A confused girl left has been in a position with no recollection of the last year sentenced to death for a crime she cannot remember committing. Alone and hopeless, she has left to her own devices to try and reinstate her good name. But is she really alone? Is she doomed to pay the price for slaughtering her family in cold blood, or welfare memories returned to her with the help of some unlikely allies.
Shattered Memories is a brand-new dystopian young adult novel by Susan Harris. This book is a stand-alone novel, however at its conclusion you will be wishing that it where the beginning of a series. This book left me wanting more, continuing to haunt me with the ending and underlying subtext days after the final page was turned.
The mind is a powerful thing. Not only does it contain the remnants of who we were, it holds the key to who we will become. While we should not dwell on the past, losing it altogether is a feat akin to death. I believe Harris had this in mind when she withheld a full year of the female main character's past while simultaneously placing her on death row as a result. Not only did Alaina face her physical death, she lived her emotional one. Because of this the reader is able to witness what can happen when the will to fight for yourself overtakes the fear of loss.
Harris does an amazing job at presenting characters that are likable and honorable but also human enough that we forget that this is a work of fiction. I found myself incredibly invested in the well-being of the main and secondary characters. Their troubles became my troubles and their victories became my victories. The dynamics explored relationally were filled with highs and lows and I felt each and every one of them.
I gladly give this book 5 out of five stars. This was the first of Harris’s books that I have read, but she has made a lifetime fan out of me. Shattered Memories is a book that I could not put down and I look forward to picking up more of her work in the very near future. This book shattered my heart in the absolute best way possible.