As with all stories that regard September 11, 2001, I automatically expect to tear up or, at the very least, feel some sympathy. The Memory of Things does a great job on making the reader sympathize with the characters. This story follows Kyle in the days after 9/11, and we get to feel his emotions as he tries to move forward. I really like the family focal points that the author created. It felt very realistic and not all what I was expecting. And while I wasn’t as blown away by this story, I still really enjoyed reading it.
What I Liked
Kyle- his character showed growth throughout the story. At the start, he’s very much all over the place emotionally; which is understandable. I loved being inside his head and just thinking about his worries made me want to reach inside and give him a hug. I think the relationship with his father wasn’t exactly “hero-worship”, but as the story grew, the dynamic progressed. I really love the connection between Kyle and his disabled uncle, Matt. Taking care of someone is very difficult, especially for someone so young. The bond that those two had is what made the dialogue between them so great and it gave you hope. That may be my favorite part of the story. As Kyle worried about his loved ones and whether they are dead or alive, the author does good on the portrayal of emotions. Again, it was all very real to me, so I appreciate those parts of the story.
A girl with wings- This aspect of the story is very interesting. Kyle first thinks he sees a bird, but then realizes that it’s a girl with wings. He takes her home with him, to care for her. Her thoughts are fragmented into verse format. Now, I usually have a hard time with this when I just really want to know what is going on. I think her character added depth to the story, and it gives the reader another POV. I like that they are strangers in their torn up world. She has no memory but her story is as equally emotional as Kyle’s.
What I Didn’t Like
I wouldn’t say that there’s something I disliked. It’s just that the story is short and, as complicated as the situation is, it’s to the point. In the beginning, I put it down for about a week. That was partly due to me being caught up in another book. I will say that I thought that I’d be a sobbing mess by the end, but that wasn’t the case. I know that not all stories involving this tragedy will make you weep, but I was really hoping to do the ugly cry. Yes, I actually wanted to cry.
Overall, this is a great story about moving on after traumatic events. I like how the author delivered messages of love, friendship and hope. I recommend this to readers who love contemporary and historical YA.