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Book Review | Forget Me Not by Alexandra Oliva

From the publisher: She was born for all the wrong reasons. But her search for the truth reveals answers she wishes she could forget in this suspenseful and deeply moving novel.

Forget Me Not pulled me in and kept me reading. I found it intriguing and moving. A rich couple have a daughter, who dies in a terrible accident as a teenager. The mom descends into mental illness and uses frozen embryos to impregnate herself in an attempt to recreate her dead child. But of course she can’t – and the new child pays the price for not being her older sister.

Linda, the protagonist, is very relatable. Now an adult, she is trolled on social media for merely existing. She has a troubled relationship with her famous father. She moves frequently as her address is outed online, and she has no friends until an outgoing neighbor (with a dog!) reaches out to her. But can she trust that Anvi is truly a friend? Or is she using her? Then the walled home where Linda grew up with her disturbed mother catches fire – and the past which has settled is stirred up again.

I liked that we got more than one narrative point of view. I enjoyed the Seattle setting. But what Oliva does really well is create a number of sympathetic and believable characters. Even the mother isn’t painted as evil.

Forget Me Not is set in a near future, and the social media, gun culture, and virtual reality details feel true. This could make a great movie in the right hands.

There is a subplot that I found distracting and not necessary. If I could speak to the author (who I actually did meet at a library conference a few years ago), I would say – stop trying to trick us. You don’t need the tricks. You are a good writer and your stories can stand on their own without the subterfuge. There was another “big secret” that I guessed early on as well. But those were minor distractions. I found Forget Me Not great escapist reading and recommend it to lovers of psychological thrillers.

I read an advance reader copy of Forget Me Not from Netgalley.

Forget Me Not is available for checkout from the Galesburg Public Library. It is also available as an ebook and audiobook through Axis 360.

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