Imagine if you wake up every morning with no memory of the previous day’s events. Imagine if you could “remember” events from the future and know aspects of what’s going to happen to the people you know.
That’s the central premise to the lead character of Cat Patrick’s debut novel, “Forgotten”.
London Lane is a teenager on the verge of womanhood. She has a mother who loves her and a best friend who’s a big flirt with the boys. She also has a problem with her memory which resets every morning at 4:33 am and she forgets everything that she’s experienced the previous day, except through the use of notes that act as a cue to remind her.
When a chance meeting with Luke Henry, the new boy at her school, leads her to start a friendship with him, it sets into motion events that looks to shape not only her future, but also re-examine her past.
There’s been quite a bit of good press about this book and after reading it, I can see why. It combines aspects of psychological drama that is reminiscent of Christopher Nolan’s “Momento”, along with the thriller, science fantasy (time travel), family dramas and romance.
Patrick’s lead character in London Lane could, at first glance, be the stereotypical lead for a teen drama – she’s good looking, she lives alone with her mother, her best friend has the boys eating out of the palm of her hand whilst London isn’t what could be considered as popular, mainly due to her condition.
But, the character’s condition is what makes her an interesting character. As she is unable to remember the past and has an insight into people’s futures, she has to straddle the line of behaving normally when it comes to previous events whilst having to restrain herself from telling people what is going to happen to them. This lack of memory makes London behave with gut instinct as all she has are the notes that she’s written before her memory resets which leads to a proactive, rather than reactive, character as the novel progresses.
That’s not to say that it’s all doom and gloom with the character as there is some gentle comedy mined with how London’s mind ticks, such as in her first official date with the romantic interest, Luke, and it’s aftermath.
Her memory, along with her relationship with Luke, are the key components to the novel. There are additional plot strands which are key as the novel progresses, some of which bob in and out from the background at various points whilst others run parallel to the main core storylines.
The writing by Patrick flows from chapter to chapter of varying, but easily manageable to maintain interest, size and the logic of the novel’s central premise is maintained throughout without apparent plot holes.
Whilst some people may wish for a sequel from the novel, I loved the fact that all the loose ends aren’t tidied up and allows for the reader to invest some imagination into “what happened next”.
I may not be in the book’s anticipated target audience of the young adult, but it kept my interest throughout and nicely fed my geek gene. I will be eagerly looking forward to Cat Patrick’s next novel, Revived.
Further information about Cat Patrick and her books can be found at www.catpatrick.com