My name is Hope Arden, and you won't know who I am. We've met before - a thousand times. But I am the girl the world forgets.
It started when I was sixteen years old. A slow declining, an isolation, one piece at a time.
A father forgetting to drive me to school. A mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher who forgets to chase my missing homework. A friend who looks straight through me and sees a stranger.
No matter what I do, the words I say, the people I hurt, the crimes I commit - you will never remember who I am.
That makes my life tricky. But it also makes me dangerous . . .
Review: After reading the blurb for Claire North's The Sudden Appearance of Hope, I was really hoping for a modern take on H.G. Well's classic Invisible Man. I really enjoyed the first half of the book where we meet sixteen-year-old Hope Arden who began to notice that people were forgetting her after looking away and returning their attention on her; her friends suddenly behaved as though they didn't know who she was, and her parents seemed surprised when she came home, as though they weren't aware they had a daughter. Hope is torn between indulging her "ability" to disappear in which she could literally be anyone and do anything without being caught and finding a solution to make her "permanent". Hope turns to a life of crime thievery, a natural career that gives her adrenaline rush with a dose of wickedness. After stealing from a dead woman and learning about an app called Perfection which allows people to achieve their perfect selves, Hope's voice is appealing and shows us a teen who yearns to create her own identity while also indulging in her uniqueness. North does a job in demonstrating her inner struggle. Like Hope, I also wanted to know how she is able to disappear and whether or not she can find her cure.
The second half of the book is much slower and takes a turn away from Hope as she digs deeper into the creation of Perfection and eventually, how she wants to take down the application. Though I thought the concept of Perfection to be relevant in our current, technology obsessed world, it took the spotlight away from Hope and made the story a much slower read. I lost interest quickly and mainly skimmed the last half of the book. I was disappointed that Hope's condition isn't addressed nor are we given answers as to why her younger sister is the only one who remembers her. Overall The Sudden Appearance of Hope is a genre-blending novel that will interest readers who enjoy psychological thrillers or cerebral science fiction readers. If those genres appeal to you, then I would suggest checking it out. Otherwise, I would skip it.
Rating: 3 stars
Words of Caution: There is very strong language throughout the book and there are some allusions to sexual situations. Recommended for adults only.
If you like this book try: The Fifteen Lives of Henry August by Claire North or Touch by Claire North