Where does one identity begin and another end? In Memory Girl, the inhabitants of ShareHaven do not really die—at least, their memories do not. The scientists in that community have figured out how to store and then transfer the memories of a deceased person into a new body. But this body is no blank slate: instead, the scientists upload the memories into an existing person, a teenager who joins a Family and receives the memories of one of its deceased members.
Jennza is a fourteen-year-old teenager who tries to hide the fact that, unlike many of her excited peers, she is anxious about the upcoming change. After the transfer of memories, she will no longer be called Jennza—and so who will she be? While others see the joining of a Family as a way to finally come into their own identities, Jennza feels the transfer is much more complicated. And while her friends have an easier time of assimilating into the community, Jennza has always found herself stretching and yearning for just a little more, and indulges this feeling in little rebellions like exploring the other side of the Fence.
“No one dies anymore,” Jennza says early on in the novel. But Jennza’s great fear seems to be not physical death, but the death of her self. Though it seems unusual at times that Jennza would be the only one to question the logic of the memory transfer, and to fear its repercussions, this in turn makes Jennza a highly relatable character to navigate this dystopian world. Memory Girl is a gripping, action-packed science-fiction work that is relentless in its suspense, ideal for those who are drawn to smart thrillers that ask difficult questions.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.