Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Forgetting Curve by Angie Smibert

Title: The Forgetting Curve
Author: Angie Smibert
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Pages: 202 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: Galley from the publisher through NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon; Barnes and Noble; Book Depository

Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He believes everything is part of a greater system: the universe. The universe shows him the doors, and he keeps pulling until one cracks open. Aiden exposes the flaw, and the universe—or someone else—will fix it. It’s like a game.

Until it isn’t.

When a TFC opens in Bern, Switzerland, where Aiden is attending boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.

But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing.

Along with Winter’s friend, Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things... before someone else gets hurt.


Maybe I would like The Forgetting Curve a little more if I could remember more about it and its predecessor Memento Nora.

As soon as I jumped into The Forgetting Curve, I found myself getting lost. What's going on? I can't remember what happened to Micah! Did that happen in the first book? Did it happen between books? Readers are expected to be very familiar with what happened in the first book and for someone like me, who read it almost five months ago and doesn't remember much, it makes for a rough beginning. This is definitely the kind of series one has to follow from the first book onward if they don't want to get lost.

 One thing I desired more of in Memento Nora (and said as much in my review of it) was Winter, who was easily the most compelling of the three narrators. Seeing her come back for The Forgetting Curve and grow further almost sent me over the moon. Winter's new co-narrators, her hacker cousin Aiden and her blue-haired friend Velvet, have their own unique voices--you'll never mistake Aiden for Winter or Velvet for Aiden-- and stories to tell, though Velvet's tale as an aspiring musician is weaker than Aiden's and Winter's stories. Aiden's hacking scenes in particular were a delight to read.

The Forgetting Curve shares numerous problems with Memento Nora. The inability to forge a stronger connection between me and the characters, for one. I had a difficult time connecting with them. Both books were short, absorbing reads, but their just-over/under-two-hundred-pages length also robbed the genuinely interesting stories of deeper development. There was one area of improvement, though; the writing became much clearer. There were fewer moments of "What are they talking about?" than in the previous book.

One undeniable area of improvement was the ability to hook me for the sequel. Memento Nora left me feeling ambivalent about another book (though I ended up reading it anyway, as you can tell). The Forgetting Curve has a much stronger hook and I plan to stick around for the third book in the series. This dystopian novel with its roots in our very memories is scarily addictive. If you can find a copy, try it out!

3 stars!

What am I reading next?: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield