Unremembered

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Unremembered Book Poster Image
Teen amnesiac a little too perfect in sci-fi adventure.

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Unremembered is a straight-ahead sci-fi adventure that doesn't pay much attention to intricate world-building or scientific plausibility. The novel is not egregiously unrealistic, but its emphasis is on suspense and romance.

Positive Messages

Unremembered makes a case that true love can endure almost anything, including a plane crash, missing memories, and a sci-fi conspiracy. It also hints that attempting to perfect the human mind and body is a dangerous strategy, if taken too far.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Because she spends most of Unremembered suffering from amnesia, Seraphina is something of a blank slate: pleasant, pliable, but not particularly interesting. Her romantic interest, Zen, has some rougher edges, and the pair of them eventually fight directly against their antagonists.

Violence

Unremembered contains relatively little violence. The villains carry gun-like Modifiers that interrupt brain activity and cause victims to pass out. In the climatic showdown, a character is given a jolt that might be strong enough to be fatal.

Sex

Sera and Zen are romantically attracted to each other, but their level of intimacy never progresses beyond some passionate kissing and proclamations of enduring love.

Language

The language in Unremembered is fairly mild, with one or two instances each of "pissed," "damn," and "bitch." One character is called a "d--khead."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Unremembered is a fast-paced, science fiction adventure novel. The amnesiac protagonist is a little too one-dimensional in her bland niceness, but the book has some interesting plot twists and well-choreographed action set-pieces. The levels of violence, sexual content, and questionable language are all very low. The villains carry gun-like Modifiers that cause victims to pass out. There are no sexual encounters beyond kissing, and just one or two instances each of "pissed," "damn," and "bitch."

User Reviews

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Kid, 11 years old August 21, 2013

amazing

i recently read this book and was in love.If you love the hunger games this is a perfect book its amazing.Its veary heart wrenching and you will love it.

What's the story?

A beautiful 16-year-old girl survives a plane crash at sea with no identification and no memory of her life before the disaster. Christened "Violet" due to her distinctive eye color, she temporarily finds sanctuary with a well-meaning foster family until a mysterious boy named Zen tells her true name is "Seraphina" and that they were once in love. Soon, Violet/Seraphina is on the run from threatening agents who seem to want to harm her. Should she trust Zen or follow her own instincts?

Is it any good?

It's difficult to build a gripping novel around a protagonist/narrator with amnesia. A person in that condition can be too much of a blank slate to be compelling, and that's part of the problem with UNREMEMBERED. Violet/Seraphina is so nice, pretty, pliable, and vacant that it's hard to relate to her, especially after she begins to display abilities that are just shy of superpowers. Although there are some smartly choreographed action scenes and one or two intriguing plot twists, nearly everything in Unremembered could use a sharper edge. And the villain of the piece is so over-the-top that his presence lessens the impact of the cliffhanger ending.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about media coverage of people who survive spectacular disasters, such as airplane crashes? What practices by journalists are acceptable in such situations and which should be discouraged?

  • Why does the pursuit of human perfection appeal to some governments and scientists? Should humankind be optimized for strength, intelligence, and physical beauty?

  • How big a role do memories play in defining our personalities? If our memories were changed or deleted, how might that affect how we view ourselves and the world?

Book details

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