Okay, I got to read an ARC of THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE by Shallee McArthur, and I just can't wait another month to talk about it. I thought the book was brilliant, starting at the premise. I mean, a whole race of people who can't store their memories in their minds? They store their memories in beads made of stone or wood (as those materials house them best) and can remember every--tiny--detail of their lives because of it.
You want to know more about this book. Here's the official blurb: 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 absolutely loved this book. See, the main character, Gena, is one of the Mementi, and she's a victim of the memory thief. No, the thief doesn't take any of her beads, but she's siphoning off her memories.
I couldn't flip the pages fast enough to get to the heart of this mystery. I wanted to know who the memory thief was SO BAD. And the best part? I figured it out mere seconds before Gena did--and that is masterful plotting and writing. I always want to know split seconds before the MC does. I never want to be blindsided by something I didn't see coming, nor do I want to have figured it out pages and pages before the MC does.
Gena is a likeable and smart character. There's a hint of romance with Kalen, but it's not overdone, nor does it detract from the main plot of solving the mystery of the memory thief.
The world-building is pretty flawless. I felt like I existed inside Havendale, Arizona, and that I could join that city as one of the ordinary humans (obviously!).
THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE comes out on November 4. If it's not on your radar yet, this should be your warning to put it on!
Have you read anything spectacular lately? What?