The Memory Thief

The Memory Thief

by Lauren Mansy


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In the realms of The Memory Thief, memories are currency that can be traded for goods, services, skills, and experiences. A group of people—the Gifted—can steal and redistribute memories. Etta is secretly one of them, but she hasn’t used her Gifted abilities since she left the rebel Shadows following her mother’s accident two years ago. But when her mother is again in danger, Etta has no choice but to return to the underground group in order to complete her greatest heist and save her mother’s life. Etta faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and above all, her own past as she uncovers a conspiracy that challenges everything she knew about herself and the world around her.

In a place where nothing is what it seems, can Etta ever become more than a memory thief?

“Readers, like Etta and her fellow citizens, will be challenged to contemplate the nature of truth … A welcome addition to the YA fantasy canon, The Memory Thief is a suspenseful page-turner, delightfully chock full of unexpected twists and turns.” – Shelf Awareness

The Memory Thief:

  • Is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Victoria Aveyard
  • Brings readers on an unforgettable journey during which Etta must learn—often the hard way—just what it will take to save her city and her mother
  • Is a clean, coming of age YA fantasy, with unexpected romance by up-and-coming author Lauren Mansy

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310767657
Publisher: Blink
Publication date: 10/01/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 41,385
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Lauren Mansy grew up in the Chicago area, where she spent years working with youth of all ages, from young children to high schoolers. When she's not writing, Lauren loves to travel, spend time with her family, and explore the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren's own journey with her mother, is her first novel. You can visit her online at

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Stream Title 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous 10 days ago
While this was a book that offered an example of great strength in the face of adversity in the name of family, I found the story to be lackluster and long. The descriptions I craved weren't there and the system was a little confusing (thank you for the glossary, as it saved me from going crazy). I'm sure some of my problem with this book was my own lack of concentration while reading this story, but it just wasn't able to capture my attention in that classic way of "I need to get back to that book!" It did offer a message of hope in that though you're facing something monumental at this moment, it's possible to overcome it and be successful on the other end. That was a great message throughout the book.
FictionallySam 24 days ago
Riveting. That is probably the best way to describe this book. I was honestly riveted the entire time. I've been in a audiobook kick lately, and started this via that format--which I am so happy I did because, wow 10/10 would recommend--but as I was nearing the end, my phone died and I NEEDED to know what happens next, so I stayed late at work so I could use my work computer and finish reading the ARC copy I was so graciously given. If that doesn't speak on how much I enjoyed this book, I don't know what else will. I fell in love with our main character Etta, her journey throughout her youth is one that hooked me and one that I instantly connected with. The author also does an impeccable job with her almost lyrical writing style and brilliantly done descriptions, where I almost felt like I was right in the thick of things along side our wayward group of rebels. What I didn't like, and this the only reason I couldn't give it 5 stars, is how easily things kind of came together in the end. Like it was too easy that I knew a plot twist was going to happen, and then after the plot twist it became easy again. For whatever reason, that unnerved me and left me desiring more. But if you don't mind a little easy struggle towards the end, I HIGHLY recommend you grabbing a copy of this debut novel. Enchanting and spellbinding, The Memory Thief will have you on your seat wanting more.
inkstainsanddust 3 months ago
The Memory Thief By Lauren Mansy 4/5 Etta lives in Craewick, a place that values memory above all things. Traded, stolen, and sold, memories form the basis for the economy with dire consequences. Too few and you’ll lose your mind, too many and you’ll break just the same. Etta has a rare talent of unreadability—no one can steal her memories, but she is gifted enough to steal theirs, making her the perfect thief. When the leader of Craewick, Madame, threatens to auction off Etta’s sick mother’s memories and toss her out of the asylum where she has laid comatose for four years, Etta must return to those she has betrayed and hope they will help her save her mother from certain death. This book was a very good and fast read! It has the grittiness of post apocalyptic ya without the urban fantasy elements placing it within a post modern America-a common trend. I enjoyed it immensely because it was quick and fast paced but had a lot of quality character development and an interesting plot. However, I found certain scenes almost too fast—major scenes (particularly at the end) seemed rushed and the overall effect was confusion, which could be useful in some respect it it felt more like it was deliberate and not more a sign of laziness on the part of the writing. Overall, it has everything you could want from a YA standalone novel, but it just doesn’t execute it quite right. Still, a very enjoyable read especially for someone with a short attention span—did I mention it’s a quick read?!?
