Forgotten by Cat Patrick
Published by Little Brown & Company on June 7th, 2011
Shelve It: Goodreads
Every night, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she ran “remember” are events from her future.
London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you’d easily forget, yet try as she might, London can’t find him in her memories of things to come.
When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it’s time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting – before it destroys her future.
Even though the whole concept behind Forgotten was sometimes hard for my brain to wrap itself around, which made it a little confusing, I really enjoyed Forgotten and it’s imaginative twist to an otherwise contemporary novel!
Easily the most intriguing aspect of Forgotten was it’s concept: a girl who “remembers” the future and forgets the past. While I truly appreciated what Patrick was going for, I sometimes felt like the idea wasn’t quite fleshed out. Even now, I can’t figure out why London wouldn’t have “remembered” Luke from her future; I don’t really understand the pivotal moment when that changed, or why, and so I often found myself wondering if it was meant as a plot device to keep up a certain level of suspense, or intrigue around their relationship. It also made their relationship border on insta-love, as London “met” Luke for the first time every day she woke up. I did appreciate being given a plausible explanation as to why she might be so attracted to someone who’s a complete stranger to her though:
I wonder whether my heart keeps time even when my head doesn’t. Maybe that’s why I feel so much for Luke right now, even though I technically just met him this morning in study hall.
Those minor grumbles aside, I got completely caught up in Forgotten and the strangeness of London’s ability. There was a sense of tragicness to her life, that I empathized with. How hard must it be know yourself and to build genuine relationships, when really, a pile of papers is all you have of your past?
I really enjoyed London as a narrator; she managed to keep a certain level of freedom about herself, most likely because she wasn’t bogged down by the minor details of her past that might haunt her or cause her stress. It often made her feel almost child-like, making me feel quite protective of her. It also helped me to forgive her selfishness, when she would pick and choose what pieces of her past to remember (by filtering what she left herself in her notes). While it could have been seen as manipulative, it felt more like naiveté; like London honestly thought everyone would be better off if she forgot certain things. I liked that she had Luke to keep her grounded, and that he was a super sweet and thoughtful boyfriend. While I found him, and their relationship, quite intense at times, I loved the two of them together. Luke had endless patience, repeating details about himself on a daily basis that London had forgotten to include in her notes, and they laughed constantly. It was really refreshing to have a YA romance where the two people were able to enjoy each other’s company versus having to fight everyone around them in an effort to prove that they belonged together.
With Forgotten’s focus seemingly on London’s daily struggles and her new relationship, the overarching plot took me by complete surprise! I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the events surrounding a mysterious funeral (and the subsequent details of who’s funeral London kept “remembering”) definitely wasn’t it. In order to avoid spoilers I can’t go in to details, but I’m still on the fence about whether or not I appreciated the turn the plot took. On the one hand, I found it absolutely fascinating and I was quite teary come the end, on the other it seemed so out of left field that I think I’m still in some sort of shock over it!
Surprising and imaginative, Forgotten is one of the more unique contemporaries I’ve had the pleasure to read. While there are some details that I think could use with some ironing out, overall, I really enjoyed the twists and turns Forgotten threw my way!