“Unforgettable and impossible to put down—this novel is heart-pounding suspense at its best. A stunning debut.” —Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Beautiful Creatures and author of The Lovely Reckless
The Hidden Memory of Objects is a highly original and beautifully written debut mystery novel with a speculative element, perfect for readers who loved Gayle Forman’s If I Stay.
Megan Brown’s brother, Tyler, is dead, but the cops are killing him all over again. They say he died of a drug overdose, potentially suicide—something Megan cannot accept. Determined to figure out what happened in the months before Tyler’s death, Megan turns to the things he left behind. After all, she understands the stories objects can tell—at fifteen, she is a gifted collage artist with a flair for creating found-object pieces. However, Megan now realizes that her artistic talent has developed into something more: she can see memories attached to some of Tyler’s belongings—and those memories reveal a brother she never knew.
Enlisting the help of an artifact detective who shares her ability and specializes in murderabilia—objects tainted by violence or the deaths of their owners—Megan finds herself drawn into a world of painful personal and national memories. Along with a trusted classmate and her brother's charming friend, she chases down the troubling truth about Tyler across Washington, DC, while reclaiming her own stifled identity with a vengeance.
Debut novelist Amato adeptly mixes the paranormal and historical to build a page-turning mystery. When Megan Brown's 17-year-old brother Tyler (aka Red) dies from what looks like a drug overdose, she can hardly believe it. Red, a popular star athlete, got through life with a winning smile and easy confidence. Megan, nicknamed "Brown" both for her mousy hair and her less-than-sparkling personality, is the polar opposite, finding solace in her found object art collages. When Brown begins to have visions after touching important items that once belonged to her brother, she starts to piece together what happened the night he died. Woven throughout are tidbits about John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln Red was obsessed with Booth, and their mother works at the Ford Theater. Amid startling discoveries and an unexpected romance, Brown emerges a devoted sister who puts herself in jeopardy because she refuses to believe her brother would use drugs. Readers will gladly follow along as she inches closer to uncovering the secrets of the objects her brother held dear. Ages 13 up.