inkstainsanddust 3 months ago
The Memory Thief By Lauren Mansy 4/5 Etta lives in Craewick, a place that values memory above all things. Traded, stolen, and sold, memories form the basis for the economy with dire consequences. Too few and you’ll lose your mind, too many and you’ll break just the same. Etta has a rare talent of unreadability—no one can steal her memories, but she is gifted enough to steal theirs, making her the perfect thief. When the leader of Craewick, Madame, threatens to auction off Etta’s sick mother’s memories and toss her out of the asylum where she has laid comatose for four years, Etta must return to those she has betrayed and hope they will help her save her mother from certain death. This book was a very good and fast read! It has the grittiness of post apocalyptic ya without the urban fantasy elements placing it within a post modern America-a common trend. I enjoyed it immensely because it was quick and fast paced but had a lot of quality character development and an interesting plot. However, I found certain scenes almost too fast—major scenes (particularly at the end) seemed rushed and the overall effect was confusion, which could be useful in some respect it it felt more like it was deliberate and not more a sign of laziness on the part of the writing. Overall, it has everything you could want from a YA standalone novel, but it just doesn’t execute it quite right. Still, a very enjoyable read especially for someone with a short attention span—did I mention it’s a quick read?!?
Anonymous 3 months ago
Etta is a former Memory Thief hiding in plain sight as an ungifted to try and protect her mother and escape her past. When she is double crossed by the corrupt ruler Madame she is forced to return to the Shadows she betrayed to try and save her family and possibly so much more... The author had some great and unique ideas in this story and even threw a few greats twist and shockers at me. I love the idea of the memory trade and how it can be used for good or bad. I really think this book could have been taken from Ok, to good or really good by being broken out into more books or even just a duology. There was so much action packed into this one book that it made scenes and relationships feel rushed. There were several points where the book could have paused nicely (or left a cliff hanger) and went into a second book. I was also really enjoying the characters and world, as well as the unique settings that were trekked through. Again I just wish more time had been taken to build out the characters and places, it left me with less attachment to the main characters than I would typically have. There was also some great opportunity for side characters that just got a little lost in the hustle. Overall the story was still worth the read, the story was action packed and never slowed down. I finished the book in about 2 days...and let’s not forget to mention the absolutely gorgeous cover! I would recommend to someone who enjoys YA Fantasy and prefers a quick standalone to a long detailed series. Thank you to Blink YA books and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
alyzzp 4 months ago
3.5-3.75 Stars Just like licorice jelly beans and cheating on your significant other and doing drugs, this is a book you enjoy while reading but immediately leaves a bad aftertaste upon finishing. It’s bones without the meat and fake friends who stab you in the back - a book with enough finesse to carry the story but not enough to make it a satisfying one. The synopsis did too well, in my opinion, falsely creating a story full of twists and dark magic and antiheroes and antiheroines, while in reality the story is quite linear with maybe one unpredictable twist and a heroine that, despite the fact that she might have had a dirty conscience a few years ago, now makes decisions as pure as milk. Even the maze, the big mystery we are made aware of, takes up only 2% of the whole story and didn’t feel nearly as fleshed out as it could have been. In regards to the storyline, at times, certain happenings in The Memory Thief felt cheesy and almost comical. In my experience with literature, this usually happens when the author is not quite bold enough to take risks in their story, so they rely on overused cliches and plot lines. The final battle, for example - it’s literally a battle. Like with people lining up in groups to fight and everything. Um, that’s nice, I guess, but today’s readers will find that outdated. Not all about this book was bad, though - I quite liked the magic system. I’m pretty sure the concept of stealing memories has been used before, but certainly not in this fashion. The auctions, the asylum, the Minders, and the Shadows were done fantastically and the world feels very vivid. I wish that the author has cared to explain