Today, we’re delighted to be teaming up with Penguin Teen to host a stop on the official blog tour for The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr – about a girl who has no short-term memory – except one: her first kiss, with a boy on a beach. In her desperation, Flora embarks on a journey to Svalbard, Norway to reunite with that boy and find a future for herself.
For today’s tour, I’m taking you on a mini-tour photo of Svalbard … plus, keep reading for more about the book and your chance to win a copy! (PS. This book is IN STORES TODAY!)
But first – let’s visit Svalbard!
I’d thought I’d start with a quick glimpse at WHERE Svalbard is actually located. It’s considered part of Norway, but as you can see – it’s actually a cluster of small islands far north of the country’s mainland in Europe – about halfway between Norway and the North Pole.
It is the world’s northernmost settlement with a permanent civilian population! (Other settlements farther north are populated by ever-changing groups of researchers.)
The economy of Svalbard consists primarily of coal mining and research, as well as some tourism — the latter focusing on Longyearbyen, the largest settlement. (Also, how fun is it to say “Longyearbyen”? Try it. Right??)
What do tourists do when they visit? Most activities include sight-seeing (Svalbard is home to many glaciers and fjords), hiking, kayaking, and snowmobile or dogsled excursions. Longyearbyen also plays host to occasional cruise ships.
It’s also an amazing place to view the Northern Lights.
Svalbard is home to a variety of Arctic wildlife, including polar bears, foxes, reindeer, whales, and seals.
Isn’t it just gorgeous? I want to visit now!
Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. She lives under the careful watch of her parents, in a town she is familiar with, among people who are equally familiar with her story. She has not been able to recall any part of her past since she was ten, when the tumor that was removed from her brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this singular memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake and their shared kiss are responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step in reclaiming her life.
With little more than the tattoo “be brave” inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is, how old, where she lives, and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to the land of the midnight sun–Svalbard, Norway. There she is determined to find Drake, and to explore the romantic possibilities and hopeful future that their reunion promises her. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must “be brave” if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.
Rich with psychological twists, powerful moments of hope, despair, and confusion, and a landscape very much a character unto itself, FLORA BANKS is an emotionally compelling and immersive read that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit, the depths of the human heart, and the power of the human mind.
Emily Barr (www.emilybarr.com) began her career as a journalist at the Guardian before realizing that she was drawn more toward books. After taking a year to go backpacking for a column assignment, she returned home with the idea for her first book, the New York Times bestseller Backpack, and never looked back. She has since written 11 additional books for adults. The One Memory of Flora Banks is her young adult debut. Emily lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children. You can follow her on Twitter @emily_barr.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 22, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about May 24, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
- May 1 – Butter My Books – Guest Post
- May 2 – Novel Novice – Svalbad Travel Guide
- May 3 – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Review
- May 4 – Pink Polka Dot Books – Review + Favorite Quotes
- May 5 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Mood Board
- May 8 – Midsummer Reads – Author Q&A
- May 9 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review
- May 10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Author Q&A
- May 11 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
- May 12 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post
- May 15 – Fiktshun – Guest Post
- May 16 – The Book’s Buzz – Guest Post
- May 17 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Flora Banks Inspired Recipe
- May 18 – Andi’s ABCs – Flora Banks Bookish DIY
- May 19 – In Wonderland – Review