August 12, 2013 • Cee • Reviews

js - urUnremembered by Jessica Brody
March 5, 2013
Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (BYR)
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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?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.myreview

First sentence: “The water is cold and ruthless, lapping against my cheek.”

What a surprise this book was. I enjoyed this book…to a point. This book is broken down into three parts: 1. adjusting to life after the plane crash with foster family, 2. finding out real identity and remembering the past, and 3. trying to escape from enemies. It has a unique premise that went beyond my expectations – plane crash, a sci-fi feel, time travel, and a mystery of a teenager with amnesia who was not on the plane – makings of a good book, right? Unfortunately, I had a lot of things that I didn’t like about Unremembered that prevented me from fully enjoying this book (ie. the heroine and the romantic plot).


  • The premise.

We have a teenager suffering from amnesia who mysteriously survived a plane crash. We learn that she is not like a normal teenage girl – she can speak different languages, she is exceptionally intelligent, she is extremely beautiful, she is really strong – and that people (with good intent and bad intent) are searching for her. I didn’t expecte this book to go into the direction that it did. I thought the book would be a regular contemporary story about a girl coping with amnesia and a plane crash. Something serious that dealt with coming to terms with all these tragedies. However, what we get is extremely different. By the halfway point of the book, it’s no longer a contemporary story; it’s a sci-fi one. A really interesting one.

  • The twist. 

When the mystery of how Seraphina got on the plane was solved, it was something I didn’t expect the book to veer into it. [SPOILER]Time travel, guys! My mouth dropped. Who would’ve thought that was what happened? It was the only part of the book that I truly enjoy; I didn’t want to put the book down. I was fascinated by the concept and how it worked. So much rich material. It made me think of the Terminator franchise and Looper


  • Seraphina/Violet.

When I do not like the heroine (or any of the characters) in a book, that’s a bad sign. Seraphina had no personality whatsoever. She was extremely robotic – both in her actions and her way of speaking – which is noted by the other characters. I know it’s on purpose, but it was hard for me to sympathize, like, or relate to her when she doesn’t really exist on the page. I didn’t find anything that made her stand out amongst other YA heroines I’ve read. A few months from now, if you ask me what was memorable about Seraphina, my answer wouldn’t be her fiery temper or her actions. I would, most likely, not remember her.

And if I do remember her (after being reminded), I would answer that I was extremely bothered by how powerless she is and how her entire life’s dominated by males. What do I mean? Well, for one, she is only programmed to run, not fight. (I wished she had the ability to fight, surprising everyone that she had defied her programming.) Two, she doesn’t really do anything by herself when she’s trying to find out who she is and where she comes from. She always need somebody, usually a male, to aid her. She asks Cody, her foster brother, to take her to LA. She needs Zen to get her to remember. That makes the feminist in me extremely angry and frustrated. I wanted her to be more aggressive. Take things into her own hands. Be more independent and in control. I had expectations that she didn’t fulfill.

  • The romance/Zen.

As soon as the “soul mate” word was said, my brain totally tuned out. Ugh. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Seraphina and Zen. My problem is that Zen is the only boy she’s ever encountered. Yes, you can have one love of your life, but Seraphina hasn’t interacted with anyone on the outside world. How is she to truly know if Zen is the perfect guy for her? Seraphina doesn’t have a lot of control in her life, not over the choices she makes in her daily life and certainly not over who she loves. Zen is essentially taking advantage of an extremely naive girl. How am I suppose to root for that?

I hated that the plot relied too much on the romance to move the story forward. I was bothered by how Zen’s number one priority was to get Seraphina to remember their “love” instead of being concerned about her other memories and whether she remembers Diotech. 

  • Explanations of things/words Seraphina did not know/understand

You know in the text when Seraphina doesn’t know what, let’s say, a supermarket is and she goes, “Heather calls it a supermarket” or a restaurant – “we’re going to something called a restaurant”? It’s usually followed by a dictionary definition or a generic description of the place or word. Those parts sound condescending, as if an adult is trying to explain or “teach” a child what the word meant. I know it was not the intention of the author, but I couldn’t help but cringe during those parts. Maybe I’m being extra sensitive about it. The thing is, with those words of places or items Seraphina doesn’t know/understand, I wanted a more detailed description of what it looks like to Seraphina.gradeC

I thought this book was an interesting introduction to the Unremembered world. I didn’t really like any of the character because they didn’t feel realistic and I found some to be a bit spineless or annoying. I did enjoy the ideas in the book. I would’ve liked some more information about Diotech because it still doesn’t feel like it’s a threat to the entire world. I’m actually looking forward to the next book in this series. I’m hoping that Zen is revealed to actually be a bad guy in the second book. How awesome would that be? I was half-expecting it to happen in Unremembered. It would’ve certainly made things more interesting instead of being a boring romance. And it would’ve further emphasized how Seraphina should not trust others, especially Zen. We shall wait and see what the next book brings us.


One Response to “REVIEW | Unremembered by Jessica Brody”

  1. Holly Anne says:

    Characters who have no personality or depth to them make the book very frustrating to read. I don’t expect the characters to be magnificent or brilliant; I just want a character that is easy to relate to. I do like the premise of the book so I’ll definitely give this a shot. Fantastic review!

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