Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books
Date of publication: March 2nd, 2021
Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction, Adult, Suspense, Contemporary
Format Read: Unedited ARC
Received: From publisher
Trigger Warning: Child neglect, Cyberstalking, Bullying
She was born for all the wrong reasons. But her search for the truth reveals answers she wishes she could forget in this suspenseful and deeply moving novel from the author of The Last One.
What if your past wasn’t what you thought?
As a child, Linda Russell was left to raise herself in a 20-acre walled-off property in rural Washington. The woods were her home, and for twelve years she lived oblivious to a stark and terrible truth: Her mother had birthed her only to replace another daughter who died in a tragic accident years before.
And then one day Linda witnesses something she wasn’t meant to see. Terrified and alone, she climbs the wall and abandons her home, but her escape becomes a different kind of trap when she is thrust into the modern world—a world for which she is not only entirely unprepared, but which is unprepared to accept her.
And you couldn’t see a future for yourself?
Years later, Linda is living in Seattle and immersed in technology intended to connect, but she has never felt more alone. Social media continually brings her past back to haunt her, and she is hounded by the society she is now forced to inhabit. But when Linda meets a fascinating new neighbor who introduces her to the potential and escapism of virtual reality, she begins to allow herself to hope for more.
What would it take to reclaim your life?
Then an unexplained fire at her infamous childhood home prompts Linda to return to the property for the first time since she was a girl, unleashing a chain of events that will not only endanger her life but challenge her understanding of family, memory, and the world itself.
A woman whose name shouldn’t be Linda stands inside the locked front door of her apartment, listening.Forget Me Not by Alexandra Oliva
When I read the blurb for Forget Me Not, I knew that I had to read this book. I enjoy books that deal with childhood trauma/mystery/science fiction/dystopia. So when I saw that this book had all of those, I knew I would read it.
Forget Me Not was a fast-paced emotional book. The pacing was fast enough to keep the story going but not so fast that things got lost. There was a slight lag at various points in the book (mainly during Anvi’s POV), but the author got the book over the lag and back on pace.
Emotionally, this book wrecked me. My range of emotions went from anger (at Linda’s mother) to extreme sadness (Linda was severely damaged) to happiness (Anvi’s friendship) and back. I didn’t cry during this book, but I did have tears in my eyes while Linda battled her demons (literally and figuratively).
My heart broke for Linda during the book, but at the same time, I was amazed at her inner strength. She was a strong person. But even strong people have breaking points, and she did reach hers.
There were two plotlines in Forget Me Not. There was the main plotline with Linda and her issues (past and present). Then, there was the plotline about Linda’s older sister, who died and who Linda was born to replace. Both plotlines were equally fascinating and disturbing at the same time.
There were a couple of secondary plotlines in Forget Me Not too. Anvi’s plotline was interesting because of who she was and where she worked. I also liked it because of the genuine friendship that grew between her and Linda. The other plotline was….different. I didn’t understand why it was even being mentioned until the very end of the book. Even then, though, I wasn’t sure how it fit into Forget Me Not.
I loved how the author incorporated science fiction into the book. There were self-driving cars, devices that tracked Linda’s every move, and virtual reality. I loved it!! I loved how virtual reality helped Linda with her healing. There were points in the book where I was like, “Why didn’t her therapist try this before!!” But then I realized it probably wasn’t around.
The book’s thriller/suspense/mystery aspect didn’t come into effect until halfway through the book. I couldn’t get enough of it. I will say that Lorelei made me feel conflicting emotions. I wanted either to hug her, beat her, or put her in an asylum.
Before I forget, I do want to mention Linda’s father. I had conflicting emotions about him and also about how much he knew. He said that he knew nothing about Linda or what Lorelei did, but I don’t quite believe him. However, I think he didn’t know how Linda was being raised, and he took her in when she escaped. But he wasn’t precisely a hands-on father. Calling him distant would be nice. He did somewhat redeem himself at the end of the book but still. I wasn’t a fan of him.
The end of Forget Me Not was terrific. I will not get into it, but there were more twists and turns than a mountain road. I could not put the book down. And that last chapter. Talk about a doozy!!
Forget Me Not was an emotional, fast-paced book. It was well written with an engaging plotline. The author was able to keep me on edge with the mystery/thriller/suspense angle of the book.
I would recommend Forget Me Not to anyone over the age of 16. There is no romance and no sex (there is a flashback where Anvi remembers her ex, but the author did not give details). There is violence. There are scenes with an extremely mentally ill woman. There is a scene where MR’s death is detailed. There are scenes of extreme child neglect and abuse. There are flashbacks where Linda is harassed verbally and online.