7 Rated Books Book Reviews Giveaways

Book Review & Giveaway: Unforgettable by Loretta Ellsworth


Author: Loretta Ellsworth

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Publisher: Walker Books
Publication Date: September 27th 2011
Paperback: 256 pages

Baxter Green isn’t like everyone else. While most people would forget about the little details of everyday life, Baxter never forgets—not pain, not hurt, not embarrassment. In fact, Baxter never forgets anything—not even a string of account numbers, flashed before his eyes by his mother’s criminal boyfriend, Dink, for use in a credit card scam. Years after his testimony has locked Dink away, Baxter and his mother are in a new town, trying to forget the danger Dink brought into their lives. Baxter wants to hide his unique ability, but it becomes increasingly more difficult when he reconnects with Hallie, a girl from his childhood who has lived on in his memory long after she has forgotten him. Can Baxter win Hallie’s heart? Loretta Ellsworth’s newest novel is one readers will never forget.

How did I get this book: Review copy from BEA

Why did I read this book: I stumbled upon a copy of this book at BEA and when I saw the cover and read the blurb I was intrigued as I love reading books that deal with memory.


I am a bit of a geek when it comes to reading books that have “memory” as a central theme because I find the subject fascinating; I especially like the exploration of how memory relates to emotions and growing up/old. This is why I tend to love unreliable narrators as most of the time, there is something wrong with their memories of the events that are being narrated. This is why I love Peter Pan so much: the way I interpret it, Peter never grows up because his memory of events fade and as such, in his mind, he is always a child.

This is also why, when I came across Unforgettable and read its blurb, I knew I would be reading it. Its main character, Baxter Green had an accident when he was three and ever since then he remembers every single detail of his life. He also has synaesthesia (and the two conditions might be connected) which means that he hears voices as colours, textures or sounds. These combine to make Baxter a singular, somewhat awkward 15 year old. At the opening of this story he and his mother are starting over, on the run and hiding from her ex-boyfriend who tried to exploit Baxter’s ability in a credit card scam and has now been released from jail. This starting over presents Baxter with the opportunity to not only lay low as a regular guy, hiding his excellent memory but to also try to reconnect with his kindergarten crush, Halle, whom he believes is his soul mate.

The story progresses as Baxter and Halle become friends (although SHE doesn’t remember HIM), both get engaged in the environmental issues that surround the town they live in and then Dink comes back to terrorise Baxter again.

There was a minor stumbling block in the beginning as one particular plot point felt really contrived but I was able to look pass this because of the competent writing style and Baxter’s voice. Furthermore, I thought Unforgettable combined really well common facets of Contemporary YA with the uniqueness of Baxter’s condition. The former dealt with coming of age, finding oneself, falling in love but it’s the latter aspects that made the book for me.

Given my penchant for the topic it is not surprising that the most interesting aspect of the story to me was the exploration of memory and how it affects the lives of people. I kept wondering what must it be like to have a perfect memory – how would someone feel if they could remember every single thing that has ever happened to them? If I had a crush on someone when I was 3, would I always love this person simply because I remember the feelings and the person so vividly? How does perfect memory affect how one feels?

In that sense, I was able to relate to and understand Baxter’s frustration with his condition and I felt for him – he not only remembered things but also all the accompanying feelings he had at the time he experienced events. At the same time, I thought extremely compelling the way that the author explored the relationship between memory, emotions and maturity which brought up another aspect: that of the interpretation of those memories. Yes, Baxter had perfect memory but that does not necessarily mean that they were true in their purest form. Because there is always room for interpretation: this is all the more evidenced when it comes to his memories of Halle. He does remember clearly everything that they experienced when they were really, really young. But that very youth colours the manner which he remembers her because he didn’t have the emotional maturity to understand those memories.

There were also truly beautiful moments when his memory proved to nothing but a gift: to his mother for example, when he provided her with a long lost memory of his late father. She, on the other hand, would by return, give him a more mature outlook and interpretation of events, something that he is too young and immature to grasp. Not to mention that throughout the story, there were correlations with The Great Gatsby (which Baxter was reading for school) that made me want to read that book pronto.

Although at times, I did feel that the plot had far too many threads, ultimately Unforgettable proved to be a very good read with fascinating details.

Notable quotes/parts: I thought this was an interesting passage, when Baxter has to tell Halle what he remembers about Gatsby, which is everything of course, and he puts it in perspective.

