"Well, I'm sure I don't have any secrets...," I said, trying to sound certain. "Can't we just tell them that?"
Mom's steady gaze was driving me crazy.
"Oh," she said slowly, "but that's where you're wrong. You see, you do have the secrets. You know them."
When Kira agrees to let her friends hypnotize her at a slumber party, she has no idea that she will reveal secrets even she didn't know she had -- memories of fleeing a war-torn country with her mother, understanding a language she can't identify. Then her mother disappears, and a woman calling herself Aunt Memory takes Kira to Crythe, a place that doesn't officially exist, in order to rescue her mother -- or so Kira thinks. She soon learns that there are memories locked in her mind that place her and her mother in grave danger, but those memories are also the only thing that might save them.
In Escape from Memory, award-winning author Margaret Peterson Haddix imagines a culture that values its memories above everything else -- and a teen who has to make the most important decision of her life.
When 15-year-old Kira's friends hypnotize her, she remembers a "Mama" who is not the woman she knows as her mother speaking a language that's not English. Her mother, Sophia, won't answer her questions, and shortly afterward, a stranger calling herself Aunt Memory appears, telling Kira that Sophia has been kidnapped and that Kira must go to Crythe, her true homeland, to save her. This is the promising start to Haddix's (Turnabout) science fiction novel; unfortunately, her premise gets muddled amid confusing details. Once in Crythe, the alleged Aunt Memory tells Kira about native culture and history; after the Chernobyl meltdown, she says, the village was relocated to California (Kira, raised in Ohio, had believed she was born in California). War broke out, and Kira's birth parents were executed. Haddix steadily infuses creative ideas: Crythe is a memory-obsessed culture where children learn from an honorary "Aunt Memory" to record every detail. Kira's birth parents, both geniuses, had built "a system to replicate memory on a computer. But it was human memory they could copy, not digital." Kira, apparently, has her parents' memories embedded within her, and these now put her in danger. Fans of the author's Shadow Children series can count on an abundance of twists and cliffhangers, but ultimately readers may be frustrated by the plot's vagueness, especially around the state of current Crythe. Additionally, the book's villain is too much of a caricature to be truly scary. Ages 12-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
5 stars! This book will keep you up all night at the edge of your seat waiting for more!
The book is great. Its suspenseful..has many twist and turns. All I have to say its a great mystery. You have to read it!!!!
It's pretty good, but...
Escape from Memory is a book about a girl who finds out that she has memories of something she doesn't even know about. Her "Aunt Memory" takes her away to Crythe when her mom disappears. Apparently, Crythe is this medieval city in CALIFORNIA! Kira is told that her mom kidnapped her and now she has to live in Crythe and give a speech. When Kira unpacks her suitcase, she finds out that her best friend is inside :O Kira reads over the speech and decides to say her own thing, so her aunt gets mad at her and send her to the dungeon to have some quality time with her fake mom. Her mom tells her the truth, so then Kira's friend Lynne is dragged in by "Aunt Memory". Aunt memory is actually evil and takes Lynne and Kira to a safe deposit in their hometown that they have tricked aunt memory into believing has some amazing secret. Kira is saved by this person's mom who works there and then Kira and Lynne go to Kira's house to get a computer that has some secrets but then evil aunt memory destroys it and Kira finds out that her mom who she thought wasnt her mom is her aunt in her moms body. Got all of that? Then Kira's mom is in critical condition because of a plane crash and that's how it ends.
Margaret Peterson Haddix is a pretty good author, but all of her books that I've read are outrageous and like a conspiracy theory. They start out normal and then a huge surprise is thrown at you, except I'm not surprised anymore because I've already seen a lot of surprised in her other books. The house on the gulf is like that, but at least it's not really fantasy of scifi.