The Hidden Memory of Objects

The Hidden Memory of Objects

 
3.0 (3)
 
0.0 (0)
1132   0
Write Review
The Hidden Memory of Objects
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
March 21, 2017
ISBN
978-0062445889
Buy This Book
      
The Hidden Memory of Objects is a highly original and beautifully written debut mystery novel with a speculative element, perfect for readers who loved Gayle Forman’s If I Stay.

Megan Brown’s brother, Tyler, is dead, but the cops are killing him all over again. They say he died of a drug overdose, potentially suicide—something Megan cannot accept. Determined to figure out what happened in the months before Tyler’s death, Megan turns to the things he left behind. After all, she understands the stories objects can tell—at fifteen, she is a gifted collage artist with a flair for creating found-object pieces. However, Megan now realizes that her artistic talent has developed into something more: she can see memories attached to some of Tyler’s belongings—and those memories reveal a brother she never knew.

Enlisting the help of an artifact detective who shares her ability and specializes in murderabilia—objects tainted by violence or the deaths of their owners—Megan finds herself drawn into a world of painful personal and national memories. Along with a trusted classmate and her brother's charming friend, she chases down the troubling truth about Tyler across Washington, DC, while reclaiming her own stifled identity with a vengeance.

Editor reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.7  (3)
Characters 
 
2.7  (3)
Writing Style 
 
2.7  (3)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

for teens who want an especially smart read

What I Loved:
If you want something like The Da Vinci Code with fewer conspiracy theories and gaping holes, this book is for you. Though it’s a contemporary YA novel, its plot spreads its roots deep in American history–specifically, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Before his death, Megan’s brother Tyler got obsessed with John Wilkes Booth and the assassination, seeing it as something of an inspiration because it seems Booth genuinely believed he was doing the right thing. What readers learn about the assassination from this book only barely goes beyond what we learn in history books, but it brings the night Lincoln was murdered to life.

Megan’s grief for her brother runs so deep in her that when she touches things that once belonged to Tyler–later any objects with an emotionally charged history–she can see the memories attached to it. For instance, she touches some small silver balls she found in Tyler’s room and sees when he stole those balls while in a senator’s office. Other charged items specifically related to Lincoln’s assassination dance in and out of the story, like the gun Booth shot Lincoln with and a scrap of the bloody dress of Clara Harris, a woman in the box with the Lincolns that night.

What Left Me Wanting:
No solid explanation is offered for Megan’s sudden development of psychometry, creating confusion about exactly which genre the book might fall into. For magical realism, such things simply are, like footprints literally left on the heart of someone heartbroken. Psychometry on its own is typically classed as paranormal, but the theory Megan’s friend Eric proposes would take the novel into sci-fi territory a la X-Men. Its inability to fit comfortably in any of the three makes it difficult to recommend the book to the right reader.

But as smart as the book is, it’s also boring. Megan, her grief, and her dangerous dealings with historian Dr. Brightman inspired nothing in me. The only character who brought me to any emotion was Eric and he really just made me want to strangle him. You know the pixie type character Zooey Deschanel gets typecast as? The love interest in every John Green novel? Yeah, that’s Eric except he’s the best friend, not the love interest. Despite being a relatively short 336 pages, the novel felt almost endless.

Final Verdict:
Like I said earlier, it’s all very reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code but without any screams of HISTORICAL CONSPIRACY!!! coming from the pages. It’s a great read for teens who want an especially smart read. It may not have been my particular fancy, but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile for another reader. Now if I could just figure out whether it’s trying to be magical realism, paranormal, or sci-fi for ease of making recommendations…

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
2.0

High Concept, Ultimately Lackluster

When Tyler Brown dies, his younger sister Megan is devastated. The police insist that it was a suicide by drug overdose, but this just doesn't jive with what Megan knows of her brother. She realizes that by touching items that belong to Tyler, she can see his memories, and so she begins to piece together what happened to him.

I had no idea that there was a "magical" element to this novel when I started reading it, but while an interesting concept, it was hard to reconcile with the murder mystery that unfolded. I wanted to know more about how Megan's ability works, and why it was specifically triggered (or was it?) by Tyler's death.

Megan is a passable lead character, but there isn't much that makes her memorable. She's a determined teenager, and resourceful, as well as creative, but she does blend into the sea of YA protagonists that are much the same. The adults around her are similarly tolerable, but not as perceptive as one might hope.

I enjoyed the historical touches and backstories within the novel--they gave it a poignancy and connection to real life that helped to make the story more engaging.

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: January 17, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0

The Hidden Memory of Objects

Megan Brown is devastated after the death of her popular older brother Tyler. Worse though is the fact that he died of a drug overdose. Megan is determined to find the truth. In the meantime she finds that she has an ability to see past memories while holding objects. While handing something of Tyler's she witnesses glimpses of his past that lead her find out what really happened that fateful night.

