Book Review : The Memory Key by Liana Liu

February 25, 2015 Book review 9 ★★★

I adored the premise of this book.  Memory is such a fascinating subject and the idea that your memories can be manipulated by a devise sent my mind reeling in all directions.  It is such a disturbing and exciting theme that I couldn’t wait to dive into the book.

Book Review : The Memory Key by Liana LiuThe Memory Key by Liana Liu
Published by HarperCollins on March 3rd 2015
Genres: Family, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

Lora Mint is determined not to forget.Though her mother's been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most important, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer's, that isn't easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora's key, and her memories go haywire.

Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother's disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora's story of longing for her lost mother—and for the truth behind her broken memories—takes readers on a twisty ride. The authentic, emotional narrative sparks fascinating questions about memory and privacy in a world that increasingly relies on electronic recall.

First Line of The Memory Key by Liana Liu:

“My earliest memory is of my mother.”

My thoughts on The Memory Key by Liana Liu:

I think I was a little too hyped up entering the book.  Not a hype created by anyone else but a hype I drummed up for myself based on the synopsis.  I did enjoy the memory key theme of the book and the conspiracy theories that surrounded it but overall the book fell a little flat for me.

I think my biggest issue was with the characters.  I can’t quite put my finger on it but I just never cared about them at all.  I think they didn’t feel enough and that just made me not feel anything.  For example the main character discovers something HUGE during the book and she has very little reaction to it.

It should have been explosive and Lora should have been crackling with emotion.  I would have expected her to flail, to disbelieve, to be angrier to just react more.  Instead she learned it, absorbed, accepted it and I just couldn’t buy into her under reaction.   I personally didn’t feel emotional or anything really when she made her discovery.  That lack of attachment and lack of a sense of involvement with the characters made the pace of the book drag for me.

The romance in the book was nicely drawn out and I like that it didn’t over dominate the storyline.  Instead it was kept in the background and that is something I did appreciate.  The friendship between the Wendy and Lora was iffy.  It felt one sided and I think it’s one that wouldn’t last the test of time.  But that’s realistic enough, that’s what happens friendships as you both develop at different rates and not all friendships make it.

The world building felt believable and I really bought into the concept of a forgetting sickness epidemic.  I could see this happening and blaming pollution and genetics didn’t seem too far-fetched at all.  So the memory key solution didn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility.

I just wished I cared more about the characters as then it would have been a much better read for me.  But I absolutely didn’t hate it.  It was a slow read but I enjoyed the plot.   Overall I enjoyed it but feel a bit disappointed.  Still I’d like to like to try this author again in the future just because I like her unique plotline.  Hopefully next time, I’ll engage more with the characters.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars


Who should read The Memory Key by Liana Liu?

I’d recommend this to people who enjoy plot driven Sci FI YA books rather than character driven books as that is where the books strength is.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Teen for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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9 Responses to “Book Review : The Memory Key by Liana Liu”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I’m not a huge SciFi fan though this does sound interesting. The whole idea of Alzheimers terrifies me and the idea of it becoming viral is awful. This book does sound like it has a lot of potential but with the lack of connection to the characters it doesn’t sound like it’s for me. I think my daughter would enjoy this though. Great review!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Under a Silent Moon – Blog Tour Review

  2. roshell

    I read this book and it turned out to be not wat I expected. I love the book and would totally read it again again.

    • trish

      Glad to hear that 🙂 And I agree, it was a little bit different from I expected beforehand too. I know I want to read more by this author in the future.

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