Patrick’s high-concept debut falls flat. Each morning at 4:33, London Lane’s mind resets, blanking out the past—but she...

FORGOTTEN

Imagine forgetting yesterday but remembering tomorrow.

Patrick’s high-concept debut falls flat. Each morning at 4:33, London Lane’s mind resets, blanking out the past—but she “remembers” her future. Doctors have been unable to solve her condition, so London stumbles through life faking normal, aided by notes and her mother and best friend (both of whom she “knows,” thanks to future memories). Every morning she must study her own life. Enter hot boy, but despite the growing relationship, London can’t remember him from her future. Luke’s inexplicable presence and a resurfaced actual memory set London on the trail of her own past, in which she discovers a tragic mystery. She conveniently remembers just enough to solve it, and it turns out there are happy endings all around, although only a weak “explanation” for London’s ability to effectively see the future. The flat main character and awkward necessities of writing to accommodate future memories hinder the promising premise. Present-tense narration in an adult voice (perhaps because London remembers forward?) and a personality is based only on who she will be make empathy difficult. This is compounded by the discomfiting circular logic throughout (she is friends with Jamie because she will be friends with Jamie; readers will still wonder why).

Pub Date: June 7, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-316-09461-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else.

ALL THIS TIME

A modern-day fairy tale about two teenagers suffering from loss who find healing in one another.

Despite the ups and downs in their relationship, Kyle and Kimberly have always made up, and Kyle looks forward to attending college together after graduation. But on the night they should be celebrating, Kimberly confesses that she has committed to a different college and breaks up with him. As they argue, their car crashes, and Kyle later wakes up in the hospital and learns that Kimberly is dead. In his grief, Kyle blames himself for her death. He struggles to leave his bed most days, ignores calls from his and Kimberly’s best friend, Sam, and has visions of Kimberly and life before the accident. One day, while visiting Kimberly’s grave, he meets Marley, a girl who likes telling stories and is mourning the death of her twin sister. Predictably, their natural affinity for one another evolves into romance. It is unfortunate that Kyle essentially moves from one romantic relationship to another on his journey to better understanding himself and his co-dependence on those closest to him, although his gradual development into a more considerate person redeems him. The pacing remains even until the critical plot disruption, resulting in the rest of the story feeling disjointed and rushed. All characters are White.

For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6634-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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An emotionally engaging and draining debut.

OUR CHEMICAL HEARTS

Two teenagers suffer through their first heartbreak.

Henry Page has spent his high school years with his nose to the grindstone, avoiding romantic relationships and focusing on becoming the editor of the school paper. At the start of his senior year Henry is offered the job, but there’s a catch: transfer student Grace Town is offered the gig as well, making the two white teens co-editors. Sparks fly as Henry works with the aloof, unkempt new girl, who walks with a cane. As Henry and Grace grow closer, Henry falls deeper for her even as he learns just how broken she is. In her debut, Sutherland mixes her love story with equal parts hope and ominous dread. There is never any doubt that this couple is marching toward romantic oblivion, but it’s an effectively drawn journey. The characters speak with a John Green–esque voice, but they are never overbearingly precocious. Narrator Henry’s a smartly rendered character, a decent kid who has goals and works hard to achieve them. His new goal is Grace’s affection, and the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object that is Grace’s emotional unavailability provides the novel some of its sharpest moments. When the walls tumble down, the connection between the two is clearly an unhealthy one, and the author pulls no punches, devastating Henry, Grace, and readers in equal measure.

An emotionally engaging and draining debut. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-54656-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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