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 Bus at 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 she confronts him, the truth is revealed—Blue has paid to have her memories removed, and Adam is one of those memories. As Blue struggles to piece together her history, she is torn between her desire to know why she would do something so drastic and her fear of what she will find.
Remember Me is the bold and beautiful story of a girl who must find the courage to face the demons of her past and reclaim her loved ones—even if it ruins her.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
Remember Me by Estelle Laure is an in-depth exploration of the consequences of being able to forget about those things that cause us pain – big and small.
What I Enjoyed:
What I enjoyed most about Remember Me was the intriguing messages at the end of the story. The main one is,” what would we be without our pain?” The story answers that question through a few characters dotted within the story. Their reasons were different, but the outcome was the same. Grief and depression are essential to forming the people we are and have relevance ultimately toward love and life. Other questions also come up, and I think they would be great to explore in book clubs and other discussion opportunities.
I also liked that the big twist made the whole story make sense, even though it was the wrong way to go. I honestly didn’t see it coming, but I loved that it made the entire story come together and make perfect sense. That also helped me to be able to empathize with all the characters, as I then understood what they were reacting to, whereas before the twist, their reactions seemed totally out of proportion for the situation.
The story is a fascinating exploration into the effectiveness of erasing those things in our life that cause us pain. It brings up such thought-provoking situations and scenarios that create the base for exploring more and contemplating the ramifications of the role of grief and depression in each of our lives. I always enjoy a story that makes me think even if I don’t want to do so.
The 1st-person narration is just right for this story because that narration style made it an intensely personal narrative. I don’t think it would have been nearly as effective if written in 3rd-person, putting distance between the reader and the story. As told by her, Blue’s story is compelling, frightening, heart-wrenching, and understandable.
Reminds Me Of:
Other readers have mentioned its similarity to The Program by Suzanne Young and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (movie).
Blue is an 11th grader who decided to have some of her memories erased. Learning her story is the story.
Gran (Gina Bellini) is Blue’s guardian, and her concern for her granddaughter always rings true and paramount.
Alex is a guy that Blue meets on the bus early in the story.
Turtle is Blue’s best friend. Her real name is Tatiana Tuttle, but everyone calls her Turtle. She loves musical theater and skipped a grade, so she is now a senior on her way to college the following year.
Jack is Turtle’s partner who identifies as non-binary and goes by the pronouns they/them.
What I Wish:
From a counseling perspective, there are so many issues concerning experimenting on teens and the procedure itself for dealing with grief, depression, suicide, etc. This story is fiction and based on a science fiction concept, so I tried to put my feelings as a counselor aside, but it still caused me a bit of concern, especially when I thought about teens reading it. It definitely can trigger people in terms of death and suicide, and the ethical questions should be discussed with any teens who read the story.
There are also some plot gaps that I found frustrating and I would love to have them filled in.
To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a thought-provoking reflection of the role of pain in our lives, Remember Me is just the story you should pick up.