A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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."
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, Misfits and Underdogs
- 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
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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.