Book Club: Forgotten By Cat Patrick

May contain spoilers as usual.

The book cover

Cat Patrick’s debut novel ‘Forgotten’ is the story of a sixteen year old girl ‘London Lane’, who can see the future in shapshots but remembers nothing of her past. With the help of her mother, best friend Jamie, and the notes she writes herself every night she manages well. Untill a series of events take place that make her question who she can really trust.

At the beginning of the book London meets new-boy-at-school Luke, who is strikingly beautiful and seems very keen to get to know her, but London can’t see him in her future and he isn’t in any of her notes, so after their first initial meeting she decides not to remember him as he obviously will hurt her at some point. But Luke is persistent and eventually he and London develop a relationship – which she remembers through the help of her notes.

Though whilst their relationship is blossoming some very important relationships of London’s fall apart. Her best friend Jamie embarks on a romantic affair that London disapproves of, but Jamie has strictly told her not to tell her anything about her own future, even the bad things. So London tries to keep quiet but the two have a heated conversation that ends in them not talking for weeks, but London never stops trying with Jamie, knowing that they’ll make up eventually.

After a slip up on her part, London finds out that Luke actually knows about her condition; they had met before as children and she had confided in him, he was entranced by her even then and so when he saw her at school and she seemed not to remember him, he knew she was telling the truth. London is outraged and takes his information as a betrayal; he’d been lying to her, and she decides to strike him from her memory. That doesn’t last long and even though she tries to stay angry and let him sweat for a bit, one night Luke shows up at her front door and the two share a sweet reunion.

London also has a recurring vision of a funeral each night, in which she see’s people and objects she will identify as she finds them later. As she can only remember forwards she comes to the conclusion that someone close to her will die, and after some of the pieces fall into place, she first assumes it’s her estranged father. Because of this London chooses to keep the vision a secret from the one person she can talk to completely openly about her condition; her mother.

As well as this, London finds out that her mother has been keeping secrets too; she finds an envelope with pictures and birthday cards from her father inside, that her mother has kept hidden and insisted that he never tried to get in touch. When London and her mother finally have a heart-to-heart and open up to one another, London has to come to terms with a devastating truth, the pain of which her mother tried to spare her from all these years which explains the riddles about her father and also about London’s condition and perhaps why she has it.
Weirdly enough the discussion also links to the vision London’s been having and also triggers a memory from the past that could help solve a crime that has been haunting the family for years, even if London didn’t know it, and solve a future crime which London will do anything to stop from happening. London will do almost anything to spare people the hurt that she knows they will come to, and through this discovers that she can do something to change the events she has foreseen. She can change the future, and she does. The book ends with many of the major crises being averted and the promise of moving on positively.

I literally read this book in two sittings. I just didn’t want to put it down. The story does keep you on your toes as you see it from London’s point of view, and obviously she forgets everything everyday and has these glimpses into the future, so it really does keep you guessing as to what will happen next. Though saying that it isn’t confusing and everything gets tied together at the end. Though I read on Cat Patrick’s website that she has no plans for a sequel and my jaw dropped. I was so captivated by the story that the ending did leave me wanting more. I wanted to see everything develop more, though thinking about it the book ends on a future memory so a lot of what happens can be inferred, and you don’t necessarily have to have it spelled out for you in another book – even though any continuation of the story would be great.

I loved all the characters and the way that they all interlink with the story and the things that happen. I particularly loved Luke’s character, (I know that may not come as a surprise but let me tell you why) I really liked how in the beginning he really tried with London and never became weirded out by her or ran away. He stuck by her and, even when she tried to forget about him after their fight, he insisted her loved her and fought for their relationship. He would remind her to write or look at her notes, and was just very sweet, loving, supportive and understanding, and I really liked that.

Bits of the story were also really quite chilling and almost uncomfortable to read, particularly the kidnapping, Jamie’s attempting suicide, and a shooting resulting in death. These things happen in real life and the way they were written was so realistic and clear and detailed as a memory – which is what they are, London’s future memories. To know things that are going to happen to people before they do must be hard to deal with, and the way the memories are described is done so well.

Like I said, I really enjoyed the story and became so captivated by it and I wish there were going to be another one, but the fact that there isn’t is fine as it is a great stand alone story also.

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