Title: The Sudden Appearance of Hope
Author: Claire North
Pages: 480 pages
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Source: Hardcover from Hachette
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars
My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. We've met before - a thousand times. But I am the girl the world forgets.
It started when I was sixteen years old. A slow declining, an isolation, one piece at a time.
A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher who forgets to chase my missing homework. A friend who looks straight through me and sees a stranger.
No matter what I do, the words I say, the people I hurt, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.
That makes my life tricky. But it also makes me dangerous . . .
Buy it now!
** I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review **
You have to understand that this book is far out of my comfort zone. When I first requested a copy from the publishers I only knew two things - 1) Regan from PeruseProject on Youtube adored this book and 2) the synopsis was too good to pass up. Memory loss is a tricky thing to accomplish in literature, and I was simply blown out of the water with this one.
You know that saying 'out of sight, out of mind'? Hope Arden is the personified form of this saying. You can talk to her, have a real connection with her and even fall in love with her. But once she's out of your sight, you'll forget all about her. And you think you're living a hellish life? Think about how Hope feels. To be forgotten by your own parents, lovers, friends and siblings. What kind of life is that? However, being forgotten is not all bad. It enables Hope to be a jewel thief, and a good one at that.
We are introduced to a global software known as Perfection. It's described as a cellphone app kind of system that gets access to the user's personal contacts, emails, calendars and basically a whole person's life. The idea behind Perfection is to shape and mold a person into the perfect version of themselves, thereby changing their lifestyle, friends, habits and attitude to make a person 'perfect'. Now it gets interesting. Hope Arden resents everything about Perfection and the so-called 106 club, an exclusive group of people who have achieved a high number of points through Perfection. And one of the perks about being forgotten is that you'll seemingly blend in against the rich and snobby elite who are always remembered. Hope is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the system and shut down Perfection, forever. That's exactly what she does.
Sound a little confusing? Just know that the book is way more than what it says on the synopsis. It's more than just a chronicle on Hope's life. It's about a world that has lost its image and a girl who is trying to retrieve it because unlike so many others, she doesn't believe in the world perfect.
I took a chance with this one, and I'm so glad I made that leap from YA. Literary fiction is just one of those things you have to test out for yourself. You know, dip your toes in the water. It's not to say that this book wasn't slow... The first few chapters were not as fast-paced and thrilling as the middle and ending, but I couldn't ignore the fact that we got a lot of background information and history of Hope Arden, who by the way is the single-handedly most interesting protagonist I've ever encountered.
This was such an impactful book that made me realize our point of view on the word perfect is quite linear. We usually associate that word with perfect teeth, a perfect smile, a slim and fit body, and long and gorgeous hair. And for a girl like Hope, who doesn't have to care about being perfect because she's never remembered, to say that she hates Perfection is like a pebble being thrown in the water. It's a game changer. No one may remember the girl who isn't perfect, but they will remember who destroyed Perfection.
Some of my favorite parts of the book had to be the moments when Hope met with the same person many times and each time, they never remembered her. In Hope's desperate struggle to be remembered, she meets someone with the same 'condition'. He, too, is not remembered. I think North took a huge risk in creating this character with a similar condition because, just imagine, two people who aren't remembered?? Then how do they remember that they don't remember each other? I have to say that Claire North handled this concept very well. It was straight-forward and easy enough to understand. I could tell that my brain was working a lot harder to analyze what was going on, and I appreciated the challenge!
One of my main concerns going into this book was that it would be way too confusing for me to understand. As I've tried to read hard-hitting fiction such as Gone Girl, The Girl On the Train and All the Light We Cannot See, I find that I have trouble understanding the storyline and characters as easily as I have with YA. And I think the only thing I can say to that is I just wanted to know what would happen to Hope in the end. It's not like skipping to the end will help because the book flashes back and forth in time, so don't even try to be sneaky (heheh, I caught you!).
Ironically for a book about a girl no one remembers, I sure won't be forgetting the name Hope Arden anytime soon.
|In the book, Hope searches the word 'perfect' on Google. I thought I'd do the same thing|