The Memory of Things – by Gae Polisner


The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (Sept. 6 2016)

ISBN-13: 978-1250095527

Synopsis: On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows, covered in ash, and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a NYC detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? The Memory of Things tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain―it tells a story of hope.

* * *

Everyone remembers what they were doing on September 11, 2001 when the two planes hit the Twin Towers. This act of terror changed the world and in doing so changed the lives of millions of people. The Memory of Things focuses on how 9/11 affected two teenagers; Kyle and an unnamed girl he takes home with him after fleeing Manhattan for Brooklyn the morning of the attacks.

This book offered realistic and emotion invoking insight into what it was like to be in New York City on September 11, 2001 and the days following. Kyle’s life is thrown into mayhem with his father, an NYPD detective, fighting to protect the city at Ground Zero; his mother and sister stuck in another state unable to get a flight home; and the new girl staying in his sister’s bedroom who can’t even remember her own name.

The mystery of the girl is what really keeps this story going. The characters are lovable and personable, however, I didn’t find myself overly invested in their stories – more the mystery of the unknown (why the girl couldn’t remember anything). The focus of this book is the effect 9/11 had on the lives of New Yorkers, and really everyone in the world. This will be a great read for teens that were not alive in 2001 to help them understand the magnitude of that day!

Rating: 9/10

*I received this book from Griffin Teen in exchange for an honest review*

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