The Unhappening of Genesis Lee
by Shallee McArthur
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: November 18th 2014
Rate: 4 out of 5 stars
Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.
Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.
The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.
Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I was quite surprised that I managed to finish this book as quickly as I did. (That’s what comes of somehow having two blog tours on the same day…) This was a book that, I felt, lived up to the expectations I had when I originally read the blurb.
The idea about memories being contained in links was quite an intriguing one. I was a bit confused about why there were some people who didn’t have those links, at least at first, but as the book went on, I found it easier to understand.
I found Genesis a character who was really easy to relate to. I was a bit unsure of her at first (I’ve had some bad luck with first-person characters), but I was very quickly pulled into her head.
I was particularly relieved to see that there wasn’t even a hint of a love triangle. Then again, it seemed like Genesis had enough on her hands when she was dealing with just Kalen. It probably would have been a lot harder on her if there had been two guys involved and all of the issues raised there.
I thought it was really interesting to see the differences between the two different factions. The idea of memories being so easy to steal is a particularly scary one. It would be awful to suddenly find you were missing even a day… let alone much longer.
One of the frightening things about this book (in my opinion) was how easy it was to control the population. Unfortunately, that’s a fairly realistic issue. People throughout history have hated others just because they’re slightly different in appearance or background… and it’s an attitude that’s prevalent now, too. There are certain things on television that, frankly, have made me ashamed of humanity.
Moving on… I particularly liked the romance in this book. It was believable and I found myself rooting for the characters.
The ending was slightly disappointing, but not enough to detract from my enjoyment of this book. It would definitely be interesting to read a sequel that dealt with the aftermath of the events at the end of this. I feel there’s a lot that could be explored further with this world and the characters.
“Equal parts dark and delightful, McArthur’s stunning debut takes an awesome SF premise and follows it deep into the maze of the human mind. I loved it so much I was jealous.” – Dan Wells, author of the NYT bestselling PARTIALS Sequence
“A thrilling read from beginning to end, this stunning debut had me wishing I could record my memories to keep them safe! Just like Gena, I was desperate to discover the thief while at the same time hoping the story would never end.” – Elana Johnson, author of the POSSESSION trilogy
Shallee McArthur originally wanted to be a scientist, until she discovered she liked her science best in fictional form. When she’s not writing young adult science fiction and fantasy, she’s attempting to raise her son and daughter as proper geeks. A little part of her heart is devoted to Africa after volunteering twice in Ghana. She has a degree in English from Brigham Young University and lives in Utah with her husband and two children.
She is represented by Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates. Her YA sci fi novel, THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE, debuts from Sky Pony Press Nov. 4, 2014.
And because people always ask, her name is pronounced “shuh-LEE.” But she answers to anything that sounds remotely close.
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