Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own.
About the book-
On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows, covered in ash, and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a NYC detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? The Memory of Things tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain—it tells a story of hope.
I don't think I have ever come across a book set in New York during the events of 9/11 that was from a teenager's perspective. I thought the premise sounded like something I would be into and I was right considering I read this novel in one sitting. There is something about tragedy that draws us in. Maybe it is to try to understand what happened when there is really no explanation or just to remember the victims of the tragedy by always remembering what happened. Either way, The Memory of Things starts during the crash of the first plane and takes us through the next few days in the life of 17 year old Kyle Donohue, who's father is an NYPD police officer, who's mother and sister were supposed to be on a plane back to NYC that day, and who comes across a girl covered in soot from head to toe wearing a pair of fairy wings who can't even remember her own name. Kyle has a lot of emotions to work through and a lot to deal with in the next few days. I thought it seemed like a very accurate portrayal of how a boy that age might feel and react to such a huge tragedy. Trying to figure out who the girl might be was an interesting sub-plot and helped this story turn into a coming of age type thing instead of just a drama rooted in a real life tragedy. Kyle's interactions with his uncle Matt are some of my favorite parts of the book. I recommend The Memory of Things to anyone who enjoys the young adult genre and doesn't get offended easily by brash language.
The Memory of Things will be available September 6. You can pre-order your copy on Amazon.com.