ARC Review: The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy

Publication Date: October 1st 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I loved this book.

Lauren Mansy created a dank, dark and disturbing world where memories were currency and the people of Craewick were divided, those that were gifted and those that were not. I found the whole idea original and Mansy’s ability to build this depressing world left me with a complete picture of her story. There were no gaps in plot or characterization and the sheer amount of effort she took is evident from beginning to end. The Memory Thief will introduce you to a world that deals with memories where you’re only as strong as your ability to steal. This is a place that brings your insecurities to light, exposes vulnerabilities and where skills can be bought and sold rather than learned. I couldn’t put this book down and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good YA book. It’s got an alternate world that mixes fantasy and action with a sweet and emotional hit of romance.

I want to thank Netgalley and the publishers at Blink for giving me this opportunity to read and review an advanced copy.

“Perhaps, but a Gift should always be used to care for and protect those less fortunate than ourselves. Do you know why we’re called the Gifted, Julietta? Long ago, memories weren’t used like coins. Memories were gifts, to show a glorious sunset to one who’d lost their sight, or share music with one who could no longer hear. Somewhere along the way, we became callous and hollow.”

I loved all the raw emotional scenes like this one. It gave wisdom where there was lawlessness and it gave characters, especially Julietta, the hope they needed to overcome the villain of this story. It also depicts Mansy’s talent to incorporate wise words into the plot seamlessly.

“Being with Reid is helping me remember all the good parts.”

Reid’s and Julietta’s relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. They balanced one another in both skill and wit that produced a sweet, slow burn romance. They connect on an emotional level and work together toward a common goal that makes their relationship an honest one. They can’t afford to keep secrets because

secrets could get them killed. There is a learning curve between them but Mansy offset this with great dialogue and witty humour. A lot of times the romance in fantasy novels is either rooted in its foundation and a key plot device or it fades into the background but in here it just propelled the story and got me wanting more. It took time to build a trust like it should but they respected one another from the beginning and I loved that. There wasn’t an enemies to lovers trope in this story and that will set this book apart. This romance is not whatsoever disappointing and anyone who loves an emotionally deep connection between characters will love The Memory Thief.

“Write, Jules. Write about your day, your every thought and feeling, and all the memories you’re carrying. Then you’ll always remember who you are.”

Great sentiment and I really think this adds value to any writer because it’s so relatable. It’s written with poetic flare and it speaks volumes.

“If I dwelt on my regrets, I wouldn’t have the strength to get out of bed every morning. We can’t forget what we’ve done, but it’s what we do with those regrets that mold us. We’re given a past to learn from and grow, but sometimes the greatest miracle can change a future for the better. And the girl I see sitting before me may have weaknesses but she isn’t weak. There’s quite a difference. Harness your past and use it for good, Julietta. What is a life without love, or hope and joy? You must live for something higher than yourself. It’s who we chose to live for that defines us.”

This is a relatable statement full of rich advice and lessons to learn and it reads a lot like a fairytale. It was a nice touch that brought home the characters’ drive to fight back.

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy is a hidden gem that I think many will appreciate. It had heart, emotion, and great writing. There’s tons of twists and turns where characters proved their true nature and the genuine dialogue between them propelled the plot forward. Mansy wasn’t afraid to add darkness to her story which only elevated the plot and provided a more determined bunch of personalities that all had a vulnerable, sadness to their lives whether it be because they were gifted or ungifted, orphaned or betrayed. They all had secrets and you will not stop until you finish the whole damn thing!

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