Genre: New Adult Romance
One special summer.
The one thing Bliss had lost herself in when the fear and sickness were too much, moments never to be damaged by the harsh reality that followed… until now.
Bliss York didn’t live a normal teenage life. She didn’t go to Friday night football games, walk the halls with her friends every day, go to her prom or even walk to receive her diploma. It had all been taken from her the fall that she was fifteen years old and she was given the diagnosis no one ever wants to hear.
She had leukemia.
Seven years after spending a summer with a girl who he knew would always be his first love and the one who got away, Nate Finlay returns to Sea Breeze to help his fiancé open her new boutique clothing store. When the new employee walks in Nate is taken back seven years to the girl he thought he’d love forever. The one who never answered his calls or returned his text. The one who shut him out completely with not even a goodbye and broke his heart.
They’ve each become someone different. No longer the young teens with stars in their eyes. But does that matter when your heart still says that’s the one.
Like a Memory is a stereotypical New Adult Romance that uses illness and mental health as plot devices. It’s annoying, disrespectful, and cringe worthy. It doesn’t bring any new ideas or content to the table for this genre and is, unfortunately, sullying its reputation.
Like a Memory features Bliss, a young woman who survived through leukemia in her teenage years making her innocent and virginal, and Nate, a cynical man whore. Bliss and Nate shared a romance filled summer together when they were younger, but once Bliss fell ill she severed all communication. Nate no longer believes in love filled relationships, so he settled for one of convenience. The story then follows the same pattern as all New Adult Romances.
This novel can be read as a standalone romance apart from both the Sea Breeze and Rosemary Beach series, however having read both I felt thoroughly confused a lot of the time because of the amount of secondary and tertiary characters that are given page time. Glines tried to tell a romance equivalent to that of Blaire and Rush from the Rosemary Beach series, but failed in using the tropes of the New Adult genre and getting lost in the secondary and tertiary characters she was trying to set up for future novels.
The New Adult genre is now tried and true. The novels that first heralded this genre are considered great and their ratings on Goodreads reflect this thought. However as the genre grew in popularity, so did the tropes associated with it. So now, when I read New Adult Romances that feature these tropes I can’t help but roll my eyes and desperately wish for an author to include something different to change the New Adult game. Unfortunately, Abbi Glines failed in that regard.
What made me ultimately dislike Like a Memory, without going into spoilers, is its use of mental illness as a plot device. Mental illness does not exist solely for authors to use to motivate their characters or to justify their characters’ actions. It’s disgusting and Abbi Glines should be ashamed. It pains me to write that because I’m a huge Abbi Glines fan. I’ve read almost everything she’s written, but I’ve matured and learned too much to ignore these glaring mistakes.
Overall, Like a Memory is a typical New Adult Romance. It features an innocent young woman and an experienced young man who refuses to settle down until he meets the main character. If you enjoy that story and are able to overlook mental illness being used as a plot device, then you will definitely enjoy Like a Memory.