately. I wish I could say otherwise. I was anticipating this book more than I was anticipating most books this year. *sad face* 

2/5 Stars

18 responses to “Book Review of Unremembered by Jessica Brody

  1. Blegh. This one was a huge letdown for me as well. The beginning was so strong. To me, it felt like the author had the idea of an amnesiac girl for a long time before building the rest of the story around that, and that’s why the beginning was the best part.

    The reveal wasn’t what I was expecting, but it was far from shocking. And the entire second half of the book was an info-dump. And when we finally got to the villain, it was a giant cheese-fest. I did like the last page or so, so I might continue on with the series, especially if they end up where they intended to go from the start.

    • That makes a lot of sense, Bekka. The idea was strong and maybe she had the beginning planned out in her head and the rest didn’t come until later.

      It’s not the reveal itself that I disliked, it is the WAY it was revealed. Piece by piece, rather than shocking the audience. There was all this build-up and not nearly enough payoff.

      I am probably NOT going to continue. I just have no desire to. But yes, I know what you mean about where they might go, and I agree, that could be interesting.

  2. Amy

    I haven’t finished this one. I have picked it up 3 times, and just can’t get into it. I think at this point I may as well give up and possibly come back to it later. I wanted to really like it, but it’s not pulling me in.

  3. Unremembered is the perfect name for this book because 2 minutes after I read it, it’s exactly what I did!

    For real! I actually waited a month to review this (I forgot oops lol) and when it came time I remembered nothing. I asked Jenni what happened after she read it and she explained the whole plot start to finish and I swear I didn’t remember shit all that she told me lol. I rated it 3 that’s all I know. So I’m not surprised you didn’t like it much. It sounds like no one was really impressed by this one. Little by little story pieces can work sometimes though like in Pretty Girl 13. I loved that we only got a piece of the puzzle at a time, but it has to be done well. Oh well, bee-buhr!

    • LOL I love your comments. They make me giggle. And agreed. It is very unmemorable. I have heard Pretty Girl 13 is awesome and I am looking forward to reading that one!

  4. Sigh… I was excited for this one too. Why do authors insist on shoving insta-loves down our throats? You’d think they’d realize by now that no one, absolutely no one enjoys them. Or do they think we’re stupid enough not to realize it’s an insta-love? Down to the bottom of the pile, this goes.

  5. Oh no … I have this one in my review pile and EVERYONE seems to have that halfway-through problem. Now I’m scared to pick it up! I hate it when a book is great in the beginning and then everything turns to crap. This story sounds good at least! I actually thought it was a standalone, so I’m a little disappointed to see it’s a series. Why must everything be a series nowadays? At any rate, great review, Kara!

    • The story did have a lot of potential. But the second half of the book left a lot to be desired. The author had me hooked and then she lost me. That rarely happens, but it did. I hope she can solve this problem for future books.

      Agreed about series. It’s too much.

  6. I totally agree with you Kara. It was just really lacking in quite a few departments. The “big reveal” was a big let down for me because I feel like all this information just started getting thrown at us and I really just didn’t care at all. I had high hopes for this one but the crappy reveal and romance really turned me off. Fabulous review!

  7. The beginning had so much promise. Also, where did the heroine from the beginning go? She was spunky and emotional, and then suddenly she’s talking like a robot and doesn’t get anything. Ugh.

    So far as the romance goes, I was willing to let the instalove slide, since she had repressed memories of him, but that does not excuse the complete lack of chemistry between the two, both in the present and in the memories.

    What really bothered me, though? We never find out WHY she ended up where she was at the beginning? How, yes, but not why.

    • Yes, good point. Maybe it was the lack of chemistry that bothered me. That romance was nauseating and AWFUL.

      Wait though. Didn’t we? Weren’t they supposed to end up in 1609 so they could live their lives together uninhibited? The why is that they were trying to time travel to 1609 and she got stuck in the wrong time. Or is that what you are wanting to know? Why she got stuck in the wrong time?

    • Yeah, that’s the HOW. She ended up in that year because she accidentally time traveled to the wrong time period. But WHY did she end up in that time period? And, more puzzling, WHY did she end up in the middle of the ocean just as a plane crashed down? That makes no sense, except to allow for a dramatic opening scene.

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