“They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.”

Samantha McCoy has it all mapped out. First she’s going to win the national debating championship, then she’s going to move to New York and become a human rights lawyer. But when Sammie discovers that a rare disease is going to take away her memory, the future she’d planned so perfectly is derailed before it’s started. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. Realising that her life won’t wait to be lived, she sets out on a summer of firsts: The first party; The first rebellion; The first friendship; The last love.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.

Title: The Memory Book

Author: Lara Avery

Publication Date: 26th January 2017

Series: Nope


The Characters:

Samantha McCoy, a young girl with a life planned out suddenly finds out she has a rare disease. That will kill her. (Yes it’s a main-character-is-ill-and-will-die book.) But seriously, it was a pretty damn good book that I finished pretty damn quickly.

I really liked Samantha. She was super brave, and super adorable. (She finds it hard to make friends and frequently reminds herself not to be a “robot.” RELATABLE? YES~ #AwkwardPeepsUnite) Samantha falls in love, steps out of her comfort zones and GOES TO A PARTY. 

THERE IS FAMILY IN THIS BOOK. So many books I’ve read skips out on this thing called family BUT THIS DOESN’T. Samantha has two cool parents that love her to bits and  3 ULTRA CUTE siblings <3

SAMANTHA FALLS IN LOVE. She finally confesses to this guy called Stuart she’s had a crush since FOREVER and when they go on dates, I’M LIKE, YES. THEY GO OUT FOR ICED COFFEE. HE HELPS TAKE CARE OF HER. SWEET BOYFRIEND BITS. (Even if Stuart wasn’t particularly my favourite.) So even though this book is obviously going to be sad, it’s not overly depressing and we get sweet moments where Sam drinks lots of chocolate milk.

Samantha is awkward but still has friends. The 2 main ones are Maddie and Cooper. Maddie is on Samantha’s debate team, and they’re supposed to be great. Until Samantha finally breaks it out to Maddie that she’s ill and Maddie flips/gets mad and sorta disappears for the rest of the book. Ok!?!?!?!

Cooper is the boy next door + Sammie’s childhood friend who was my favourite <3 He’s meant to be like, the bad guy that drinks and does drugs and who also got kicked out of the baseball team for taking drugs and we’re all meant to think he’s stupid and bad, BUT THEN WAIT??? We see him becoming more and more active in Sammie’s life, and suddenly he’s the sweetest and THE BEST.

The Plot:

The book starts off with A LOT of debate stuff and Sammie is literally just fretting about debates and Nationals for like, the first 50 or so pages. *yawns* Boringggggggggg.

Then Sammie’s first real blip from her illness comes in, and things start picking up. Sammie documents her life, and we see more blips and realise she’s getting worse and not getting better. I’d be totally lying if I said I didn’t start crying during the most mundane of moments.

The book centres around Sammie and is meant to be made up of many Word documents written by Sammie of things she doesn’t want to forget. The book doesn’t document much of Samantha’s rapid decline in health early though, so when things came, it came REALLY fast. Especially the end.

Speaking of the ending, it was really sudden?? It literally felt like someone has cut a chunk of it, and mashed a chapter in to mark the end. But I kinda get it, Sam was too ill to write before she died ;-;

The Writing:

Like I said, the book is meant to be made up of many Word documents written by Sammie. 

The style fit Samantha’s image perfectly, and it felt to real. The writing was fantastic, packed with feels and I forgot I was reading a fictional novel at some point.

The Conclusion:

I LOVE SAMANTHA. She’s so brave and strong, and human. She had such a cool family, and even though she was sad she couldn’t live out her life the way she planned, she still ended up living out her remaining days to the fullest. The book started out in a really boring way, but once the debate stuff was over, I got really into it. The book read so easily, and I was lost inside Samantha’s thoughts pretty quickly.

There were other interesting characters besides our little Samantha, and it made the book more interesting. The characters felt real, and just, ahhhhhh~ Samantha was just too young and sweet and awesome ;-;



  • Full of emotions
  • Samantha was a really cool main character
  • Interesting other characters


  • What’s up with Maddie?
  • Debates are boring
  • Ending was really sudden

Book in a GIF:

Rating: 4.3 Stars – See my rating system. OK so even despite the negatives this book still gets a 4.3 stars. IT LEFT ME HUNGOVER OK?

Owned: YES! Thank you so much Hachette!

Preorder your own copy on Amazon here!

Recommended for: Those that like sad books, books with ill characters in them and people that enjoyed All The Bright Places.

Will you be reading this book? Do you like weepy books with ill characters?

5 thoughts on “The Memory Book by Lara Avery ARC Review”

  1. I LOVED THIS BOOK SM IM SO GLAD SOMEONE ELSE DID TOO OMG. sam reminded me literally so much of myself, cooper was the actual sweetest, and this is basically the only book i’ve read in a long while that made me cry SO. MUCH.

  2. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH IM SO GLAD SOMEONE ELSE DID TOO AHHHH. sam reminded me way too much of myself, cooper was the actual cutest ever, and this is the first book i cried at in a long time. and i cried A LOT.

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