Excerpt from The Memory Book by Lara Avery, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Memory Book

by Lara Avery

The Memory Book by Lara Avery X
The Memory Book by Lara Avery
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2016, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2017, 368 pages

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Excerpt
The Memory Book

If you're reading this, you're probably wondering who you are. I'll give you three clues.

Clue 1: You just stayed up all night to finish an AP Lit paper on The Poisonwood Bible. You fell asleep briefly while you were writing and dreamed you were making out with James Monroe, the fifth president and arbiter of the Monroe Doctrine.

Clue 2: I am writing this to you from the attic at the little circular window, you know the one, at the east end of the house, where the ceiling almost meets the floor. The Green Mountains have just recently turned green again after a freakish late-spring dump of wet, sloppy snow, and you can just barely see Puppy in the early dark, doing his morning laps up and down the side of our slope in his pointless, happy Puppy way. Sounds like the chickens need to be fed.

I guess I should do that. Stupid chickens.

Clue 3: You are still alive.

Do you know who you are yet?

You are me, Samantha Agatha McCoy, in the not-so-distant future. I'm writing this for you. They say my memory will never be the same, that I'll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I'm writing to remember.

This won't be a journal, or a diary, or anything like that. First of all, it's a .doc file on the tiny little laptop I carry with me everywhere, so let's not get too romantic about this. Second, I predict that by the time I'm done with it (perhaps never) it will exceed the length and breadth of your typical journal. It's a book. I have a natural ability to overwrite. For one, the paper on The Poisonwood Bible was supposed to be five pages and turned out to be ten. For another, I answered every possible essay question on NYU's application so the admissions committee could have options. (It worked—I'm in.) For another, I wrote and continually edit Hanover High's Wikipedia page, probably the longest and most comprehensive high school Wikipedia page in the country, which is funny because technically I'm not even supposed to go to Hanover High because as you know (I hope), I don't live in New Hampshire, I live in Vermont, but as you also know (I hope), South Strafford is a town of five hundred and I can't go to the freaking general store for high school. So I bought Dad's old pickup on an installment plan and found some loopholes in the district policy.



I'm writing this book for you. How can you forget a thing with this handy document for reference? Consider this your encyclopedia entry. No, consider this your dictionary.

Samantha (proper noun, name): The name Samantha is an American name, and a Hebrew name. In English, the meaning of the name is "listener." In Hebrew, the meaning of the name is "Listen, name of God."

Listen, name of God, this isn't supposed to be a feelingsy thing, but it might have to be. We tried emotions in middle school and we didn't care for them, but they have snuck back into our life.

The feelings came back yesterday in Mrs. Townsend's office.

Mrs. Townsend (proper noun, person): A guidance counselor who has allowed you to test into all of the advanced classes you wanted to take even if they didn't fit your schedule, and has made you aware of every scholarship known to woman so that you don't have to bankrupt your parents. She looks like a more tired version of Oprah, and with the exception of Senator Elizabeth Warren, she is your hero.

Anyway, I was sitting in Mrs. Townsend's office, making sure that I hadn't missed any deadlines because Mom and I had to go to the geneticist in Minnesota two times in the past month. I didn't even get a real spring break. (I type that as if I've ever had a spring break, but I was hoping to get some major prep in with Maddie, Debate Nationals being just a month away.)

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Excerpted from The Memory Book by Lara Avery. Copyright © 2016 by Lara Avery. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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