By Michael Berry,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teen amnesiac a little too perfect in sci-fi adventure.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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
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 & Scariness
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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."
Where to Read
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
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?
- Author: Jessica Brody
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- Publication date: March 5, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 320
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Read
Our Editors Recommend
Science Fiction Books
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate