future memories (flash-forwards) of a mysterious funeral and London trying to take notes and investigate.
London falling in love with the super gorgeous new boy at school (falling again and again)
London and her best friend, Jamie. Jamie is making some relationship choices and London can foresee just how it will all end in tragedy. There’s tension in London and Jamie’s relationship ~ plus London trying to tinker and see if she can change the future in her memories.
There’s lots of school scenes, date scenes and home scenes with London and her mum (her parents are divorced ~ another half mystery London is unsure about).
Patrick writes well ~ her prose is smooth and tangle-free ~ no convoluted sentimental passages that bog the plot down. The prose makes it such an effortless and appealing reading experience. It’s succinct and rather pleasant. In fact, the entire book feels FRESH.
While there is a slight “mean girls” plot-line it doesn’t feel cliche. Likewise ~ the friend and family relationship dramas are handled with more subtlety than melodrama. The characters are immensely like-able (the secondary characters stay firmly in the background, as their 2D selves ~ just as well as there was enough going on with the main characters to care too much about the minor players).
As for the romance (which is being pushed as a huge selling point) ~ it’s fun and flirty and PG. Because London meets Luke for the first time day after day ~ there’s plenty of new revelations about how gorgeous and hot and incredibly awesome he is. While I didn’t personally swoon over him ~ he was like-able character (though at times a bit of an enigma) and the constant references to his hotness didn’t bother me (as other authors who attempt the same thing can often grate on my nerves) ~ I think because I liked London I mostly thought it was sweet watching her gush every day.
So the thing is:
I am always prepared to go along with an unlikely premise for the sake of a compelling story. I adore guilty pleasure reads and am such a sucker for YA romance. However, I was constantly unnerved while reading Forgotten by plot holes, inconsistencies and a lack of explanation of London’s condition. Things constantly niggled at my mind and pulled me out of the story again and again which really hindered me settling in. I did not feel like I was a part of the story alongside the characters (which is how my favourite books make me feel). I felt like I was watching it all unfold from a very detached distance while scratching my head.
In all fairness, it is a doozy of a premise, hugely ambitious and I’m guessing practicalities had to be ignored just for the sake of continuing on with the story. No one wants to get bogged down in the nitty gritty and science of it all but, for me, it still needs to be plausible and consistent.
It wasn’t just that premise did not make sense, but entire plot points would unravel if you give yourself a chance to think about them. Likewise, other plot points are unnecessary (such as all the elaborate note-taking and reading of said notes everyday) if London truly can see in the future (her future self could have read all the notes...) Character relationships seemed implausable and the logic of the whole thing was a little bit “what the?” No one (teachers, friends, doctors, people in general) even knew of her condition (apart from her mum and Jamie her friend) and no one seemed to notice London inconsistently fudging her way through school (and life).
As for the ending. OH MY GOSH. It wasn’t the flipped-out spinney twist I had heard about ~ it was a sudden tacked on drama. The ending was convoluted and rushed and felt more like a weird extended epilogue-style run-down of (unlikely) unexpected events. Until then, it was a contemp read with a twist and then it nearly changed genre altogether ~ but with no suspense or foreshadowing to prepare the reader (or build anticipation) for the shift. I do not think it was handled with finesse at all ~ it was as if I was suddenly reading a different book. There was barely any integration of the climax with the rest of the book. It almost felt as if Patrick was nearing the end ~ thought up a whole fantastic scenario and wrote a synopsis for it as the resolution.
Recommended: Despite all the things I loved about this book (there is a lot of things to love), ultimately I felt like I fudged my way through and contrary to all the hype I am pretty much disappointed (& a little perplexed at all the rave reviews). This book was not for me and yet I think teens will love it regardless.
I am very curious to see how other readers feel about this one (let me know if you have read it :)