'Forget me Not' is a gripping and gruelling by ultimately hopeful psychological thriller for teenagers.
It's the story of a ten-year-old girl, Erin, who is taken from a Bonfire Night party in a local park and held in captivity for six years. The story is told, in alternating chapters, by Erin, her kidnapper, her twin brother Conor and their best friend Jayden.
Cases like this are thankfully rare, but not unknown, as the recent case of Natascha Kampusch shows. Despite the rarity of this terrible event, the story is completely plausible, and the device of telling the story through the different viewpoints works superbly. There's Erin herself, battling every day for survival, her guilt-ridden brother, their more hot-headed friend who never gives up on Erin, and the 'horribly ordinary' kidnapper, Parker. We see the effects of such a tragedy on the whole family, and there's great insight into how you really would feel in this situation:
'While Erin was dead, I imagined one moment of horror. Suddenly, six years of nightmare flutter through my imagination.'
The themes in this tough and tender novel include survival, guilt, love, control, and the highs and lows of the human spirit. Although grim at times while describing Erin's captivity, the writing never gets prurient. Plenty is left to the imagination - which is maybe worse! For the age-group (which I would say is 13 or 14+), the glimpse into Parker's twisted mind and 'morals' is sufficient, but as an adult I would have liked (if that's the right word) to know more.
Overall a brave, gripping and unforgettable story. It cracks on at a great pace, while using repetition of the feelings and events of that fateful 5th November to create an almost hypnotic effect. If only, if only.