Book review – The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Published: January 12 2017 by Penguin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 303

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.


I was given this book as a gift and I’m so glad I was because I finished it in two short days, which is especially saying something if you read my post on bookblogging vs a full time job!

You would think that a book about a girl with amnesia would get repetitive very soon, but it was not an issue. Flora does repeat the same things over and over again but Emily Barr’s writing is so good that it does not seem repetitive at all, but rather adds to the story.

Flora was an incredibly intriguing main character and you can’t help but fall in love with her. However, I would have liked to see the side characters explored a bit further. I would have liked to see more of her brother Jacob especially.

I enjoyed how the story slowly unfolded, and the reader found out more about Flora’s life and past. I’m a massive fan of unreliable narrators.

There are some things that I didn’t like about the story, like the relationship between several characters. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have been included, but I wish Barr had made more of an effort to make it clear these things were problematic.

Still, a very enjoyable read that definitely tugged at my heart strings.

“Don’t panic, because everything is probably all right, and if it’s not, panicking will make it worse.” 

6 thoughts on “Book review – The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

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