BOOK REVIEW: “The Memory of Things” by Gae Polisner

Title: The Memory of Things
Author: Gae Polisner
Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 288

The Memory of Things


SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

The powerful story of two teenagers finding friendship, comfort, and first love in the days following 9/11 as their fractured city tries to put itself back together.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows. She is covered in ash and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a New York City detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? The Memory of Things tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain—it tells a story of hope.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

September 11th will be a moment never forgotten in history. While it is one of the most tragic days in American history, there is so much more that happen behind the scenes on that fateful day. Families stressing about the return of family members, lives that had to continue even with everything happening. “The Memory of Things” by Gae Polisner is a look at that day from someone not in the heart of it.

Kyle Donohue is running away from the attacks on the World Trade Center when he spots a girl with wings. Not real wings, but giant wings and she is covered in ash. Not wanting to leave her alone he convinces her to follow him home. From there we get a story of fear, friendship, and love of all kinds.

I absolutely loved watching these two characters work out their own inner demons while dealing with more stress that any child, teenager, or adult should deal with. This book touched on so many things. It taught us about growing up, overcoming disabilities, working through tragedy, letting people in, and so much more. How Polisner was able to get so many life lessons into one book is extraordinary. The only part I didn’t like was the way the girls part was written. It was almost poetic, but I am not a huge fan of poetry. I enjoy it enough, but I don’t choose to read it. I’d rather it be read to me. So while that was not a huge deal, it took only a little away from the flow of the story. With that being said, I still truly enjoyed this story and found my emotions mirroring that of the characters and emotionally attached to some, like the uncle. It takes a good author to get the reader wrapped up like that.

Anyone who wants an emotional, yet overwhelmingly good read should pick up “The Memory of Things” by Gae Polisner. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. Four out of five stars.

“The Memory of Things” is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also get it at your local bookstore on release day. Make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you finish. You can also check out more from author Gae Polisner by checking out her website HERE!

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