remember to forget

Synopsis:

In Remember to Forget from Watty Award-winning author Ashley Royer, Levi has refused to speak since the tragic death of his girlfriend, Delia, and can’t seem to come out of his depression and hindering self-doubt. Desperate to make some positive change in Levi’s life, his mother sends him to live with his father in Maine. Though the idea of moving from Australia to America seems completely daunting, Levi passively accepts his fate, but once he lands faces personal struggles and self-doubt at the same time he and his dad battle through resentment and misunderstanding. And then, while at therapy, Levi meets Delilah, a girl who eerily reminds him of someone he lost.


The Phoenix’s Perspective

I can’t lie – I was a little skeptical about reading this book.  I know that it’s fiction, but I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy a book about a tragedy that leads a teen down the road to selective mutism.  Now having finished the book, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It wasn’t what I expected and I can’t believe that it was written by a 17-year-old.

Grief is such a complicated situation because everyone deals with it differently.  What’s even harder is dealing with grief and depression.  Levi is stuck living with both and he doesn’t know how to climb out of the dark hole that has become his life.  Unfortunately, this make Levi generally not fun to be around – he can be rude, he will simply ignore you and he is no longer speaking to anyone.  I found that Royer did a great job at letting me feel his pain without making me feel overwhelmed by it.

In an attempt to help him move on, his mother sends him to live with his father in the United States.  When he moves there, he has to work through a lot on top of his grief.  He is now living with a father who hasn’t been in the picture for a long time.  He is meeting new people who don’t seem to understand that he wants to be alone in his own misery.  Due to alternating viewpoints, we are truly given a complete view of Levi and we are also given an understanding as to why “strangers” would try so hard to help.

As I said early on, I was skeptical about this book because I was worried that these very tough and important topics would be passed through very quickly to make it feel less serious and heavy to teens.  Thankfully, I can say that Royer did an amazing job at keeping you engaged and really bringing emotions to the surface.  Although this book is considered teen fiction, I do want to point out that it is not just light reading.  The topics covered are very tough and can be difficult at times, especially if you have ever gone through grief and/or depression yourself or seen someone you love go through it.


Would I add it to the library?

Yes.  I am also going to keep an eye out for anything else Royer will publish.

 

Genre: Fiction – teen
ISBN: 9780310751717
Rating: good

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