{review+giveaway} THE FORGETTING CURVE by Angie Smibert


A Backwards Story is happy to conclude The {Teen} Book Scene's THE FORGETTING CURVE Tour!  Check out the tour schedule to see the list of events that have been occurring.  Last week, I launched the tour with an interview with author Angie Smibert!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

Just like this one, but in a different city, in what feels like a different lifetime--even though it was only a month ago.
(pg. 1, US hardcover 1st edition)

Also check out last week's interview with Angie Smibert, which talks about the series and what's to come!

THE FORGETTING CURVE really doesn't stand on its own, so if you haven't read MEMENTO NORA, I would suggest doing that first.  I actually don't have a review up of the first book to link you to, so I'll sum it up here, then it's probably wise to stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled.

In MEMENTO NORA, Angie Smibert's debut dystopian novel, the world centers around TFC, a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic.  If a person has bad memories or sees something horrible, they can go to their closest TFC (they have more branches than a Starbucks on every street road in NYC!), pop a pill, and forget.  TFC also gives out frequent user points with every visit, which can be used to purchase a cell phone, go on vacation, etc.  There are frequent terrorist attacks and car bombings, so people often use TFC.  Nora goes to TFC for the first time after witnessing one such attack, but follows a classmate named Micah's advice and spits the pill out.  The two start to talk at school despite being in different social circles and put together a comic strip called Memento Nora about their experiences with the TFC, which suddenly makes them Public Enemy #1.

THE FORGETTING CURVE picks up shortly after MEMENTO NORA takes off and reveals what happens to Nora, Micah, and Winter at the end of the first book in the trilogy.  Smibert's sophomore release is told from the POV of Winter (the only reoccurring POV), her cousin Aiden, and her friend Velvet (Who you may recall meeting in the first book).  Aiden goes to a boarding school in Switzerland, a country that has remained neutral up until now but has just received its first TFC branch--and now has begun to have the same mysterious black car bombings that other countries with TFC experience.  Aiden is a hacker and manages to get kicked out of school, but not before he distributes copies of a comic strip called Memento Nora in the bathroom, despite knowing nothing about the truth lying on the pages.  He returns home to the USA and reunites with Winter, who is struggling to come to terms with her world after her brush with TFC in the previous book.  Aiden enlists Winter's friend Velvet for help and discovers that TFC is once again at the heart of a sinister plot, this one involving ID ear chips that will allow TFC to wash away your bad memories right from your own home thanks to a new cell phone app about to launch.  While the first book utilized a comic book to get its warnings about the TFC across, the new one features a MemeCast run on a frequency that the ID chip can register and play into a person's ear, and the voice of MemeCast will surprise you!

I'm glad I read the first book recently because it made it easier to remember what was going on.  This is one of those books where you have to read or re-read the first book to remember everything.  Both books are fast reads that are easy to get through as you rush to see what happens next, but because they are so short and in multiple POVs, it's harder to fully connect with the characters.  There's not enough character development to make truly care about anyone long after the book has ended.  At the same time, the POVs are strong in that each character has his/her own unique voice. While I always checked the top to see whose eyes I was looking through this time, I didn't really need to because each voice is distinct, unlike other books with multiple POVs that I can think of.  I was excited to see that Winter was returning to the new book because her character was a stand-out in the first.  I was also eager to see what actually happened to Nora and Micah and not just see what the TFC brainwashed everyone into believing.  Smibert definitely creates a hook to lead you into the third and final in the series, THE MEME PLAGUE.  If she expands her cast of narrators, I definitely hope that the book will be longer, because I like staying with the characters and seeing through their eyes.  The future in this series is certainly believable, and one we could actually find ourselves with if we continue allowing powerful companies and the government more control until they begin micromanaging our very lives.

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I like that both of these covers match so well!  The first book, MEMENTO NORA, has a very "comic book feel" to it, which is appropriate considering the fact that there's a comic book called Memento Nora lying within.

The new book, THE FORGETTING CURVE, has the same design theme, using the same way of profiling a model and putting them in the foreground, with a cityscape and body of water in the background.

I like the way the model is wearing huge, cool-boy sunglasses, yet a preppy collar shirt, which suits Aiden perfectly.

I also like the way the title is curved, mimic its very name, but also creating an extra point of interest (and also lending a comic book feel!).
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Angie Smibert
Release Date: Out May 01, 2012
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Received: Received for Review;


Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He believes everything is part of a greater system: the universe. The universe shows him the doors, and he keeps pulling until one cracks open. Aiden exposes the flaw, and the universe—or someone else—will fix it. It’s like a game.

Until it isn’t.

When a TFC opens in Bern, Switzerland, where Aiden is attending boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.

But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing.

Along with Winter’s friend, Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things... before someone else gets hurt.

And now, because Marshall Cavendish and The {Teen} Book Scene are awesome, you have a chance to win this exciting novel!  Runner-ups will receive autographed bookmark swag!