The Memory Jar

The Memory Jar - Elissa Janine Hoole

I enjoyed this quite a bit, although it was not an easy read.


That might be part of what made it so real.


This deals with a lot of things--teen pregnancy, parenting and what it means, relationships and what they mean and attempting to cross that divide between teenager and adult without completely screwing things up. Added on top of that, we have the main plot, or at least the main thread of the plot: short-term amnesia after an accident, and a girl trying to figure out what was going on in those crucial few minutes that she's lost. 


Taylor did not exactly get an easy life in a lot of ways, but she's attempting to deal with things in a way that felt quite realistic. It's messy and confusing and complicated, but so is life, and I appreciated the things happening to her and her behavior not being demonized or white-washed. She was a teenager, with dreams and perhaps not completely understanding everything, but trying to do so and make up her mind and figure out what she wants and needs to do about her own life. 


Scott's family was painted a little thinly (except for his brother), though it was not really their story, and her interactions with them are colored by her inability to really talk to them, given they have a son in the hospital and their priority is him. Dani, Taylor's best friend, is crazy supportive, and it's nice to see a solid female friendship, without any catfighting or gossiping about each other but without them having to share all of the same interests or any kind of "outcast" status. There's certainly nothing wrong with the latter, but it's nice to see something different for a change.


I was not expecting several of the revelations when they came, and with each twist in the tale it went to a new level of realistic soap opera. Yes, I genuinely believe things can be both, as I genuinely believe life can be both (because how can reality not be realistic?), and it is due to this that it is not an easy book to get through.


The writing was fine, the voice felt real, but reading it, as with many things, was a little too much like living it for me to be super comfortable with the idea of a re-read anytime in the near future. For those to whom this book feels like a mirror of their reality, it is probably a more comforting read, because in the end, despite the messiness of things, it is hopeful, and it's always nice to feel a voice of hope calling out of the darkness that life can be. 


This book was provided to me for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.