more about certain things, like the forest rebels, but overall I’m pleased considering this is a standalone fantasy. The twists were also executed very well. I’m not sure how much I can say without spoilers, but one scene in the book almost made me tear up, and I feel a lot of sympathy for Etta, the main character, however, um, annoyingly good of a soul she has. Her character arc was one of the better ones I’ve seen. If the author decides to write more books in this universe, I hope it will be with a new set of characters. Etta, Reid, and the others’ storyline wrapped up very nicely. All in all, the reader may be impressed by the exquisite world building that was given to us carefully in bite-sized pieces through show rather than tell, and the creative backstory that raises more questions than it answers, but that cannot make up for the lack of exploration and creativity The Memory Thief gave to the plot. It was good in some ways and bad in others, and did not make too lasting of an impression on me, hence the three stars. Yet, I am starving for more in this world - maybe a prequel with Cal and Joss and Penn, hmm? Oh well, at least there’s dark magic. eARC provided by the publisher.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I just finished THE MEMORY THIEF by Lauren Mansy and want to share my review of the book… I loved the story, wow! I’m not sure what genre you called this, but the story was well thought out, well written, well told. The characters came to life for me! There was suspense, and, I believe, the appropriate combination of battle scenes and romantic excitement between the main characters to keep the interest of both boy and girl readers. The Realms (territories) were well described and vivid; the villain was captivating. I look forward to a second book, if that’s the plan. Well done to this debut author!
JayLechon 4 months ago
The Memory Thief is a standalone fantasy novel that revolves around a society based on memory transfer, where Gifted individuals have the ability to steal memories by touch or by sight. The titular memory thief is the Gifted Etta Lark, who has a tumultuous past filled with guilt and a determination to wake her mother from her coma. Her mother rests in the city asylum, kept as a bargaining chip by the power-crazed ruler of the city, Madame. When Madame plots to kill her mother, Etta must warn back the trust of old allies, the rebel group the Shadows, to help save her. The highlight of this book was definitely the plot twists that just kept hitting me, over and over. Whenever I thought I had everything figured out or all the characters had nothing left to hide, the author hit me with something else. It was such good fun seeing how everything came together, and to be constantly on my toes was a great feeling. I would expect this kind of twisty plotting from a several-book series, so the fact that it was incorporated into a standalone without feeling ridiculous was impressive. The idea of a society revolving around memories is interesting; using memories not only as a supernatural ability but also as currency and a means of political sabotage fleshed out the world and I really felt like the author thought a lot about the real-life consequences of such an incredible power. It was done in an original way and there was a lot of world-building packed into a small space. There were a few downsides to this: the constant revolving door of memory removal and transfer led to flashback after flashback after flashback, which often felt sudden or shoehorned in. They're important parts of the novel, but the continuous delving into the past when the adventure is in the present was frustrating. With the society so centered on memory-based power, there were also a million titles relating to various positions and powers that gifted people could have, often with only slight variation. In a relatively short standalone novel, this kind of extravagant naming system felt cluttered and confusing. Sometimes the language was a little underdeveloped or simple; it felt in places that I was reading a middle grade book or a children's chapter book rather than a YA book for teenagers. Madame, the villain, is relatively one-dimensional, as is Etta's love interest. On the other hand, Etta herself was so layered and a great narrator, and an ally of hers plays a touching, paternal role that felt so real and moving. The author does seem to have the skill to create complex characters, but just didn't apply them to half of the important characters. I look forward to what else the author has in store in the future, when perhaps she is able to more effectively combine her great ideas with a writing style that has evolved and developed beyond her debut. Much thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a digital ARC of this book.
