Review: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Title: Unremembered
Author: Jessica Brody
Genre: science fiction, young adult
Series: Unremembered #1
Pages: 320 (ARC edition)
Published: March 5 2013
Source: publishers via NetGalley
Rating: 2/5

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

To go along with the title of Jessica Brody's latest novel, here are a few words and phrases that work to describe my impressions of Unremembered:   Unlikely. Unnecessary. Unmet-potential. Unsatisfying. Unemotional. Unsubtle. Underachieved. Uncanny. Unadorned. Unamused. Unbelievable (and not in a good way...). Unimpressive. To say the least, I expected so much more from this read, and I got flat, one-dimensional characters acting out a plot that has been done so many times before. By no means subtle or original, Brody's latest does have its moments of pure fun, but amidst all the other dross and predictability, it wasn't enough to make Unremembered anything other than a forgettable novel.

I guess I can start with the good about Unremembered - it falls prey to some YA tropes (instalove, especially, but Violet/Sera is one hell of a Mary Sue..), but it somehow manages to avoid others. There is no love triangle, there are no magically missing/absent parental units, and the love interest isn't abusive or a total creeper. And while I was disappointed by a lot of how this book played out, it moves fast and it's an easily read and digested bit of teen fiction. Brody's prose is serviceable, if plain and unremarkable. At least she is consistent? This is no Laini Taylor, Gayle Forman or Melina Marchetta or any other wordsmith. Jessica Brody is an able author, but her subject and plot leave a lot to be desired and detract from her strong points.

One of the main problems with Unremembered is that it tries to ask Important Questions about Life, like: what makes a person human? and what makes up a reality - experiences or memories? Unfortunately (another un-word!), Unremembered doesn't fully explore the answers or nuances of the questions it raises. It's a rather shallow but occasionally fun romp with time travel, "true love", and some pseudo-science to pull it all together. Contemplative themes and ideas are abandoned in favor of a romance that has no chemistry and time travel that raises more questions and complications than it solves.

Unremembered ends with an almost literal cliffhanger, and I couldn't care less. It's not a bad book - it's not objectionable or infuriating like Wasteland or Twilight, but it could have been so much better.  The unmet potential is one of the most frustrating aspects of the entire exercise. It's highly and amusingly appropriate to me that a novel with that name could be so entirely forgettable once one finishes the last page.


  1. Agreed. This book was completely forgettable. I rated it two stars and I won't be reading the sequel. I didn't even care when it ended because I was over it. But I love this review and your clever use of 'un' words.

    1. I won't be continuing the series either. Between t his and Taken, I'm getting better at cutting out any curiosity about the sequels of bad books. I always wonder if they get better, but this was so bland I just won't pursue it.

      And I'm glad I amused someone other than myself with my "un" words, haha.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.