Six Reasons Why You Need to Read The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

I’ve been in a bit of a funk this week. I haven’t written very much for NaNoWriMo, I’ve neglected my blog, I’ve fallen even more behind on reading. I’m sure you can guess why: the US presidential election. I don’t want to go too deep into it, but I do just want to say that I am the farthest thing from happy about it. Learning who was the President-Elect early Wednesday morning did not and still does not sit well with me.

But, I digress. If you’ve been on this blog for a while, you know that reviews are pretty much nonexistent. I did do one review, which was my first post, back in July, but since then, nothing. Besides monthly mini-reviews (which are just glorified wrap-ups, honestly). This isn’t even a real review, more like a list, because, you know, who doesn’t like lists.

to-do-list

So, yeah, in general, reviews aren’t my thing. HOWEVER. THIS BOOK. GUYS. IT IS SO IMPORTANT.

 The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

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The powerful story of two teenagers finding friendship, comfort, and first love in the days following 9/11 as their fractured city tries to put itself back together.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows. She is covered in ash and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a New York City detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? The Memory of Things tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain—it tells a story of hope. (source)

As you can see, this book is set on the back drop of New York City during 9/11 and the days that follow it. It’s one of the first YA books I’ve seen regarding said topic, and as soon as I found it, I bought it.  But, why should you read it?

  1. You aren’t expecting it, but this book is actually pretty funny. I guess it just adds a little bit of relief to the tragic story. Kyle is a great person to read from the perspective of, and I laughed out loud more than once.
  2. It’s really, really, real. Maybe that’s obvious from the blurb, but this book isn’t what I was expecting in that regard. I thought it was would be heartbreakingly tormenting, that the eloquence of the sorrow would pierce my soul, but, nope, it was just honest and true, and it WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAT WAY. Kyle’s life still went on: he still watched TV, played the guitar, he still burned things in the toaster oven.
  3. But, yeah, okay, it’s still poetic. As you’ll see right from the beginning, we get little sneak peeks of what’s going on in the amnesia-riddled mind of Bird Girl, which is less structured, and a little more freeing.
  4. It isn’t just about 9/11 or the love story. There are multiple secondary characters that we get to learn about, that have a big impact on the story. One is pretty major, but I won’t spoil you for it. However, I will say that it was a really interesting addition to an already intriguing story concept.
  5. It’s educational, folks. I learned, not just about the terror of that day, but of the aftermath, too. The fear of a pending attack, the searching for missing loved ones. The Memory of Things gives you a different insight.
  6. The little detective in me was excited because there is a bit of a mystery to figure out in terms of who the girl is. So if you’re into that, then, read this book.
  7. Lastly, it’s hopeful. Like the blurb said, this book tells a story of hope. In the past few days, I’ve lost a lot of hope in this country, and have tried to get it back. If you’re like me, feeling hopeless, then I recommend picking this one up. This book may help you hope again. It shows that even in the worst of times, Americans still showed kindness, patriotism, and love.

I cried a little, in certain parts, but definitely not as much as I thought I would, which is totally not a bad thing. I gave it a 4.5 stars and the Jordyn stamp of approval! READ IT, GUYS, JUST DO IT.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Do you happen to know of any other YA reads centered around 9/11? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

Stay bookish,

Jordyn

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9 thoughts on “Six Reasons Why You Need to Read The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

  1. Jordyn, what an insightful list/review! I, too, read the book just a few nights ago, and loved, loved, loved it. The next day, I read “Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story” by Nora Raleigh Baskin. Middle-grade, not YA, and equally as poignant. Four pre-teen/early-teens narrators share their experiences in the days leading up to (and including) 9/11. They don’t know one another, but their lives intersect in a really powerful way. I bet you’d enjoy that read as well! From a binge-reading mom and teacher in Colorado. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jordyn, what an insightful list/review! I, too, read the book just a few nights ago, and loved, loved, loved it. The next day, I read “Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story” by Nora Raleigh Baskin. Middle-grade, not YA, and equally as poignant. Four pre-teen/early-teens narrators share their experiences in the days leading up to (and including) 9/11. They don’t know one another, but their lives intersect in a really powerful way. I bet you’d enjoy that read as well!

    Like

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