LetRachelRead 4 months ago
Better late than never I always say. Mainly because I’m frequently late and need to feel better about it. Moving on! The Memory Thief! What a read! I started this back in May when I first got my hands on the ARC but took a break to get my bookstagram started & and a few other ARCs read. Finally finishing it a few days ago I rated it then tried to find time to write this review. I was provided an ARC of The Memory Thief by Blink publishing by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. On I gave The Memory Thief by Laura Mansy 4 out of 5 stars but personally I rate it closer to a 3.5 or 3.75 or 3.80? Why would I rate it lower? Why would I dock this book that I almost finished in three days (then took nine weeks off from reading) half a star? One and a half if you remember the scale is five stars. The Memory Thief gave me just about everything it promised me. It was well written and I enjoyed the author’s writing style. My favorite part of the book was THE CHARACTERS which if we’re honest, that’s why people are reading a book. To experience a character’s journey, struggles, pain, happiness, and eventual resolution. I don’t waste time with summaries and always strive to avoid spoilers, so here’s what I can tell you about this story: it’s worth reading just to know Etta Lark. It may be a lot to lay at a character’s feet but I assure you Etta could have carried this story through three whole books. I NEVER want additional books. I prefer standalone books every single time I try to find a new read. Getting caught up in a story that took eight books to wrap up when it could’ve been finished in one or two is my version of torture and makes me mad because I feel like I’m having my money taken for no good reason. I can assure you that the biggest sin of the Memory Thief is that it is too short. The story is rushed through the last 25% of the book making for an ending I had to reread twice just to make sure I’d read it correctly. There is nothing more satisfactory than a tidy ending like The Memory Thief has but I took away a whole star and possibly another half star because I was rushed into a sloppily written ending. It gave me what I needed for the story but it stole the emotional and mental impact I expected and wanted after such a beautiful set up. I still recommend The Memory Thief to any and everyone who loves adventure, overcoming the odds & remembering that you are enough to stand up against those doing wrong. I loved Etta and I’ll always love her story even if it’s not a five star mega bestseller on my book list. ~LetRachelRead
Morgan_S 4 months ago
3.5 stars. I actually really liked this, but I think there was a bit more polishing that could have been done. Overall though, I think it's a great debut novel. I love the powerful messages about family, forgiving yourself, and hope for a better future no matter what has happened in the past. The things I wish we had more of have to do with Etta's past. Etta's past is a huge part of her, yet we only see bits and pieces of her memories of her friends Cade, Joss, and Penn. As much as Etta thinks about them and feels guilty, you'd think we would have a better grasp on what happened to them. It is revealed in such little pieces over a long period of time, that it doesn't really form a whole picture by the end. The Hunters and Ghosts weren't explained enough for me to really care about them, although I think there could have been more to the story there. By the time I got to the end of the book, I found out there was a glossary, but I wish I had known that going into it, since it would have been helpful. I also wish there was a list of characters, since there were a lot of names to keep track of. I liked the delineation of the Realms, and wish we had more details and background on that. I easily could have seen this story as a duology, with all the world-building that was present and the fact that more could have been added. I really liked Etta as a character, and although her intense guilt felt choking at times, it was great to see her work through that with the help of others. Reid, Ryder, and Porter were my other favorite characters, and I enjoyed the romance that was also fraught with tension and guilt and betrayal. The cover of this book is also gorgeous. I will definitely be reading whatever Lauren Mansy writes in the future!
Anonymous 5 months ago
A fantastic read!
sspea 5 months ago
A world where memories can be sold as currency, and stolen just as easily. Etta Lark made sacrifices to get her mother into an asylum where the city's cruel ruler "Madame" promised her safety. Going back on her word, Madame has now decided to sell Etta's mother at auction, selling all her memories to the highest bidder- a painful death. To save her mother Etta must join forces with those she betrayed. The memory thief had a great premise that I have never seen in a book before. Often times so many themes and plots are regurgitated over and over again, that it is so fresh and exciting to get a new idea. I liked how incredibly flawed the characters were without being sappy. There was one part in particular I thought for sure I knew what would happen... and the author went in a completely different direction, which I really liked. This book kept me on my toes.
