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DNF Review: The Memory Key by Liana Liu

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Memory Key
Liana Liu

Genre: YA Science Fiction
Hardback: 368 Pages
Publication: March 3, 2015
by Harper Teen

In a five-minutes-into-the-future world, a bereaved daughter must choose between losing memories of her mother to the haze of time and the reality-distorting, visceral pain of complete, perfect recall.

Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride.


While the concept of memory keys is very intriguing to me, they are not the main focus of the novel. It keeps switching to Lora's love life and the problems she that has with her best friend. As a result, the world building is weak. The plot narration is also confusing and hard to follow; the narrative jumps between the present and the past through flashbacks. On top of that, I cannot connect with the characters. There is no character development. While I understand why Lora does not want to fix her memory key, I couldn't relate to her on an emotional level.

I would have stopped reading this earlier, but I thought that I should give it more of a chance.

DNF around 70%

An ARC was provided by Harper Collins for review

Rating: 1 star

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