Proceed With Caution:
This book contains altered memory, dementia, kidnapping, and a gunshot.
Lies My Memory Told Me is narrated by sixteen year old Nova. Nova's parents helped invent Enhanced Memories, a way to digitally preserve and play back memories. It's the hottest technology on the market, but after meeting a boy who doesn't use it all, Nova starts to question this supposed revolutionary tech. It doesn't help that her parents have been acting super strange and she's been feeling off.
Lies My Memory Told Me has a very intriguing premise. I love the idea of being able to watch someone else's memories in order to gain new experiences. It's like a 100% immersive movie! In fact, in the world the author created, the Enhanced Memories are all the rage. Everyone watches them! Well, except for the mysterious boy that Nova meets in a club who mistakes her for someone else.
Lies My Memory Told Me started to lose me early on because while I love the idea of Enhanced Memories and totally believe that they'd become a raving success if they existed, I did not believe how the people acted in response to them. Enhanced Memory discs have only been available for two years, which I did think just goes to show how quickly new technology can be adopted and essentially take over.
However, whenever someone mentions doing something in real life, like ice skating for instance, the instant reaction is "OMGNO that's sooo dangerous! Why would you want to do that when you can experience it from the safety of your couch?!" They act like it's completely unheard of to leave your house and go do stuff. It's been TWO YEARS. If this technology had been around for their entire lives, I could understand. But they were like thirteen, so they definitely remember normal life.
The plot twist was pretty predictable. There's really only so many options when you're dealing with recorded memories and your own memories being hazy. Particularly when it's your own parents who invented the technology. And why in the world would they live in the same town as "the scene of the crime." Like, they couldn't have moved anywhere else in the world? They had to be in the one place where Nova would be found out, spoiling their entire plan? Stupid.
The one thing that I did like about Lies My Memory Told Me was how it got me thinking about what makes us who we are. Is it our mind or our body? If our memories were installed into a different body, are we still ourselves or are the now the person who's body our minds are inhabiting? I read Gory Details shortly after this, and there was a chapter about head/brain transplants, which brought up similar questions.
In the end, Lies My Memory Told Me was disappointing. The characters weren't believable at all. Everything was just too convenient to make the plot move quickly. I wish there had been more innovative twists to this great idea.