2 August 2015

The Memory Hit - Review

The Memory Hit
by Carla Spradbery

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What they say: On New Year's Eve, Jess's life is unrecognizable: her best friend is in the hospital, her boyfriend is a cheater. A drug-dealing cheater it would seem, after finding a stash of Nostalgex in his bag.

Nostalgex: a drug that stimulates memory. In small doses, a person can remember the order of a deck of cards, or an entire revision guide read the day before an exam. In larger doses it allows the user detailed access to their past, almost like watching a DVD with the ability to pause a moment in time, to focus on previously unnoticed details and to see everything they've ever experienced with fresh eyes. As Leon, the local dealer, says 'it's like life, only better.' What he fails to mention is that most memories are clouded by emotions. Even the most vivid memories can look very different when visited.

Across town Sam Cooper is in trouble. Again. This time, gagged and bound in the boot of a car. Getting on the wrong side of a drug dealer is never a good idea, but if he doesn't make enough money to feed and clothe his sister, who will?

On New Year's Day, Jess and Cooper's worlds collide. They must put behind their differences and work together to look into their pasts to uncover a series of events that will lead them to know what really happened on that fateful New Year's Eve. But what they find is that everything they had once believed to be true, turns out to be a lie ...

Published by Hodder / Hachette Children's.

Buy links:
Amazon * Amazon UK

I received a copy from the publisher (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: In The Memory Hit we see the dark side of being a teenager in England. Typical teenage issues are mixed in with more sinister topics, including murder and drug abuse. I did really like the mystery element and how Carla Spradbery kept us guessing as to who was orchestrating events. 

The concept was good and fairly simple. Nostalgex is a popular drug which allows you to relive your memories, good or bad, in their full technicolored glory. Imagine the potential for good and bad with this! It's a memory so you cannot change events, but it does have the bonus of being able to provide answers to certain questions, or to help you remember loved ones.

I did find the pacing a little slow and a lot of the book was taken up with Jess worrying about her clearly abusive and undeserving ex-boyfriend Luke. With friends like Luke and Scarlet who needs enemies? Sam/Cooper was my favourite character and I kept trying to work out why Jess would ever have prefered Luke. A lot of the plot deals with back story , with the characters thinking about past events (hence the Nostalgex). Whilst I'm all for learning more about characters I did find it a little distracting having the other POVs apart from Jess and Sam.

In terms of genre, The Memory Hit is a YA mystery/suspense story. It is probably worth noting that it's quite dark and the characters are faced with traumatic events. If you're a fan of lighthearted and sweet HEAs this probably isn't the story for you. I actually liked the grit and depth. I don't mind darker issues in YA books, if they serve a point. I wanted to love this book and from the blurb I really thought I would. Don't get me wrong I didn't dislike the book, but I just didn't love it.

3 Stars in my Sky!


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