I stare down at Gatsby and try to pick my words carefully. A library helper walks by with a cart full of books. I read the titles as she passes. Two years from now I’ll still remember them, be able to list them in alphabetical order. If I’d been born three hundred years ago, I could have been hung for witchcraft. If I’d been born eighty years ago, I could have been stuck in an insane asylum. Odd behavior begts off punishment.

Rating: 7 – Very Good

Reading next: Goliath by Scott Westerfeld


We are the first stop in the official Unforgettable Blog Tour and we are giving away a SIGNED copy of the book to one lucky winner. The contest is open to US and CANADA addresses ONLY and will run until Saturday, October 1 at 11:59PM (PST). In order to enter, leave a comment here. Only one entry per person, please! Multiple comments will be automatically disqualified. Good luck!


Buy the Book:

Ebook available for Kindle, Kindle UK, and Nook

You Might Also Like


  • LB
    September 26, 2011 at 5:52 am

    “That’s why darling it’s incredible that someone so unforgettable thinks that I am unforgettable, too.”

  • Brandy Knight
    September 26, 2011 at 6:57 am

    sounds like an interesting book.

    bbrandy2002 at gmail dot com

  • Raina
    September 26, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I’ve had my eye on this book for awhile

  • Hannah Koppers
    September 26, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Please enter me into this giveaway! This book looks like a great read.

  • Su
    September 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

    This sounds pretty interesting. I’m also looking forward to tomorrow’s review. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Regan Smith
    September 26, 2011 at 8:33 am

    I would love a copy of this book for my YA library! Please enter me!

  • thuy
    September 26, 2011 at 9:43 am

    wow this books sounds intriguing. thanks for the review.

  • Franki
    September 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

    This book looks really good. The concept sounds really interesting, especially because it sounds as though the author takes it to an interesting place.

  • Scribe Kira
    September 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    this books sounds interesting!=)

  • Erin
    September 26, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Memory is such a complicated beast — I’d love to read this!

  • Tina
    September 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you for the chance to win! This sounds like an interesting read.

  • jenmitch
    September 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    i love memory as a topic for fiction to explore. ana, have you read the echo maker by richard powers? if you like this theme, you might really like that book.

  • Alex
    September 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I actually took a class last year on how history and memory interact – I wonder how this book fits into what we discussed in class!

  • Breanne M.
    September 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    This sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Lindsay Elizabeth
    September 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    This sounds great! Count me in.

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    September 26, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Please enter me in contest.

  • Jen B.
    September 26, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I recently saw an article on 60 minutes about people with perfect memory. It is such an interesting idea. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Amy C
    September 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    The cover reminds me of the UK versions of Sarah Dessen’s books — although I see that Unforgettable clearly isn’t a lighthearted romance like her books.

  • Courtney
    September 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Sounds like a good book!

  • Becky
    September 26, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Books with memory are fun. I look forward to reading this one too!

  • bigfoot24
    September 26, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    The premise of this book is very interesting! It sounds like a good read!

  • Kirsten
    September 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    The book sounds great and I think my teenage sons would like it too!

  • Audra Holtwick
    September 27, 2011 at 12:39 am

    This sounds like an interesting read-please enter me into the giveaway

  • Maureen
    September 27, 2011 at 9:21 am

    It looks like an interesting book.

  • Margaret S.
    September 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Interesting! Thanks for holding this giveaway!

  • Kaitlin S.
    September 27, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Sounds like an awesome book!

  • Becci
    September 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    This book has been on my TBR shelf for awhile and now I want to read it even more! I just wish school was nonexistent and I could read ALL the time!

  • Pebble
    September 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I love stories involving memories. Would love to win a copy.

  • Justine
    September 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I’ve been craving a good contemporary and this book intrigues me. The cover is certainly eye-catching with its illustrations comprised of words.

  • Jenna
    September 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    This book sounds very interesting.Thanks!

  • Sally
    September 29, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Great cover! Would love to get a copy.

  • nicanicnix
    September 30, 2011 at 8:04 am

    what an interesting story! hope I can get my hands on this one.

  • Lili
    September 30, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    This book sounds intriguing! I would love a copy for my library.

  • Priya
    October 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    this sounds incredible! i would love a copy 🙂

  • Smugglers’ Stash and News | The Book Smugglers
    October 2, 2011 at 1:16 am

    […] FRANKI […]

  • Josephine
    October 2, 2011 at 10:46 am

    I’d love to win a copy!

Leave a Reply