Anonymous 5 months ago
**Thank you to Blink, Lauren Mansy, and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review** Etta lives in Craewick, one of four territories where memories are the currency used, and the method of keeping people in line. Some individuals are Gifted, meaning they have the ability to take and share memories with others just by touching them. Ungifted folks are not able to do this. Within the Gifted population, there are variations and differing strengths of the gift, which is used as a status symbol. Sifters are the most powerful of the Gifted, they are able to take memories without needing to touch the person. Powerful Sifters rule each territory, but none are worse than the ruler of Craewick. Madame using her gift for torture, so a secret group called the Shadows work to oppose her. Etta was a Shadow, before she sold out the leader in order to save her mother from certain death. When Madame decides to break their bargain and begin the process of killing Etta's mother, Etta must decide how far she is willing to go to save her mother, and the people of Craewick. I loved this new take on powers. I think these days it's hard to write about a "superpower" that hasn't been used already, but memories is a new one for me and I LOVE The Memory Thief for that. Lauren Mansy did an excellent job building a world that is fueled by people's memories, the good and the bad. The main character has a difficult go of life and is thrown into many tough spots. She has struggled so much. I loved the plot twists and I did not see them coming, which is always super fun. The love story was not a true enemies to lovers, and frankly the love interest did not end up being the person I expected it to be. The writing style was great because it felt like you were getting enough information from the story, that you didn't even realize certain aspects and facts were being withheld to be revealed later in the book. I only wish that the story could have been longer, or at least a duology. I feel like this would have been well suited to being a two book series. Also, the ending sequences were a touch confusing and unclear with what was happening, so I feel like the writing could have been better at the end. Overall, I truly enjoyed this new story and would suggest it for fans of the Everless duology.
Nickie-T 5 months ago
Etta Lark is willing to do whatever it takes to save her bedridden mother from the auctions, where memories are sold to the highest bidder. Having hidden herself from the Shadows after betraying them, she finds herself in need of their help. Their help comes with a cost, though. Now, Etta finds herself on a journey full of danger, one that could end with her death. The premise and beginning of the story had me hooked. I felt it was a pretty original concept, the idea that there are gifted people who are able to share/take memories through touch. While there are also, a select few gifted who are able to share/take memories through sight. The concept needed a lot more development, though, as it got to be confusing when adding in the variations of the gifts. Mansy had an original and exciting concept, but failed to explore and expand on it. The first half of the story was fairly solid. We got a lot of action and a good introduction into the background of Etta and the setting. After reaching the half-way point, the story began to progress at too fast of a pace. It felt like the author had ideas of where the story would lead, but it ended up feeling forced and awkward. It went from point A to B, and at times I felt confused and as though I had missed a page. The second half is full of "revelations" and insta-love, that left me bewildered. I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Isabelle Wagner 5 months ago
The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy had me hooked right from the start. The concept of exchanging memories, and all the pros and cons that come with that, is a (to me) completely new premise that made for an exciting adventure for Etta and her companions. Etta is a strong female character that shows the readers that anybody can be a hero, even if there are dark and horrible things in your past. She's had to make extremely difficult decisions regarding her family and friends, had to learn to live with the consequences of those decisions, but also realized the incredible things that can be accomplished by putting your trust in unlikely and unexpected people. While I enjoyed the straightforward writing style for most of the book, I would've liked more descriptions of this world that we know nothing about. I also found both the meeting with a certain ruler and the final "battle" somewhat anticlimactic and simplified. I think this was a great debut novel overall though and Mansy shows a lot of potential for great books in the future.
HollyLovesBooks4Us 5 months ago
Gorgeous cover and great premise but... This was a middle of the road YA fantasy novel in a crowded field of stand out works. The plot and characters started out intriguing but did not stand up as the book progressed and fell flat. It seemed almost as though maybe a bit more editing would have helped to clean up the story line, and keep it cohesive throughout. Overall, I'm interested in what else this author puts out but not certain if there was enough character and world building in this novel to seek a sequel read. So, just an okay read. This isn't my go-to genre though so people drawn into fantasy YA might totally love this. And I may give it a try again later. Sometimes its timing with books like this. #TheMemoryThief #NetGalley #Blink
a_library_on_elm_street 5 months ago
I just reviewed The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy. #TheMemoryThief #NetGalley I absolutely loved this book. The characters are so great. I totally had a dream about something so similar to this plot a couple years ago. It was great seeing it as a book. I received this book free as a digital ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
Elle_Gutierrez 5 months ago
First of all, I think the premise of this book is very interesting. The use of memories as currency and weapons was very intriguing. There were parts I genuinely enjoyed of the book, but for a lot of it I just couldn't get super into it. The ending definitely felt very messy. Things were happening, but it felt like they were happening just for the sake of wrapping everything up. Characters, world building, and action were all okay, but I just wanted more development. The writing was enjoyable, and overall I thought it was a decent read. I just think aspects needed to be more fleshed out, whether that be with a sequel or perhaps a slightly longer book. By all means, give this book a try because it was an interesting premise.
