Friday, July 1, 2016

Blog Tour: The Memory Book

Title: The Memory Book
Author: Lara Avery
Publisher: Poppy (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Source: Finished Copy from Poppy for Review Purposes
Buy the Book:

They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember.

Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way--not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie's notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It's where she'll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart--a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she'll admit how much she's missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it's not the life she planned.

About the Author

Lara Avery takes her role as a young writer very seriously; she enjoys wandering the world notebook in hand, making her living off of odd jobs. One of those jobs happens to be publishing the novel Anything But Ordinary just two years after getting a degree in Film Studies from Macalester College.

When Lara left home armed with nothing but a basketball scholarship, she told everyone she was going to law school. Then, when she started interning at The Onion and publishing pieces of fiction in national anthologies, she realized her secret plans to be a writer all along.

Though Lara sat down to write Anything But Ordinary everywhere from a 110 degree apartment in Kolkata to a hostel in Berlin, she always felt at home in Bryce’s story. Writing currently from St. Paul, MN, she hopes her debut novel will be the first of many.

My Memory Book

I don't know if I've ever shared this with you before, but when I was in college, my grandmother was diagnosed with dementia. It wasn't really a surprise to me; I had picked up on my grandmother's memory problems as a child, and tried my hardest to convince my mother to ask my grandmother to go to the doctor. Unfortunately, my grandmother never went, and by the time she was diagnosed, it was too late. She was slipping in and out by the minute.

I'd hope that I'd never forget what happened to my grandmother, and because of it, I keep a closer eye on my mother because I know dementia runs in families. I don't want to go through any of that again.

It's a scary thing to think about, but it's something that I often find myself thinking about. I've had my fair share of concussions, and if you pay any attention to athletic news, you'll know that scientists have linked concussions and early memory loss. It's not something I want to think about, but if I had to write a memory book, I would want to include some of my favorite and least favorite memories to remember who I was.

My First Summer at Band Camp: Eighth grade brought a lot of changes to my life, and one of those changes was joining marching band. When we left, I was thirteen, but less than twenty-four hours later, I had turned fourteen. The day was anything but normal. I woke up to the band director singing "Happy Birthday" to me. Then I was punished for messing up by my squad leader, and I had to run uphill and around a tree. Not once, but five times! It was weird celebrating my birthday away from home, away from my parents, siblings, and grandparents, but I felt like it was part of growing up. The rest of the week was exhausting, but it was fun. I ended up making a lot of new friends, and I finally felt like I was fitting in.

Losing My Cousin: One of the hardest things I have ever gone through was losing my cousin, Erica. I was only fourteen when she died, and even though I understood what was going on, I didn't really know how to react. On the evening of September 24, 2003, I was at band practice. When we left, my friend's little sister ran down to me, and told me to pack up as quickly as I could because my cousin was hit by a dump truck earlier that evening. I started walking towards the parking lot, and that's when I saw my grandfather and grandmother. My pap explained to me that my parents were at the hospital with my other grandmother and that he didn't know when they'd be home. Waiting for my parents to get home that night was agonizing. They brought home my other cousin, and she spent the night, and my mom headed back to the hospital to be with my cousin and grandmother. Then something weird happened. The next morning, I woke up, and started walking around the house. A few minutes later, my mom called and told my dad that my cousin passed away. It's weird to think that I woke up right as she took her last breath, but I've felt connected to her ever since.

Babysitting in the Bahamas: When I was in ninth grade, the lady I babysat for asked my mom if she would be allowed to take me and my sister to the Bahamas for a vacation and to babysit. My mom was unsure about it at first, but she eventually let us go. We flew down in a private plane, and stayed at the Atlantis resort. It was fun to just have a little fun and go on a vacation that I would have never even dreamed of. I even went down the Leap of Faith water slide. 

My First Semi-Formal Dance: Honestly, this one's not really anything to write home about, but it was fun. My grandma and mom helped me pick out a really pretty blue dress that made my eyes pop. I took pictures with my neighbor/best friend, and then I went off to the dance. I didn't have a date and spent most of the night with friends, but it was nice to get dressed up and feel like a princess for the night. We also had a small pizza party after the dance at my neighbor's house.

Babysitting in Walt Disney World: Another babysitting trip for me and my sister was to Disney! We flew in the private jet again, but this time, another family joined us, so my sister and I were babysitting five kids during the trip. (We all did the parks during the day together, and my sister and I stayed with the kids at night.) We stayed at the Grand Floridian, and inside was a giant gingerbread house! It looked amazing. During this trip, I ended up jumping in a train display after one of the kids. (Would you believe that the park employees didn't yell? They applauded me for quick thinking and saving the little boy!) One of the moms got us banned from "It's a Small World," but I think that was pretty smart. I don't know if I would have been able to do that ride more than once. 

Cherry Blossom Parade: During my junior year of high school, the marching band travelled to Washington D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival and parade. I got really sick on the first day, but after a night of rest, the rest of the trip was pretty good. We went on a dinner cruise on the Potomac River on the 95th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, and I went a little crazy, running around and screaming, "Iceberg! Iceberg! Dead ahead!" My friend took a video of it, and security thought I was nuts, but it was fun. Other highlights from the trip include me getting yelled at in the White House (don't touch the walls!), and dropping my clarinet and shattering my mouthpiece before the parade! I couldn't play! Oops.

Senior Year Homecoming: Okay, so I pretty much skipped every dance in-between ninth grade semi-formal and homecoming my senior year. I would have skipped this one too, but my friend asked me to go with him. And this one's not a pretty story. He pretty much ditched me as soon as we got to the dance so he could spy on his ex-girlfriend, and I was miserable. After the bonfire that night, he offered to walk me to the door, and the woman I am today came out. I told him no, and I've been pretty much independent ever since.

Being Nominated for Queen of Hearts: As most of my memories from high school, this one also revolves around marching band. During my senior year, the student council tried to make the King of Hearts dance more popular because it was the least popular event. Their decision? Make it King and Queen of Hearts. Somehow I ended up being the nominee for the marching band, and it was cool just to think that I was actually on the court, something I never even dreamed possible. (Let's be honest here... I wasn't popular.) Unfortunately, no one really bought tickets, so the dance was cancelled. They did keep good on their promise, and all the members of the court were announced at senior prom that spring.

Senior Prom: After the nightmare that was homecoming, I decided that prom wasn't for me. My mother wasn't having it, and made me go. Honestly, the whole thing was ridiculous. My grandmother made me get a terrible looking dress that I hated, even though I had the perfect (and inexpensive) dress already picked out. I ended up going stag, but my best friend made sure that I went in their limo. That part was fun, but I was pushed out of the limo once we got to the venue and my dress was ripped. The highlight of the evening was accidentally, and I do mean accidentally walking into the men's bathroom with my best friend. (Those rooms are dark!)

Off to College: I decided to go to a college not too far from home, but just far enough. My mom and dad drove me up, but on the way there, we all realized that no one had gotten me the cell phone I was promised so that I could call home. (Yes, I was one of those kids who survived all of high school without a cell phone.) After we got all of my belongings in my dorm, my dad drove back home so that he could get me a phone while my mom and I decorated and got everything put away in the right places. Everything was okay for the first month or so of school, but then my roommate's friends started going through all of my things and glued my laptop to my desk. I ended up moving in the middle of the night, but after that, things were okay again.




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