Tuesday, April 21, 2015


By Eileen Cook
New York : Simon Pulse, 2015, Ages 14-18

Harper is a senior in high school who's got it all. She has a wonderful best friend, a serious boyfriend, a competitive horse, and loving, rich parents. Her father is the owner and founder of Neurotech, a company that administrates a procedure that "softens" the difficult memories that people cannot handle. When Harper's horse passes away, she cannot cope with the loss. Against her father's wishes, she sneaks into Neurotech and receives the treatment under a false name. Afterwards, she begins to start having strange visions that feel like memories and even begins to distance herself from her loved ones. She meets a boy, Neil, while he is protesting Neurotech and he causes her to begin questioning whether Neurotech is as great as she has always been told, or if there are dark secrets being kept from her.

The author's writing style perfectly matches the feelings of a high school female. The story is written from a first person perspective, revealing the innermost thoughts and concerns of Harper throughout the novel. The author's sarcastic comments, dramatic exaggerations, determined attitude, and identity confusion completely align with those of a teenage girl, which makes the book very relatable for high school students, especially females.

The front cover of the novel is of a teenage girl that is staring straight into the camera. The only aspect of the photo that is completely in focus is one of the girl's eyes. Everything else, including the title of the book, is faintly faded and blurry looking. This completely alludes to the feelings of Harper throughout the novel. She finds that it is difficult to remember certain things after her procedure, but begins to vaguely remember things at the same time. This causes her to feel lost and confused, which is captured by the cover of the book.
In my opinion, this book was very enjoyable. I believe that it would be perfect for teenage girls to read, although it might also be entertaining to anyone that has an interest in romantic interests, horses, procedures that wipe out memories, mysterious visions, and family secrets. The book can help teenagers learn not only how to deal with loss, but why it is important. Towards the end of the book, Harper realizes that it is important to deal with hardships, rather than push them aside. She begins to find out what is true in her life and not to take anything for granted, especially her best friend. I think that any teenage girl would love this book and could really learn a lot from the major themes. 

Review by Stephanie Dodge

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