Every 12 years Canaan is beset by The Forgetting, a day of chaos where everyone loses his or her entire memory. In order to be able to rebuild their society after the Forgetting, citizens of Canaan write daily in their books recording events, feelings, family members, and loves. Without a book, you could become one of the Lost. Nadia is the only person in Canaan who remembers anything from before the Forgetting and she knows just how brutal that time can be when people will do things just because they know no one will remember what has been done. After bringing back an unusual plant from one of her many secret trips over the wall into the outside, Nadia believes she has found something that might help restore the memories of others in Canaan. She decides to test it on Gray, the glassblower's son since she has a specific memory of him from before the Forgetting. Her experiment doesn't work but she does begin to form a relationship with Gray. But if she can't find a way to stop the Forgetting in the little time they have left, he won't remember what they have.
I blazed through this book in about a day and a half because Cameron kept introducing new events that hooked me into the story again. About halfway through I looked at how much I had left and felt a tiny bit of despair that now it would just be more of the same for another 150 pages but then a secret door showed up with all sorts of new wonders and villains. Hooray!! I can say that in general I am so over the romance portion of books because they are laid out in exactly the same way in each book and are often unnecessary. And the teens at my school have said exactly the same thing in case you are a YA author... But Nadia and Gray's relationship felt natural and didn't overpower the story with lots of passages where Nadia knew she ought to be saving the world but instead couldn't stop thinking about Gray's lips but then shook herself back to what was happening, and so on. I liked them as a couple and I liked the obstacles they faced and the revelations along the way. A fresh dystopia which is nearly an oxymoron now.