Title: In the Hope of Memories
Author: Olivia Rivers
Rating: 4/5 stars
I received this e-book from Victory Editing via Netgalley.
One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.
Synopsis: Right before dying of a rare heart condition, Hope Jackson sets up a scavenger hunt across New York City using her graffiti art. The directions she leaves her four closest friends are simple: Solve the clues hidden in her art, and they’ll solve the problems haunting their lives.
Together, the four teens take to the streets of New York to complete Hope’s scavenger hunt and fulfill her dying wishes. But in order to unravel the clues hidden in Hope’s graffiti, her friends will have to confront their personal demons head on.
I took a leap out of my comfort reading zone to into this young-adult contemporary – mainly because have you seen that cover? Also, I absolutely love scavenger hunts. Almost as I love quiz nights, but that’s a whole other thing.
I’m going to give you a heads up in case you’re at all like me – I almost gave this book up in the first chapter. Not because it isn’t awesome! I rarely read contemporary and seeing all the dialogue at first almost had me running for the hills. I kept going and I am so glad I did! What I thought was going to be a pretty lighthearted fluffy read was actually anything but (I hear you right now, you think that the ‘dying of a rare heart condition’ should have told me this straight away – my bad).
Each of the four characters involved in Hope’s scavenger hunt are struggling with something; whether they be inner demons, health issues, or both. Olivia Rivers does not shy away from diversity in this book; a black autistic guy with OCD and an inter-sex wheelchair user just two of our main characters. Reading from the point of view of someone on the autism spectrum was incredibly interesting and I could actually relate to some of the OCD elements, especially the counting.
This story is moving, compelling and hilarious all at the same time. Sure, some of the characters are a little selfish but that’s kind of the point of the story. They come together through their love of one person and put their own troubles on hold to fulfill her dying wishes. I won’t lie – there were tears (and as my S.O says, I’m an emotional rock.)
So I can go ahead and add this to my short list of contemporary reads that I really love and I would 100% recommend.