Jypsylynn 5 months ago
Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy. All opinions expressed are my own. The Memory Thief By: Lauren Mansy *REVIEW* I expected to like The Memory Thief much more than I actually did. The premise is unique. Imagine buying and selling memories! Do you have memories you would gladly sell? In the world of the story, some characters are Gifted, essentially meaning they can touch(or, rarely, look at) someone and steal their memories. The heroine, Etta, is Gifted but hiding this fact, from all but a few, for the sake of her mother's life. Now, with her mother in danger once again, Etta must make a perilous journey to retrieve something. Her Gifted abilities will be needed on this journey. It's an intriguing storyline that didn't deliver. There are moments of interest with action and drama, but there are also too long stretches of boring material. The story as a whole did not maintain it's magical little something to make me want to keep reading. I forced myself through half of it because I'm not a quitter. The ending was anticlimatic, and overall, it's mediocre at best. I think this story will be best for a young adult audience interested in fantasy fiction and magic. It's got the goods for those readers but not for me.
Anonymous 5 months ago
This was a quick read and kept me entertained throughout the story. However, I could not help but feel like it was a lot like Everless by Sara Holland. In The Memory Thief, memories are currency. In Everless, time (blood) is currency. I felt like I was reading almost the same base story with events and character names changed. Perhaps this book would have been better for someone who is not familiar with Everless or other stories of that nature. It was nothing to really write home about. That does not mean that it was not a good book! I enjoyed the world building, but the characters needed to be fleshed out more as they had such potential. There was also quite a bit of jumping back and forth between the past and present. That did not bother me. In fact, I like when that happens in books. It really helped with the whole memories being worth so much theme. In Etta’s adventure, she is eventually paired up with a young man her own age. While it was not instant love, when you really stop and think about it, they did fall in “love” in a matter of two to three days. I just was not buying it. Also, things just worked out unrealistically well for Etta. She’s afraid of this big bad enemy only to find out that the person is actually a softy who has changed their ways and has remorse for what they have done. It just...did not do anything for me. At the end, there is sacrifices to be made to beat the big bad enemy, but the costs to the characters can be seen a mile away. Did I enjoy this book? Yes! It just was not my favorite of the year. Eventually there will be something unique, fresh and new in the YA book world. I just know it! Give this book a try if you like: +Adventure +Ability to share/steal memories +Conquering the bad guy +People being able to turn their life around +Learning how to forgive +Learning how to move on and be strong after a great loss +Strong friendships
Anonymous 5 months ago
Genre: YA Fantasy My rating: 5 stars Language: Clean! Age Range: 13+ Content: Very mild action scenes/death scenes. A few kisses. Favorite Character: Etta + Reid Favorite quote: "Sunsets are ten times prettier after a storm. They're proof that good can come out of something really bad." - Penn Conclusion: This book has been amazing! It was interesting twist that you can give and take away someone's memory. The story was fascinating and I love how it talks about forgiveness and how good can come from evil. I highly recommend this book! *I received an ARC from Netgalley for my honest review. These opinions are my own.*
Yolanda Margolin 5 months ago
Thank you to Blink and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this eARC. The premise of this story is really interesting. Memories are used as currency and the world created around this idea is fascinating. Taking memories sounds a bit scary to me, just because I wonder how someone would stay themself with other memories in their head. Also it feels like cheating. If you want to learn a skill, steal a memory and now you are an expert in it. It shows how the Gifted has the upper hand in this world. Etta Lark is hiding from her past. Her best friends are dead and her mother is in an asylum. Etta made a deal with Madame, the ruler of Craewick, that would help her hide from the Shadows, a group she betrayed to help save her mother. But Madame changes the rules on her and Etta has to go back to the people she hurt to help her mom again. This was a fast read. I devoured all the information about the Gift, Ungifted, and Minders. The world of the Shadows is really intriguing