Audiobook: Forget Me Not

by Alyson Derrick
Read by Natalie Naudus
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Content: There is homophobia, overt racism, mention of teenage drinking, and swearing, including multiple f-bombs. It’s in the Teen section (grades 9+) of the bookstore.

Stevie and Nora are in love. They have been secretly dating for two years – secretly because they live in a conservative town, in conservative families, who – they know – would kick them out for being gay. So, they date in secret and have made a plan to get out and go to California, so they can live together, out in the open. 

But, as they were together in the woods one day, Stevie has a bad fall, with a bad head injury, and after two weeks in an induced coma, she woke up with no memories of the past two years. Which means she has no memory of her relationship with Nora.  

When I first started listening to this one I thought it was super contrived: who loses just two years of their memories? But the more I listened, the more I got it. Derrick is exploring some interesting things here. Like: if you were acculturated to believe you were straight, and forgot about your discovery of your sexuality, will you be straight or gay? It’s gay, of course, but I thought it was fascinating how Derrick got there after the accident. Also: I felt so much for Nora – the one person who knew everything, and yet couldn’t say anything. I also found it interesting the way Derrick portrayed the parents. Stevie’s dad is a Fox-news watching mechanic, so I formed Opinions about him. He didn’t do much to refute that, until the end. I’m not sure I believe it, but it’s there. It was a fascinating exploration. 

It helped that Naudus is an excellent narrator, keeping me engaged and propelling the story forward. This one would be a good book for a book group; there’s a lot to think about and discuss here. And I quite liked it.

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