What worked: Intriguing concept of someone who can see past memories while holding objects tainted by violence or death. Readers are able to see and feel what happens whenever Megan touches these items. These images are vivid and powerfully written. What's painful for Megan though is holding her dead brother's objects and witnessing a truth about him that is hard to accept but one that she knows she has to follow through on.

The strength of this novel has to be the whole idea of murderabilia and the ability to sees glimpses into the past. Plus, the whole Abraham Lincoln artifacts backdrop is very interesting. Add suspense and mystery and you have one page turning story.

The pacing at times had a tendency to be slow. I wanted to know about Megan's abilities and why they just seemed to happen. The relationship between her and Nathan-one of her older brother's friends-felt rushed. I admit I really liked the chemistry between her and Eric, a classmate. I kind of hoped that they'd get together.

Suspenseful ride through the streets of Washington, DC where the ability to see the past through the objects of dead people might be the way to solve a personal mystery. Historical background on Abraham Lincoln add to this tale.

Good Points
1. Intriguing concept of someone who can see past memories while holding objects
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Switching Gears
Still mourning the loss of Lucas Nelson, the boy she...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Finding-Elora.jpg
High school’s a whole new ballgame. Elora used...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Deadly Exodus
Their love is forbidden…their lives in danger… ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Front Cover
Join Clementine on a Winter Adventure in the Great Outdoors!...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Front cover
Growing up as a biracial child, Maggy Williams had three...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
hanna_final.jpg
Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
51MO7YjcihL.jpg
Twins Finn and Eric’s peaceful lives are turned upside down...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Super Rabbit Racers!: A Branches Book (Press Start! #3)
This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Original Syn
Fifty years after the Singularity, the world is divided into...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
What I Leave Behind
After his dad commits suicide, Will tries to overcome...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Friends for Life
A timeless and uplifting book about friendship, filled with...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Frat Girl
College life can be complicated—challenging, rewarding, downright frustrating—and a...
 
4.3
 
4.0 (1)
After the power grid goes down and the death of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
We Are All That's Left
Two lives. Two worlds apart. One deeply compelling story...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Trail Rules_BN_1400x926.jpg
Junior year’s looking up for sixteen-year old Mike. Her...
 
4.6 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Make it Count
Casey’s touch can reveal the one thing a person...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Switching Gears
 
3.7
"Lucas Nelson loved Emmy Martin, but he waited until a week before he died of cancer to tell her that...."
Sky in the Deep
 
4.7
"What worked: This is a highly engaging historical tale of a teen warrior who is taken by a rival clan..."
We Are All That's Left
 
5.0
" Zara feels shut off from her Bosnian born mother. She knows that her mother survived some..."
The Fault In Our Stars
 
5.0
"Seriously, is it possible to read this book without crying? Asking for allllllll offffff myyyyyyy friiiiiiiiiends."
Frat Girl
 
4.0
"The writing style is what really stands out in this book-- SO easy to read, conversational, believable character interactions. It..."
Original Syn
 
5.0
"Got an ARC of this one and flew through it. So so good."
What I Leave Behind
 
5.0
"Will’s dad commits suicide. His childhood friend, Playa, is raped at a party. His mom works long over-night shifts as..."
All The Crooked Saints
 
3.7
"Trust me when I say no one was more stunned than me when I enjoyed All the Crooked Saints. ..."
Legacy of Kings
 
2.0
"Legacy of Kings was not a bad book per se, but I found it a confusing, frequently boring one. Perhaps..."
Dare Mighty Things
 
4.0
"Dare Mighty Things is an extraordinary debut that features an Indian-American asexual protagonist in the fight of her life for..."
Tempests and Slaughter
 
4.7
"I am a terrible fantasy fan. Why? Because I’ve never read a novel by Tamora Pierce. I am definitely..."
Nimona
 
5.0
"Oh my gosh!!!!!!! This is the cutest graphic novel I have read in a long time! Cute and entertaining and..."
The Night Circus
 
4.0
"The Night Circus was an enchanting, mind-boggling story that enraptured me. It was confusing, lovely, frightening, elusive, all at once...."
Sky in the Deep
 
5.0
"If you’re looking for an action-packed novel with a fierce female main character who is multifaceted, and the text is..."
Life in Outer Space
 
5.0
"Life in Outer Space is one of the cutest and nerdiest books I’ve ever read. This contemporary quickly burrowed its..."
White Rabbit
 
4.7
"TW: sexual assault, rape, homophobia, descriptions of violence, murder, drug use. White Rabbit is going to be the..."
Queens of Geek
 
4.0
"Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde is the most adorkable novel I’ve read in a long while. The book is..."
The Tiger's Watch (Ashes of Gold #1)
 
3.0
"I’m in two minds about this novella. While there was a part of me that was intrigued by the general..."
Among the Red Stars
 
5.0
"Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz is the WWII feminist book you didn’t know you needed. Inspired by..."
Why Can't I Be You
 
4.0
"'Why Can't I Be You' by Melissa Walker follows main character Claire through the summer when she turns twelve. Even..."