The Art of Forgetting: a review

Posted 31 May, 2011 by Danny in / 8 Comments

The Art of Forgetting
by Camille Noe Pagan
Published: June 9th, 2011
Amazon, Barnes & Noble
(available as Kindle/Nook and audiobook editions)
Book provided by publisher through NetGalley for fair review 
Synopsis from Goodreads

A moving and insightful debut novel of great friendship interrupted. Can the relationship survive when the memories are gone?

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.

The Art of Forgetting is a story about the power of friendship, the memories and myths that hold us back, and the delicate balance between forgiving and forgetting.

O-kay-doe-kay. I am going to be upfront: If I had not received this book from NetGalley for review I probably wouldn’t have finished it. And not because this book is terribly written or that the subject matters wasn’t interesting but solely because I did not like the protagonist nor did I care about her problems. This was a huge stumbling block for me while reading this book.

The Art of Forgetting is the story of Maressa a young woman who works in NY at a top health magazine. She has an amazing boyfriend, who aside from being (in her words) boring is incredibly supportive and adorable, she’s got a fantastic job in which she is steadily making a name for herself, and she’s got a great sister who tells her when she needs to check herself before she wrecks herself. Her biggest problem? Her co-dependent relationship with her self involved best friend who gets hit by a car and ends up with brain damage. A relationship she seemed to pursue because it made her feel popular and important back in high school. Oh, and there is her some what cliquishly verbally abusive mother who says random hurtful things from time to time. But this just seemed forced and unnecessary to me.

The novel is well written (meaning the plots well thought out yet extremely shallow, Mr. King would approve of the authors dialogue tags, and in general, nouns and verbs all line up mighty nicely). The theme of loving yourself and learning to love others in a healthy non-self-deprecating way is strongly present and a great message. And the little tidbits and factoids are fun. fyi: I will now be spending an hour a day scrubbing my kitchen counters! *shudders*

But even in the face of all the good, I just didn’t find Maressa’s story gripping nor did I really care. I felt like this was a person with the world at her feet, who had an amazing life and was just too blind to notice. It’s like someone complaining because they only have a 10 million dollars when they really deserved 20.

Sadly, this story was just not for me. If I were to rating the writing and depth of the research the author did for this story, I’d give her a 3 1/2. If I were to rate the storyline and characters sadly it would get a one and a half so I’m slappin’ a 2 on this one and callin’ it a day.

 Have you ever read a book and thought it was both informative and a
truly decent story yet disliked it because you could not stand the protagonist?
This is for sure the case for me concerning this novel.
As always,
tis what I know and what I’ve got.
Till next time.
Yours truly,
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8 Responses to “The Art of Forgetting: a review”

  1. cutie

    The cover is what made me want to read it. It really is beautiful. But dancing doesn't play a huge role in the book, truth be told. It was interesting, I just really really didn't care for the protagonist. It was a sadness truly.

    Reply »

  2. cutie

    Yeah, what sucked about this one is from the get go I just wasn't cool beans with Marissa. But there were some interesting factoids and the subject matters were well thought out.

    Reply »

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