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March 25, 2021

Forget Me Not by Alexandra Oliva ~ a Review

by MK French


Linda has to live in Seattle, which is a huge change from the woods she had been living in since she was abandoned as a child. She might have a friend in a neighbor that moves into her building and sees the possibility of virtual reality as an escape from her anxiety and the world she doesn't feel comfortable with. A fire at her childhood home brings her back for the first time in years and being there challenges her safety as well as her memory and sense of self.

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Forget Me Not
March 2021; Ballantine Books; 978-1101966846
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); thriller
Forget Me Not
is a near-future story, in that Anvi was a teenager during the 2016 elections and coronavirus and social media is even more ubiquitous than it already is. People not only have earpieces but augmented reality glasses and virtual reality. Those exist to some extent now, but in this book, they are fully realized and feel as real as reality. Hashtags and doxxing exist, and it dogs Linda's path at every step. Her story is internet-famous so that people will say terrible things about her without knowing the circumstances and try to come up with explanations for their favorite rumors. The truth of her family is sad and terrible, in that Linda was born to replace an older sister that died, and her twin disappeared when they were six. Even worse, she essentially raised herself soon after that, as her mother refused to have anything to do with her.

Linda is drawn to a VR game world because interactions are largely scripted there, and she doesn't have to interact with people. That's certainly the same draw that people have with games today. She's very shy and awkward in public given the way she raised herself, and her father was still so caught up in his own grief and pain that he never really connected with her. The fire draws Linda out of the isolation she lives in and brings her continued existence back to the top of everyone's timelines. Visiting the house afterward sparks more memories, as well as puts Linda into crosshairs she never knew existed. This is the point where things veer away from what I expected, and the truth about Linda, her memory, and her early life in the house is revealed. I read with wide eyes and was surprised by the ending. While I didn't see it coming, the sequence fit and brought the story to a stunning conclusion.

Buy Forget Me Not at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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