cover image Unremembered


Jessica Brody. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-37991-9

Amnesiac genius “Violet” supposedly absorbs information without effort. Yet after five days in the hospital with nothing to do but watch TV, the 16-year-old emerges with no comprehension of what jeans, cars, malls, and supermarkets are. Violet may be supermodel beautiful, but her interactions are those of like Data from Star Trek. Picked up at the site of a plane crash, she is assumed to be a survivor and put in foster care while the authorities seek her family. Meanwhile, others are after her: a persistent, urgent boy who calls her “Sera” and a red-haired man, both of whom can find her with uncanny speed no matter where she goes. Brody’s (52 Reasons to Hate My Father) book unfolds at a too-leisurely pace in terms of action and emotional development, yet too quickly to make the “science” of Violet’s condition plausible. Her foster brother says, “I feel like I’m in a bad sci-fi movie,” and the lament is unfortunately accurate. There’s no opportunity to forget that Violet is an artificial construct in an artificial setting. Ages 12–up. Agent: Bill Contardi, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Mar.)