Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee Blog Tour + Giveaway

The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: November 18th, 2014
Source: FFBC Blog Tour
Date Read: 11/1/14 to 11/1/14
290 Pages

Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.

Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.

The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.

Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her

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Shallee McArthur originally wanted to be a scientist, until she discovered she liked her science best in fictional form. When she’s not writing young adult science fiction and fantasy, she’s attempting to raise her son and daughter as proper geeks. A little part of her heart is devoted to Africa after volunteering twice in Ghana. She has a degree in English from Brigham Young University and lives in Utah with her husband and two children.

She is represented by Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates. Her YA sci fi novel, THE UNHAPPENING OF GENESIS LEE, debuts from Sky Pony Press Nov. 4, 2014.

And because people always ask, her name is pronounced "shuh-LEE." But she answers to anything that sounds remotely close.

Thank you to FFBC for providing me with an ARC for the blog tour!

There's a lot to be said about The Unhappening of Genesis Lee. It's one of those books that sticks with you for awhile simply because our main character has the ability to remember everything with the help of her "links". But then on the other hand, because of that, plus the added romance and huge plot going on for the book, everything seems a bit disorganized and half-developed.

So before everything gets confusing, let me lay out the basics of the setting:

  • The population is divided into two groups, the Mementi (people, like Genesis, that remember everything through their "links" because they're brain damaged), and the Populace, who are normal people that have normal memory.
  • Due to the transfer of bad genes, some people can't hold memories in their head. That's why there are these little stones, called "links", that store the memories for them. This way, when they need to access a memory, they access it through the link itself
  • If someone steals their link, they lose ALL of the memories inside that link. This becomes a huge problem in the book
  • Also, apparently the Mementi can't touch each other because then they'll accidentally share memories with one another.
  • And of course, the Mementi and the Populace hate each other.

So what exactly is The Unhappening of Genesis Lee about you ask? Well it's about science. And deception. And the ethics of research on BRAINS. Definitely up my alley since I'm majoring in the field. Unfortunately, it didn't really meet all my expectations, but I did like the concept of it.

Our main character, Genesis or Gena for short, lives a pretty perfect life with her family, until her friend loses one of her links while they were out clubbing. This means the last two years of her life are gone until she's able to recover her missing link. But this isn't uncommon. Apparently there is a link thief out there, and Genesis makes it her job to find out who stole her best friend's memories. She even goes as far as to team up with a Populace boy. gasp.

As much as I loved Genesis and her beautiful brain of permanent memories, I didn't really connect with her much. Same with the love interest, Kalan. It felt like the romance itself wasn't needed in the plot, but was just put in so that it could fit the mold of a YA. However, putting that aside, the mystery of who was behind the huge "master plan" kept me reading. There weren't any twists, but I couldn't correctly guess who the culprit was until it was finally revealed to me.

Unfortunately, there was a huge problem with The Unhappening of Genesis Lee that really, really bugged me. And this is probably only because I know a lot about brains and neurons. Since the story takes place in our future, I wasn't a fan of how the Mementi came to be (if you read on in the book, you learn that it's (highlight for spoiler) due to scientists from our present time trying to eradicate PTSD, making it so that patients could dim down their traumatizing memories. Unfortunately the gene therapy backfired, and it caused the patients to lose their memories instead, while holding on to the emotional aspects of it). The situation, and the ending itself, felt so unrealistic, because I just don't see how the scientists were able to research the Mementi brain, and come to conclusions so fast. The brain is so interconnected, that to me, it just seems extremely unrealistic. I know this is categorized as science fiction, but with the explanations so incomplete, I was left unsatisfied.


Drugs. Yes. That's it.

So yeah. Overall, I did enjoy The Unhappening of Genesis Lee (such a long title haha), but I wish there was just more to it, but then less at the same time? Does this make sense? I just felt that too much was crammed into this standalone that most of it wasn't developed completely.

Anyways, there is a tour-wide giveaway, that I definitely encourage you to enter! Lots of goodies and prizes to be won :D

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