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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
Best Left Forgotten is the second book in The Mentaleeze Chronicles by Gary Smith. While knowledge of book one is not necessary to understand the stand alone plot of book 2, readers will find it enjoyable to make the connections to book one as you meet some familiar characters. In this novel, we learn more about Lauren Gunn, who develops a Mentaleeze condition after her father's death. Mentaleeze was a drug mothers used to take to have a positive impact on the future of their unborn child. Unfortunately, it turned out that the drug had rather undesirable effects - some of them might, at first, look quite positive, but then turn into a nightmare. Others are a nightmare from the start. Lauren thinks she doesn't have it that bad: her ability is that she now has a perfect memory. She hears something once, even if only in passing, and can remember it. She is quite happy with all the vivid memories she has about her father. But some of her school mates think her new skill is anything but fair. Lauren becomes the victim of bullying - and suddenly she also remembers things that change her relationships with the people in her life, especially with one attractive boy. If all this wasn't enough, Lauren eventually learns that remembering everything comes at a high price.
I absolutely loved Best Left Forgotten by Gary Smith. I have also read book 1 about the boy who had the awkward ability that everyone could hear his thoughts (not good if you want to keep secrets or have naughty thoughts about an attractive girl). So there was no question that I would read book 2 as well. After all, the first volume was a really pleasant and entertaining read. The story of Lauren is written in the same engaging style and makes you feel like you are part of her world. I was surprised at how Lauren was challenged in the second half of the book, with the additional problem that turned up about her ability (no spoilers!). I thought the secret bully, the romance problem and the issues with her friends were bad enough. But I definitely enjoyed seeing how the story progressed, and it keeps readers glued to the page. The book ends with a sort of cliffhanger, so I hope it won't take too long until book 3 is available!