Book Review | The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Published by Scholastic Press on September 13, 2016

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Format: ARC

Pages: 403

Source: #BooksforTrade

Goodreads★ 1/2

What isn’t written, isn’t remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person’s memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn’t written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.


I knew I wanted to read The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron as soon as I heard initial buzz about the book. This young adult story takes place in Canaan, a city in which every twelve years all of the citizens lose their memories. In order to remember anything about themselves, including their names, their family members, and their jobs, people must write down their lives in books that are kept tied to them at all times. Citizens are supposed to write the truth, but more often than not that doesn’t happen. No one would know if it weren’t for Nadia – a teenage girl who has never forgot.

Not only is this concept of the Forgetting extremely fascinating, but the story captivated me from page one. I was extremely addicted to the book, and finished it in a few days because I couldn’t put it down. While I do have a few small criticisms of The Forgetting, my overall enjoyment of the novel greatly outweighs these minor issues. First, there are a lot of recycled concepts in this book that are found in other books within this genre. Luckily, these tropes are used in a new way. Similarly, some parts of the book felt a bit too contrived. There are sections with a lot of telling and not showing that could have used some strengthening.

Other than that, I absolutely loved The Forgetting. The story is one I will be thinking about for a long time. Can you imagine how frightening it would be to wake up one day with zero memories? Yet, at the same time, I can see how others would find this a refreshing new start. I am also very interested in the concept of truth. Even in our own world we have a lot of power in writing our own histories. How do we ever really know what is true?

Moreover, I also really liked how The Forgetting was completely unpredictable for me. The book starts out with a dystopian vibe, and the genre goes in a completely new direction midway through the story. While the book did not follow a trajectory I expected, I was impressed with the turn it took. It’s always great when a book can keep me on my toes right through to the ending.

In addition, we have a great cast of characters in The Forgetting. Our main character is Nadia, and I absolutely love seeing her grow as a person throughout the novel. I also adored the romance that develops between Nadia and Gray. I was never sure whether to trust Gray or not, and that added an element of mystery to the story.

Finally, I think the ending of The Forgetting is really well done. The story gets wrapped up, but there is still room for a sequel if the author gets the opportunity to write one. At this time, The Forgetting is a stand alone book, but I would love to see what happens next in this world. I highly recommend picking up this book. It is extremely fast-paced, quite thought-provoking, and a fantastic adventure.


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