Ever since she turned sixteen, people have been forgetting Hope. First her teachers, then her friends, and finally her parents. She has to survive in a world where people forget her as soon as they turn away, she can only rely on herself. She becomes a thief and when a job leads down a dark path, she becomes hunted as well.
Claire North is an absolute master of magical realism. Her characters are utterly unique and engaging, Hope is no exception. You walk through Hope’s life with her, you know what she does, you want the things she wants, and you root for her. It doesn’t matter that she steals and lies, you want her to succeed. Hope is stunningly written and she develops so naturally throughout the story.
The story itself is brilliant. You are first introduced to Hope very slowly, you learn what it is to be forgettable and flashbacks help you gain a greater understanding of her character. The story is then told in such a way that you never know quite what is going to happen; people you are sure are enemies become friends and vice versa. The plot twists and turns but never strays into the unbelievable. It was a truly exciting read.
After having so much success with the audiobook of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (another novel by Claire North). I decided to use the audiobook format to read this one. It is narrated by Gillian Burke and I think she did a wonderful job. She became Hope for the majority of the book but was just as adept at being all the other characters. Her accents were great and her male characters sounded realistic. Her tone and pace throughout the novel really brought it to life. I have only one complaint, the story quotes the lyrics to the Macarena song and I would have loved to hear Burke sing these parts instead of speaking them. I really cannot recommend the audiobook enough.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel immensely and gave it a 5/5 stars. Claire North is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, I have already started the audiobook of The Gameshouse – a series of three novellas following a high-stakes theme. I intend to listen to it slowly though so that I can savour the brilliance of the stories. Seriously guys, go and treat yourself to one of Claire North’s novels, I am confident that you will enjoy it.