Forget this ever happened

Cassandra Rose Clarke, 1983-

Book - 2020

"Set in 1993, teenage Claire navigates the eerie town of Indianola, Texas, where a fissure in time and space has made nothing is as it seems"--

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Subjects
Genres
Paranormal fiction
Published
New York : Holiday House [2020]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
329 pages ; 22 cm
Audience
Ages 14 and up.
Grades 7-9.
ISBN
9780823446087
0823446085
Main Author
Cassandra Rose Clarke, 1983- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Clarke's trippy, twisty sf mystery takes place in rural Indianola, TX, in 1993. Claire figures that her summer playing live-in servant for her sick grandmother will be dull, even with a new friend—perky, perfect Audrey, whose relentless friendship is both compelling and stifling. Claire dismisses her off-kilter feelings, sudden headaches, and cloudy memories, until she meets her first monster, a fur-covered reptilian creature on two legs that tries to speak. Her grandmother calls the exterminator as if this were a mere pest, and through Julie, the apprentice who arrives, Claire learns of Indianola's history and the memory-altering power that keeps it secret. Julie reassures Claire that the monsters aren't dangerous, thanks to a 100-year-old treaty, but as summer progresses, the monsters' attentions increase, Audrey manipulates, and reality bends around the three girls. Clarke slowly ratchets up the tension of this fascinating, genre-bending mystery with an almost too-convoluted series of reveals about family legacies, gaps in reality, and the space-time continuum. A sweet romance between Claire and Julie balances the more gonzo elements. Original and compelling. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Small-town politics, weird creatures, and LGBTQ first love elevate this fast-paced piece of speculative horror from nostalgic homage to gleeful update. It's 1993, and 17-year-old Claire Whitmore is stuck in her mother's retrograde hometown of Indianola, Tex., for the summer, caring for her chronically ill grandmother. But when furred lizard-creatures speak to her in the backyard, Claire learns about the town's secret: the monster colony in its old power plant, whose reality-bending powers force anyone leaving Indianola to forget them. But as Polish American Claire and 17-year-old Mexican American monster exterminator Julie Alvarez investigate the monsters' interest in Claire—as well as a cheerful, ominous neighbor—they discover the buried connection between their families, a hidden love affair, and the truth behind Indianola's monsters. Clarke (Star's End) unfolds the town's mystery with a compulsively building menace, while delightfully alien monsters, sweet queer representation, and a riot grrrl soundtrack keep even tense moments fun. Fans of Brenna Yovanoff, Christopher Pike, and Stranger Things will enjoy this light, smart thriller. Ages 14–up. (Oct.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 7 Up—What happens in Indianola, TX, stays in Indianola, TX—by design. For reasons the adults in her life don't seem to want to articulate, Claire has been shipped off to the small town to take care of her ailing (and unpleasant) grandmother for the summer. The surprise of encountering a bizarre monster-like creature in her backyard is surpassed by her surprise at the town's resigned nonchalance about its presence. It turns out Indianola has "had" monsters for years, but once you leave the city limits you forget about them. Breaking the historical boundary agreements about where they are and aren't allowed to be, the monsters seem to be circling in closer to town, or more specifically, closer to Claire. As she gets to know some other local teens—the unsettlingly perfect Audrey, and the cool (and cute) monster exterminator, Julie—Claire's memory and perception becomes increasingly muted and foggy. It's clear there are dark forces at play, and Julie and Claire dig into the town's past to try to find some answers. This quick, fun sci-fi mystery is uncomplicated but intriguing, has a fair amount of buried small-town resentments, and involves a sweet queer romance plotline. The disorientation Claire feels as she makes her way through Indianola is shared by the reader to fun and atmospheric effect, and the depiction of the benign, but deeply out-of-place, monsters is well done. VERDICT A fun, mysterious read for fans of light sci-fi.—Beth McIntyre, formerly at Madison P.L., WI Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Set in 1993, teenage Claire navigates the eerie town of Indianola, Texas, where a fissure in time and space has made nothing is as it seems"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Sometimes there's a town called Indianola.And sometimes there isn't.A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year June, 1993. Claire has been dumped in rural Indianola, Texas, to spend her whole vacation taking care of mean, sickly Grammy. There's nothing too remarkable about Indianola: it's run-down, shabby, and sweltering, a pin-dot on the Gulf Coast. Except there is something remarkable. Memories shimmer and change. Lizards whisper riddles under the pecan trees. People disappear as if they never existed. Yesterday keeps coming unspooled, like a video tape. And worst of all, a red-lightning storm from beyond our world may just wipe the whole town off the map, if Claire and her maybe-girlfriend Julie can't stop it. Because reality doesn't apply in Indianola. Indianola is not supposed to exist. Surprising, brilliant, and, like, totally tight, Forget This Ever Happened is speculative horror at its finest, featuring a queer romance from a Pushcart Prize-nominated queer author and dark, dazzling world-building.