Flora Banks is a very interesting YA novel, and is more sophisticated than appearances might suggest.
Flora has anterograde amnesia and a notebook that tells her about her life. She forgets things that happened after she was ten, after the tumour. That is, until she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend on the beach and the memory sticks. Fixated on this, she travels to the Arctic to find him. It is written from Flora’s perspective so is quite stream-of-consciousness, and where some people have found the repetition of memories dull, I’ve found it an interesting tension building narrative.
Some light spoilers on themes below, but I feel like it would really grab some people once they know the depth of the story. If you don’t want to see it, scroll past the picture to my recommendations of what to read next at the bottom.
This is a story about gaslighting and the abuse of disabled people. It flips the dangerous “boy meets girl and fixes her problem with romance and tongue kisses” plot device that has filled our stories for generations. While the upper layer of the narrative has Flora follow the boy, the reality is she is following a memory, her first real memory in 7 years. The novel also carefully handles both the themes of gaslighting and abuse, and I was very impressed.
Interested? Buy it here.
What to read next:
- Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
- Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Thank you to the lovely people at Penguin for sending me over a copy to review.