Danielle Mages Amato’s debut novel, The Hidden Memory of Objects, mixes super senses with a thrilling mystery and tragic American history for a story that pops off the pages. It was released on March 21 by Balzer & Bray publishers and I received it in my April Once Upon a YA Book Club shipment.
Megan is a teenager who feels like she’s grown up in the shadow of her brother Tyler. When Tyler is surprisingly found dead of a drug overdose that the police want to label a suicide, she refuses to believe that the family’s golden boy could’ve hidden his addiction that well. Instead, she starts examining the objects he left behind to get to the truth. She finds she has visions when she touches objects related to a painful past and uses that to dig into the mystery with the help of an artifact detective with the same powers, a friend of her brother’s that she’s falling for and an old pal that she’s rekindling a friendship with. Can she trust all of them? Who hurt her brother? Was he really who she thought he was?
This story is unique. Megan has spent her life creating collages out of found objects and it seems like a logical step that she moves on to being able to make out their history through touch. She learns that we don’t always know people as well as we think we do and that people often come into our lives for a reason. It was interesting how the story mixed in facts from President Lincoln’s assassination, digging into the people who surrounded him that night and what became of them.
This was a solid 3.5 star story for me. I enjoyed watching Megan regain a sense of self while solving the mystery of her brother’s death and I recommend it to those who like just a touch of magic in their contemporary novels, like If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
3.5 out of 5 stars