- Age Range: 12 - 17 years
- Grade Level: 7 - 9
- Lexile Measure: 740 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 13, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780545945219
- ISBN-13: 978-0545945219
- ASIN: 0545945216
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 174 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Forgetting Hardcover – September 13, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Every 12 years, the orderly city of Canaan undergoes the chaotic, bloody time known as the Forgetting. During these brief hours, people's memories are erased. If it were not for the books in which inhabitants are required by law to record the events of their lives, they would have no way of knowing what happened before the Forgetting, or even of knowing their names or who their families are. Nadia is different. She remembers. The next Forgetting is a few weeks away. The teen is determined to keep her family together and away from the ensuing anarchy, but how? As Nadia works to this end, she comes up with more questions than answers. Why is the supposedly benevolent head of the Council, Janis, having some people's houses ransacked? What happens when people write lies in their books, or their books are stolen? The glassblower's handsome son, Gray, says he wants to help Nadia, but can she trust him? When Nadia searches for the truth, it is more shocking than anything she could have imagined. This fantasy is a marvelous achievement. Cameron creates a world filled with chilling dystopian constructs while maintaining a sense that it is as solid and convincing as our own. Each scene plays out in cinematic clarity—from the pristine walls that encircle the city to the rising of the three moons, from the perpetually anguished face of Nadia's mother, who remembers pain but no facts, to the labyrinthine underground lair where Nadia discovers the truth. VERDICT This excellent work belongs in every collection.—Jennifer Prince, Buncombe County Public Libraries, NC
An Autumn 2016 Kids' Indie Next List selection
* "Effective worldbuilding and strong characterization . . . A well-crafted fable for our time." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "This fantasy is a marvelous achievement." -- School Library Journal, starred review
"[An] absorbing adventure." -- Publishers Weekly
"The Forgetting is Sharon Cameron's fourth young adult novel, and she's grown adept at blurring the lines between fantasy, dystopian and science-fiction genres. Cameron reminds us, through Nadia's documented memories, that we must learn to appreciate the truth as much as question it, exploring the morality tucked within the fallacy of memory." -- Bookpage, Top Pick
Praise for Rook:
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection
An Indiebound Indie Next Top Ten selection
Winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award
"The suspense kicks right off in this action-packed tale, quickly wrapping readers up in the drama." -- Romantic Times
"Full of derring-do and double crosses, this romantic adventure is thoroughly engrossing." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Cameron crafts a brilliant homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel yet also manages to make her telling unique, particularly in... the many twists, turns, betrayals, and lucky breaks [that] will keep readers breathless until the very end." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Rook is sure to be a read all readers will remember." -- Portland Book Review
Praise for The Dark Unwinding:
A YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection
Winner of the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
"Utterly original, romantic, and spellbindingly imaginative." -- USA Today
"Haunting thrills unfurl..." -- Entertainment Weekly
"Gripping twists, rich language, and an evocative landscape." -- Publishers Weekly
"[A] singularly polished piece." -- The Horn Book
"A strikingly original, twisty gothic tale that holds surprises around every dark corner." --Judy Blundell, author of What I Saw and How I Lied
Praise for A Spark Unseen:
"Gripping... [an] absorbing, intelligent adventure." -- Kirkus Reviews
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There are a lot of things about this book that I enjoyed. First of all, our main character, Nadia, goes through great character development. She starts off as being very guarded, not letting anyone in because she’s afraid of how much it will hurt her when others forget her since she’s the only one in the city who doesn’t forget everything every 12 years. I really liked seeing her grow and become less afraid and guarded as the story progresses.
I thought the love interest, Gray, was a pretty good character as well. I would’ve liked to see more of him and his background (which I realize is difficult since he forgets things every 12 years like everyone else) because when we did get glimpses into who he is, I really enjoyed it. Generally, he was a great character and I liked how stubborn and charming he was and how willing he was to risk things to help Nadia.
There were some potentially triggering things that came up in this book that kind of caught me off guard. Nadia’s mother self-harms and deals with other mental health issues kind of similar to depression and PTSD. I wasn’t expecting this going in and so the first time it came up, it surprised me. There was one scene with some sexual harassment/attempted assault that kind of came out of nowhere, too. If any of this might be triggering for you, this is definitely something to keep in mind.
I appreciated that Nadia’s family actually plays a pretty big role in this book, although their role still wasn’t quite as big as I would’ve liked. I’ll take what I can get, though, haha. Nadia is really close with her younger sister, Genivee, and I loved seeing the relationship between the two of them. Nadia’s older sister pretty much hates her, but she was still a big influencing character on the story and I thought she was an incredibly interesting character. As I already mentioned, Nadia’s mother is struggling with mental health issues and this causes some problems between the sisters. Mostly they try to work together to help their mom, but it also causes tension between the sisters, especially between Nadia and her older sister who blames Nadia for their mother’s mental health problems.
The dystopian elements of this book were incredibly interesting to me. The very opening scene shows us some of the corruption in the government, but more and more corruption is unfolded as the book goes on and the final scenes uncover so much. I loved watching Nadia and Gray discover all of the information that’s been hidden from everyone in the city and struggle with fighting back against their corrupt and manipulative government.
Although it took me awhile to really get into The Forgetting, I ended up really enjoying it. There’s plenty of dystopian elements that were fun to uncover as well as interesting family dynamics and impressive character development. This is definitely something that I think a lot of readers will enjoy as long as they can get past a bit of a boring beginning.
It's the small touches, I think, that helps build a new society in your mind- the traditions, how they break the rules, what the rules are, and I think the author did a good job of adding these. There was some other information I would have like to have seen added to make it a bit more logical for me, but I won't get into because spoilers. However, if you're into your dystopian novels, this is a good one to pick up.
I love Sharon Cameron. The first book of hers I read was Rook, only a month or so ago, and this latest novel sealed my commitment to read every book of hers in the future. I love how mind-blowing and wild her stories get, how she drops you in the middle of somewhere and challenges your mind with both a mystery and philosophy. This book is about memory. What makes memory? How does memory affect who we are? Where is the line drawn between memory and truth and lies? Is there a line? Oh, and I wish I could get into the sci-fi aspects of this book, but it would ruin half of the shock in this book, and I think everyone needs to go into this story blind in order to enjoy how crazy it is. Crazy perfect. Seriously, if you’ve never checked out Sharon Cameron, do so now. She has a way of blending us in with the future in a very believable and unsettling way, while entertaining everyone with a heart-pounding story.
Recommended to: YA readers willing to stretch the imagination without all of the answers handed to them. A great novel for philosophical conversations.
Favorite Quote: When I was a child, wanting to know the truth was called curiosity. Now that I am grown, the truth I want to know is called a crime. (pg. 190)
Favorite Word: Surreptitiously - in a way that attempts to avoid notice or attention; secretively. Used in the sentence, “I try to surreptitiously wipe the soot off my face and neck while she digs around in the pot of dirt, and then I tell her she can keep the plant if she wants, which makes her happy.” (pg. 245)