Summary from BN.com: Marissa Rogers never wanted to be an alpha; beta suited her just fine. Taking charge without taking credit had always paid off: vaulting her to senior editor at a glossy magazine; keeping the peace with her critical, weight-obsessed mother; and enjoying the benefits of being best friends with gorgeous, charismatic, absolutely alpha Julia Ferrar.
And then Julia gets hit by a cab. She survives with minor obvious injuries, but brain damage steals her memory and alters her personality, possibly forever. Suddenly, Marissa is thrown into the role of alpha friend. As Julia struggles to regain her memory- dredging up issues Marissa would rather forget, including the fact that Julia asked her to abandon the love of her life ten years ago- Marissa's own equilibrium is shaken.
With the help of a dozen girls, she reluctantly agrees to coach in an after-school running program. There, Marissa uncovers her inner confidence and finds the courage to reexamine her past and take control of her future.
When I first started reading this book I felt like I was a horrible person. I felt like someone who hates babies or kicks puppies. It's not a good feeling. Why did I feel this way? Because I kept getting annoyed with Julia throughout the story. This is both during the flashback and after she has her injury. I feel bad because I was not liking someone who has a severe injury and cannot control how they act. Then I realized that I was judging Julia based on her past actions. That's when I realized that this book had got me really thinking about not only the story but myself as well.
Marissa has been friends with Julia ever since in school when Julia accepted her in school and took her under her wing. Since then Marissa has stuck by Julia's side through thick and think sometimes even sacrificing things to save their friendship. Then Julia suffers a brain injury and Marissa comes to terms with their friendship. She begins to slowly pull away while at the same time still be true to her best friend. The story fluctuates between the past and present as Marissa reflects on their friendship. Throughout the book, we also see the relationships that Marissa shares with others including her boyfriend, her mother, her assistant and her own self.
During the middle of the story, I found myself getting so frustrated with Marissa and Julia to the point where I was worried that I might force myself to stop reading. I even contemplated throwing the book across the room if a certain event that I didn't want to happen took place. Luckily, I discussed my fears on Twitter and was told to stick out the rest of the book. I'm glad that I did. Even though the story did not go exactly how I would have liked it to have turned out, it was more than satisfying.
I believe that this is Pagan's first novel and I was more than happy to have discovered it. This is a story about friendships, how they can become toxic and how they can stand the hardest test. It's a story about mean girls and how some women never grow out of it. It's also a story bringing attention to brain injuries and how the results can change a person's life forever. Pagan has captured all these topics into a brilliant story. I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan is published by Dutton (2011)
This ARC was provided for a blog tour with TLC Book Tours
I'm able to give away one copy of this book provided by the publisher. To enter, you must fill out the form below. This contest is open to US and Canada entrants only. Winner will be picked Wednesday June 29.
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