Black and white image of a girl with dark hair facing sideways, with only her arms, head, and neck visible, against a pale green tinted background of a cemetery with trees without leaves

About the Book

Title: The Forgotten Memories of Vera Glass
Published: 2021
Swoonworthy Scale: 1

Cover Story: Lost in the Woods
BFF Charm: Yay
Talky Talk: Unsettling
Bonus Factors: Aptitudes, Knights and Knaves, Faith
Relationship Status: I Will Remember You

Cover Story: Lost in the Woods

I get what this is going for — like there are bits of Vera that are missing — but it honestly looks more like she’s exposing her neck to vampires. The nondescript background could be an actual picture taken in Edmonton, but there’s no specificity and the cemetery’s only a minor setting. However, I do think this general idea could work, although I’d have Vera shown like she’s fading away from Thanos’ snap to more obviously represent the forgotten memories.

The Deal:

Something is very wrong, and Vera Glass doesn’t know why. But she feels it, though — like something is missing. Or maybe even someone. When she discovers that she’s not the only one who’s experiencing this phenomenon, Vera’s determined to figure out what’s happening. But how is she supposed to do that when she can’t even remember what she’s looking for?

BFF Charm: Yay

Yay BFF Charm

There’s a lot to love about Vera: she’s caring, kind, and super environmentally conscious. (Plus, she’s a Doctor Who nerd, which might be a bonus if that’s your fandom.) But she’s also not a flashy protagonist. For a girl who exists in a slightly magical world, she’s actually very grounded. Vera isn’t a Katniss; she’s the girl who reads about Katnisses, which means she’s probably more like the typical reader than any fantastical heroine. Still, Vera’s extraordinary in her own right, for her unwavering dedication to the people she loves, as well as her determination to solve a seemingly impossible problem. (It’d also be super convenient for us to hang out since we live in the same city!)

Swoonworthy Scale: 1

There’s only a tiny sliver of romance, which comes about in an unexpected way. But this is very much not a kissing book.

Talky Talk: Unsettling

This book quickly establishes the central problem and teaches its reader to pay attention to anything that might be amiss. There was even a moment that caught me off-guard and made me audibly gasp like a scandalized Victorian lady. (STAKES, there are plenty!) It’s the kind of book you’ll want to reread to catch all the details you missed or didn’t even realize were clues, which is also why I’m trying to reveal as little as possible so you can experience it yourself.

Bonus Factor: Aptitudes

Open book with moving pages in front of a glowing blue sphere and twinkle lights

Everyone in Vera’s world has a special ability known as an aptitude. It’s colloquially regarded as magic, even though it can be explained by science. Aptitudes can manifest as early as infancy, but there are only 72 different ones and they can vary widely, from perfect memory recall to sweetening magic. (It’s possible to get a dud, is what I’m saying.)

Bonus Factor: Knights and Knaves

Two knights in full armor spar with swords

Vera loves logic puzzles, as do I — in theory. In reality, they just tend to make my brain hurt.

Bonus Factor: Faith

Hands pressed together in prayer

Contrary to obnoxious and attention-seeking examples, it’s completely possible for science and faith to co-exist. The Glass family are Christians, with both parents working at the Aptitude Research Institute and the kids all named after notable scientists. Christianity isn’t synonymous with being close-minded, and Vera’s also well aware of the hypocrisy that exists when people aren’t exactly practicing what they preach.

Relationship Status: I Will Remember You

I went into this book with high hopes, and thankfully it delivered. It was riveting, exhilarating, and even a little heartbreaking. Safe to say, I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon.

Literary Matchmaking

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Of course I need to recommend the queen of trippy books, A.S. King. I honestly could have picked any of her novels, but I went for maximum Vera-ness with Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

It All Comes Back to You

Farah Naz Rishi’s latest book It All Comes Back to You also features faith and religion playing an important role in the protagionists’ lives, as well as the reader knowing more than the characters.

We Were Liars

For another novel that’ll make you want to reread it the second that you’re done, try E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Amulet Books. I received neither money nor gelato for writing this review (dammit!). The Forgotten Memories of Vera Glass is available now.

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.