Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Lois Metzger
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers
Rose has no friends, is unhappy, and feels nothing—until that morning. When she wakes up, suddenly she wants a new hairstyle, clothes, and friends. When Rose goes to school, she makes new friends and actually responds to people when they talk to her. But in the middle of her transformation, odd memories start to throw her off. She was afraid of dogs last week, but now she works at a vet's office. She would never talk about her dad, but now she talks about him and quotes him all the time. As she's walking home, Rose passes a sign that says “Forget-Me-Not.” Once inside, she remembers her life before as Clara, not Rose. When she meets the doctor of “Forget-Me-Not” she learns that her emotions were replaced. For example, she no longer feels sad about her dad dying and being left with her step-mom. Upset at all she’s missed out on because of the surgery, she demands to have the procedure done again to fix her emotions. However, she ultimately decides to be both sad Clara and happy Rose, and changes her name to Cora. As Cora comes to accept herself, she finds peace and happiness.
Metzger takes you into a world that shows how change can be both good and bad. Rose goes on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, while coming to terms with the consequences of her decisions. Rose/Clara’s decision to become Cora is a symbol of her accepting her many emotions. Readers who face a similar emotional struggle can identify with the main character’s choice. Although it would have been easier for Rose to have the procedure again and only be happy, she would have been losing an essential part of herself. Meztger helps readers to discover that they have both good and bad within them and simply need to find the proper balance. Even though the loose ends are tied up at the end, the book feels choppy and not well put together. The beginning of the book starts in the middle of the story, easily confusing the reader about who is who and what is going on exactly. The prose feels like half-formed ideas and incomplete sentences. The audience can potentially get lost about who is saying what and who is feeling what. The format seems to bounce all over the place, almost like every chapter starts in the middle of a story without giving the reader context to how the present situation relates to the overall story. Although Metzger shares a great story about self-discovery and accepting yourself for who you are, you can get a little lost in the overall narration and format.
*Contains mild language and mild sexual innuendo.