The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner


Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Page count: 288 pages (US hardcover edition)

Source: Purchased by me

Format: Print


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. (Summary provided by


Note: This is the book of the month for Contemporary Corner, if you would like to learn more about the club click here.

Warning: This review will probably be a jumbled mess because I’m kind of confused on how I feel about this book

Going into this book I had SUCH high expectations, this type of story sounds perfect for me right? Welllllll, I wouldn’t call it perfect exactly. Let me explain;

What I liked:

What it was trying to accomplish:

9/11 is one of the most important events in history so I will always applaud anyone trying to educate others on the subject.

The writing:

Gae Polisner is truly a talented writer. she made me really care about most of the characters and her writing really flowed well.

(Most) of the characters: These characters were very fleshed out and three-dimensional, I think that they were very great characters in general, except one of them in  particular.

What I didn’t like as much:

“The girl”:

I just never really cared about her honestly, I would always find myself more excited to read Kyle’s parts rather than hers.

I really didn’t connect with the story:

When I first started reading this, I was SOBBING my eyes out, I could just really feel the emotion that the book was trying to convey, but towards the end of the book, I found myself just not caring.

The romance: The romance factor of this book just felt out of place to me, every time it was brought up, I found myself taken out of the story. The unrealisticness of this romance really brought my love for the book down.

Don’t get me wrong, I do recommend this book, I’m just such a huge fan of contemporary novels (it’s pretty much the only genre that I read) that I’m very picky about what I like and what I don’t, but overall The Memory of Things is a very powerful and important story that readers of all different kinds of backgrounds will enjoy.

Starred rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Get it here:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s