The Forgetting by Nicole Maggi
Publisher: SourceBooks Fire
Source: eARC from NetGalley and Paperback (purchased)
Goodreads link: (click here)
What's it about?
When Georgie Kendrick wakes up in the hospital after a sudden illness, she discovers that she's just had a heart transplant. She almost died, but it wasn't her time, it was someone elses. The heart that now beats in her chest is not her own, but it saved her life. As much as she's thankful for a second chance, she feels as if there's something a bit "off" about her new heart. It feels like it's not quite in tune with the rest of her body. In between the beats, there's in indescribable wrongness that she calls The Catch. She knows it's normal to feel out of synch after a transplant, but she's sure there's something different about what she's experiencing. Her heart is literally messing with her mind. She's suddenly forgetting things about her own life and gaining other new, frightening memories. She's getting glimpses of a tough life on the streets but she's never known anything but privilage. She's losing precious memories at a terrifying rate, but as she gets the memories of her donor, she's beginning to wonder if there's a reason for it all. Everyone thinks that her donor committed suicide, but as the memories pile up, Georgie is getting a totally different story. Georgie is determined to discover what really happened to her and to find out what really happened to this Jane Doe before she forgets the things that make her Georgie. She's forgetting her family and her friends, and she even forgot about her deadly strawberry allergy and was convinced that strawberries were her favorite food. That could have killed her, but forgetting how to play music would surely destroy her. Georgie is facing the loss of her future at Juilliard and the loss of her self, so she takes on the task of finding the truth.
When she follows the clues, she's lead to the worst part of town and discovers that her donor was a "lost girl" who fell out of the foster care system and landed in a life of human trafficking. She was involved with some shady people, but she was good person with a good heart, and that heart is leading Georgie right to Nate, the boy who once loved it. Nate is a volunteer at a safe house and he was in love with the donor, who called herself "Annabel Lee". As Georgie and Nate unravel the mystery, they begin to fall for each other. Unfortunately, Georgie isn't sure where she ends and Anabel begins so how can she know if these feelings are really her own? Romance may be the least of her worries as she dives deeper into a dangerous world of corruption. No matter what happens, Georgie will never be the same person and if she doesn't solve this mystery soon, one way or another, she'll lose herself completely.
The Forgetting is a great mystery that was a lot darker and more serious than I expected it to be. It's an interesting concept and I loved the nods to Edgar Allen Poe (Annabel Lee with a touch of The Tell Tale Heart).
Yeah, this was a pretty dark story that dealt with very heavy issues such as the failure of the foster care system and how young people are often exploited because they have no other choices. This book is an eye opener, for sure. Because of the subject matter, I would recommend this to older or more mature teens (and adults - like me).
Even though it tackled such difficult subjects, there was enough to keep it entertaining. The characters were realistic and likable, and they all learned and changed throughout the book. In the beginning of the story, Georgie was sheltered by her loving family in her nice house. She only cared about playing her oboe, getting into Juilliard and hanging out with her friends. As the story progressed and she saw how other people lived, she began to rethink her priorities. Practically under her nose there were people so much worse off than her, and she came to truly care about that. She also learned that she could still be herself, yet do something meaningful with her life. Georgie also learned how precious life is when she nearly lost hers. Nate was a wonderful character, too. he was caring and kind and really was making a difference in the world. He opened Georgie's mind and heart in ways that she never would have been able to do on her own.
The mystery was complex and kept me guessing at what was going to happen next. I'm usually pretty good at figuring things out in books, but I was totally surprised and confounded all the way to the end. There was so much going on and there were so many levels to the mystery that it a was more than just a straight forward whodunit.
I also really liked the romance in The Forgetting. It was definitely an unusual "love triangle"...Nate, Georgie and the heart of Annabel Lee...
Oh, and last but not least, I have to mention the reason I was drawn to this book in the first place...
I have a deadly strawberry allergy. Almost eating strawberries is even more scary to me than having a possessed heart! Oooh, it gave me chills when I read in the synopsis that the heart made her think she loved those evil, evil fruits! And yes, the strawberries showed up more than once and I think my heart almost stopped when they did!