and probably my favorite part of the book. Some of the story is told through memories, since Etta has taken a few. There is insta-love but I think it works because it is a standalone book. Etta and her love interest do get to know each other on their quest. I’m so used to reading trilogies with love stories drawn out that seeing insta-love in a book that isn’t purely a romance novel is sometimes hard to get used to. It works in this story but I wasn’t that invested in the romance though. When Etta and Reid get to the end of their journey, Etta’s past is revealed in a twist and it seemed so convenient. Etta accepts this reveal so easily. From there on, the story wraps up and everything works out in the end. Which is great, but my interest was dwindling by then. The time span of this story happens in one week, so the ending felt rushed. Overall, this was an interesting book, with a potential to be amazing because I really enjoyed the underworld of the Shadows. Everything else though fell flat for me.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Imagine a world where everything you love and hold dear can be ripped away from you in an instant, without any warning or recourse. We are what we remember, and in The Memory Thief, the "Gifted" can steal part or all of who you are with only a touch. The "Ungifted", those without this powerful ability, live at the mercy of the "Gifted", and society has divided itself according to this unsettling divide of psychological power. Etta lives in this world, and has just learned that her own mother's memories may soon be ripped out and auctioned off to the highest bidder. To prevent this from happening, Etta must do the unthinkable: she must return to the shady social group that helped land her mother in the asylum years ago, and use her own memory to win freedom for her dear mother. The concepts and themes within The Memory Thief are thought-provoking and interesting. Memory isn't a concept that's played around with centrally in many stories, so I enjoyed this change of pace. As the book moves along, a romance develops, however I feel like the book would have been stronger without it, focusing instead on the camaraderie that a shared mission and purpose brings. Etta combats an unjust and unfair society as it attacks her emotional core, and for most of the book that goal is very compelling. I feel like the ending could have been stronger, but Etta's journey comes to a close well enough in the end. If you're looking for an overall great story and don't mind that it gets a touch trope-y and peters out a bit at the end, I think you'll really enjoy reading (and remembering) The Memory Thief.
marongm8 5 months ago
This book was received as an ARC from Blink in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I did not know what to expect when I started reading this book, but I must say I was surprised and blown away in the best way possible. The story with Etta and her mother being in the insane asylum was a plot twist that was unexpected with these types of fantasy novels. This book reminded me a lot of the Red Queen series and the morbid twisted take on a fantasy adventure. I know a lot of our young adult readers will be very fascinated with this book because it was different from beginning to end and with all the twists and turns loaded throughout this book, they will not want to stop reading. We will consider adding this title to our YFantasy collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
tpolen 5 months ago
The fascinating idea of memories being currency, the beautiful cover, and a MC in a perilous situation are what drew me to this book. While intricate and interesting, the world-building confused me for the most part. With a lot of moving pieces, sparse details are given about the different realms and types of Gifted. At the end of the book was a glossary containing descriptions and explanations that would have helped while reading. I wish it had been at the beginning of the novel instead. Several twists are revealed at the end of some chapters, and the author did an admirable job at making me read just a little longer in one sitting to see what happened next. That being said, things seem to fall into place a little too conveniently, which dampened the conflict and intensity for me. The journey Etta and Reid undertake lasts a good portion of the book, and I assumed this would be the first in a series; however, the pace kicks into overdrive in the last 20% and wraps up the story in a neat bow. The Memory Thief isn't a bad read by any means, and several other reviewers have enjoyed it, but the ambiguous world-building and uneven pacing left me scratching my head several times. Putting the glossary at the beginning of the book would help alleviate much of the confusion. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. (