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Reviewed by Brit Rossie for Readers' Favorite
If I Should Remember by K.D. Van Brunt follows Zoe Laleigh as she tries to navigate a new town, a new high school and new relationships all while struggling with dissociative amnesia. She can’t remember the last year of her life, basically her whole year of being sixteen and suddenly she can hear Rin’s thoughts. Rin just so happens to be her dog and he surprisingly helps her get through a lot of predicaments. Between her odd conversations with her dog and odd dreams, she lives a fairly normal life - that is until others at school start picking on her. And she finds herself the object of affection of the wrong boy. Or he could be the right one. She’s not sure since there is another boy whose eye she has caught, but she has been warned to stay away from him. Suffice it to say, Zoe has a lot to figure out in relationships and it would be really helpful if she could just remember and fill the gap in her memory.
This was a really interesting novel. Thoughtful and insightful about the inner workings of the mind, coping mechanisms, and the depths of teen angst that is often much deeper than we like to initially consider as legitimate. Life is messy, love is disappointing, and relationships are hard. Van Brunt paints a beautiful portrait of those things as well as how some people cope better with it than others, but the author also paints a portrait of hope. I found Zoe to be a beautiful and complex character, but she wasn’t the only one. The supporting cast was also beautifully crafted which made for an intriguing psychological mystery that stands out from other YA novels.