Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE MEMORY JAR by Elissa Janine Hoole Kirkus Star


by Elissa Janine Hoole

Age Range: 14 - 18

Pub Date: April 8th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-7387-4731-6
Publisher: Flux

After a snowmobile accident leaves her boyfriend in a coma, a girl must confront her memories before she can make a life-altering decision.

High school sweethearts Taylor and Scott grow distant after he moves away to attend college. Everything seems fine, though, until Taylor discovers she’s pregnant. Distraught, she considers suicide, but when she confides in Scott, he reprimands her for her selfishness. Disturbed by his response, she decides to break up with him, but he whisks her away to their favorite little snowy island in northern Minnesota and surprises her with a proposal that she can’t bring herself to turn down. Tragically, on the way back, their snowmobile crashes, leaving Scott with a fractured skull, lost in a coma. Now Taylor waits at his bedside, still undecided about the baby and with a secret engagement ring in her pocket. She can’t help but wonder if this is all her fault—did she swerve? Did she have a death wish? She can’t remember, but the process to finding out what really happened, and who Scott really was, grows increasingly complicated each day he doesn’t wake up. Ever confident in her choices and blessed with a trenchant narrative voice, Taylor makes for an engaging, strikingly unsentimental portrait of a teen girl facing tragedy head-on. Her path is fraught with all the messy, painful truths no one should face so young, and it’s both heartbreaking and beautiful in its resolution.

An intricately crafted story of teen pregnancy helmed by a bold, achingly real protagonist determined to decide her own fate. (Fiction. 14-18)