If you’re old enough to know who Jim Carrey is then this book might feel a bit familiar. It’s kind of like his movie ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ only with teenagers and a whole lot of ethical issues that would have the APA (American Psychological Association) and AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) along with their global counterparts angrier than Republicans on the day Biden got elected.
Throughout my lifetime I’ve read thousands of books and publicly reviewed hundreds. Out of all those I can count very few that caused the visceral reaction I had with this one.
Rarely have I felt so angry at a book I wanted to throw my iPad. In trying to explain myself to my bestfriend I couldn’t even stick to English as my outrage caused neural pathways to cross and just sputter into chaos trying to decipher my emotions so I ended up splitting into Spanglish with a bit of Gaelic mixed in.
Before I go on I will admit to some biases that more than likely colored my experience that others won’t have so they won’t have the same issues I did.
- My degree is in Psychology and the idea of ‘Informed Consent’ plus the ethical issues of experimenting on children-young adults has been drilled into me making the flaunting violations of these principles part of the story line (and the fact that only 2 people with just 1 of them being an adult seeing that and trying to do something about it) an issue for me.
- I’m a suicide survivor and have a major problem with how the subject was treated in relation to what they would do about it
- I have also been gaslighted and as part of that had my memories, sense of self, sense of what is true/fake, etc messed with and know how incredibly damaging it can be. The fact that didn’t seem to be taken into account or that the story was set up to make it seem like it was for the greater good angered me to no end
I’ve been working in mental health for a long time, I do a lot of community mental health initiatives and particularly under covid mental health became a major hot button topic but this book to me treated the entire subject so cavalierly and disrespectfully.
I can see though teenagers/young adults finding certain aspects romantic and some wishing memory erasing procedures were a thing but for me I just can’t get over the damage and as the book proved possibility for abuse. There was no good pay off at the end to be able to say yeah this stuff happened but everyone realized the consequences so they learned something making the journey worthwhile and necessary – though at least 2 characters came closest to that realization.
I do think there needs to be some kind of trigger warning for those who have had various mental health struggles so they know going in what they could be facing and decide if they’re in a strong enough place to handle it.
One positive though – the author did a good job incorporating a character from the LGBTQ community and addressing the proper pronouns.
Remember Me by Estelle Laure
Remember Me is an astonishingly bold young adult novel from Estelle Laure, the critically acclaimed author of This Raging Light and Mayhem
If you could erase all of your painful memories, would you?
Blue Owens wakes up one day with the strangest feeling that something is very wrong. Everyone’s acting weird and she’s found a note in her closet telling her to get on the Little Blue Busat 7:45, which she does, meeting up with the exact person she was supposed to avoid: Adam Mendoza. Even though she has no idea who he is, something about him is so familiar. When the two are discovered by their families, the truth is revealed—Blue has paid to have her memories removed, and Adam is one of those memories. What transpires is Blue’s journey to get her memories back, uncover the truth of why she had them removed in the first place, and ultimately decide whether they were too necessary to who she is to lose in the first place.