Friday, April 10, 2015

Author Spotlight: Remember by Eileen Cook

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV.  She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.  Her latest release, REMEMBER came out in February 2015.
You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and one very naughty dog and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Title: Remember
Author: Eileen Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication: February 24th 2015
Cover Rating: 4/5

Remember was such a breathe of fresh air. A lot of people are writing dystopian or post-apocalyptic books and Eileen Cook is over there writing psychological thrillers. Go, Eileen!

The book is about Harper and her fathers brilliant medical breakthrough called Memtex. It is supposed to help dull really tragic memories and make it so you can move on with your life. You will still have the memory but it won't be crippling. I felt like this treatment was so wrong on so many levels. I think it would be GREAT to help people coming home from war who has PTSD and such but the fact that it was being offered to teens was wrong. I feel like if people get this treatment then they are taking the easy way out. Life isn't all rainbows and unicorns and a lot of people need to grow a pair and face life and move on. But if something like this actually did exist I know millions would get it done. Your past and memories are what make you who you are. If I could get back lost memories I would do it in a heartbeat. But I don't think I would even dull them.

I loved Harper! At first she was this really positive, sweet person but once everything starts to go down she becomes this headstrong young woman who wants to right the wrongs her father created. She also stopped living life so cautiously. I felt that she was with Josh only because they had been together for so long. That is definitely not a reason to stay in a relationship. 

I didn't like Josh at all. I got the feeling he was only with Harper to get close to her dad. And towards the end Josh has this little hissy fit where he pretty much proved my feelings about him were very valid. He did help Harper a few times but every time he did help her it seemed to only be for validation and acceptance from her father.

Win was a pretty awesome character. She did have a little bit of an issue with wanting her problems to be more important that others. I know in a friendship you are supposed to be able to share stuff and Harper felt that Win wouldn't understand and she kind of didn't. Win had some issues going on in her life but she wanted HER issues to be put first it felt like.

I had trouble predicting what was going to happen and I loved that. I kept thinking either Harper had accidentally push Robyn or her father had done something terrible. I was pretty surprised to find out it was neither of those things. But what did come to light was pretty shocking. 

The ending got a little scary. Especially when Harper's father did what he did to her. I was yelling at the book and freaking out because Harper needed to keep her memories and her father was trying to hide so much that he would actually risk his daughters life to make sure nothing got out. And then Josh just STOOD there. He did end up helping but he was still on Harper's fathers side until this happened and that proved how desperate he truly was.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.

I would recommend this book for lovers of The Program by Suzanne Young. Also lovers of contemporary romance with a psychological thriller twist. 

1) What is the inspiration behind Remember?

I read an article on how a treatment was being developed to help soldiers with PTSD “soften” traumatic memories. I thought if they did create this treatment there would be all sorts of people who would want to get it- after all how many people wouldn't like to get over something difficult that happened to them? Then I started to think about how messing with your memory can be a dangerous thing. I used to work full time as a counselor so I know how easy it is for people to have false memories. All of those ideas started to float around in my head and then I knew there was a story I wanted to tell. 

2) Would you get the Memtex treatment? 

While I've had some difficult things happen to me in the past, the memory of them makes me who I am now. I don't think I’d want anyone to take those memories, even just a little bit, away from me.  When in doubt I am a huge fan of people leaving my brain alone. It's a weird place inside my head- I don't think anyone should mess with it. 

3) Would you prefer a treatment to dull memories or one to retrieve lost ones?

Ooooh interesting question. I think I would go with retrieving lost memories. I suspect there are a lot of things I've forgotten. I wish I could remember things from when I was really young. Of course if I did I might discover that young me only had thoughts like “I wonder if I can fit this crayon in my nose.” 

4) Do you like horses?

I like horses, but they don't like me. My best friend growing up, Laura, was really into horses. She was always riding and jumping. Every time I would try and go with her they would buck me off. I spent a lot of time falling off horses and or being kicked by them. Laura insists that the only reason horses do this is because they can somehow sense that I’m afraid of them.  Or they hate me. I think it is some kind of global horse conspiracy. I stick to dogs in my own life.  However,  I knew early in planning the book that I wanted Harper to ride.  It gave me an excuse to talk with Laura who gave me all sorts of details about writing and read the sections that involved Harry so that I could get things right. 

5) How would you describe Remember to a potential reader?

What would you do if you couldn't trust your own memory and began to suspect that your entire life was a lie?  REMEMBER is a book about Harper discovering who she is and how far she'll go to know the truth. 

6) Do you think a treatment like Memtex could exist some day?

As I mentioned above it was an article about a similar treatment that inspired REMEMBER- so I believe strongly it will exist. I do think there would be a use for softening truly traumatic events (being in a war, surviving a horrific crime, etc) but I worry that the treatment could be easily over used.  There is a value in failing at something or getting through a difficult situation- understanding that you can survive.  For example, I have met some people who talk about how they would love to be a writer, but they don't know if they could handle the rejection. I think this is such a shame because think of the great stories they could tell!  Don't get me wrong- rejection sucks and isn't remotely fun- but you can survive it and if you keep trying you don't know what might happen. When things go badly is when you can discover just how strong you might be. 

7) Who was your favorite character to write in Remember?

I always fall in love with all the characters when writing, but if I had to pick one it would be Harper's best friend Win. Win is a strong young woman who knows her mind and isn't afraid to speak it. She's the kind of person I'd love to have in my life. 


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