Publication Date: October 19, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: YA mystery; suspense; sci fi
Lies My Memory Told Me is a story built on an intriguing idea but ultimately it failed in execution. Our protagonist, Nova’s, parents are the inventors of Enhanced Memory which is a really cool take on virtual reality except for you are reliving someone’s memories. Think skydiving, mountain climbing, and you get the picture. Nova is proud of her parents until she meets a boy, Kade, who leaves her questioning whether Enhanced Memory is the good thing everyone thinks it is.
There is a lot to love about this story. I found it very intriguing how Enhanced Memory has changed the way people view life. No one does anything even remotely dangerous because there is no point since you can “safely” experience it virtually. Nova works at a senior citizen home and it was really interesting to see how Enhanced Memory works with people suffering from Alzheimer or Dementia. I also loved the suspense element of Nova and her deteriorating relationship with her parents. The action at the end kept me at the edge of my seat and I thought the twist was well executed.
Despite all the many bright spots I really struggled with the timeline of the story. Enhanced Memory is relatively young to the world and it just seemed completely unbelievable that it has taken over so much of the world. Basically, the world this book is set in can’t function without Enhanced Memory and I think that it would take so much longer for that to happen. To be honest, I read this last year and I can’t quite remember how long Enhanced Memory has been around but Nova remembers life without it so it is definitely not long enough for it to become what it is. Society has evolved so much in this story that even riding your bike is considered dangerous and something you are judged for since you could just use Enhanced Memory. Which makes no sense since it is still a mode of transportation. Also, because of Enhanced Memory bars no longer serve alcohol since people would rather ingest (for lack of a better word) memories. And it is little things like that that just completely took me out of the story.
I do think this book is a worthwhile read for the concept. This is Wunsch’s debut novel so I can understand that she got lost in the idea and tried to cut corners to make the story work the way she wanted it too. I do want to point out that I read this book 8 or 9 months ago and I can still vividly remember what happens. And considering how many books I have read between now and then I think that is a major testament to Wunsch.