Everyone We’ve Been Review: Please Erase the Sound of my Heart Breaking from my Memory

October 26, 2016 by Jenna | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Everyone We’ve Been Review: Please Erase the Sound of my Heart Breaking from my MemoryEveryone We've Been by Sarah Everett
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 4th 2016
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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For fans of Jandy Nelson and Jenny Han comes a new novel that asks, can you possibly know the person you’re becoming if you don’t know the person you’ve been?

Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again?

I was completely unprepared for how much I loved Everyone We’ve Been. It was a preorder that I made months in advance, which meant that I’d forgotten what it was about by the time it got to my doorstep. Upon reading the synopsis, I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it because it sounded quite similar to Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not. But it turned out to be quite different and I really, really enjoyed it.

This book is written from the perspective of Addie and the novel starts with her getting into an accident. Soon after, she starts seeing this mysterious boy around but what’s most troubling is that nobody else can see him. As Addie tries to figure out who and what he is, she discovers that she’s had someone important erased from her memory at the Overton Institute, which specialises in memory erasure. Together with Addie, we find out the story of her past and why she had this particular person erased. What I loved most about this book was the dual timelines. This novel is written in mostly alternating chapters of before and after. In the before timeline, which takes place a year before the accident, we follow Addie as she falls in love with Zach, the boy whose family owns the local movie store. We get to see them fall in love and I thought it was an extremely sweet story about first love (at least for Addie). In the after timeline, we follow Addie as she tries to figure out what happened to her and as she comes to terms with the fact that there are significant events in her life and significant parts of her identity that are missing from her memory. I really enjoyed that the novel explored identity this way and the question of whether past events (remembered or forgotten) have an effect on who we are and who we will become. I thought these dual timelines worked very well together and led to a very nice reveal at the end of the novel about what really happened to lead to Addie choosing to erase certain memories.

What I didn’t enjoy so much about the plot was how similar some of the elements were to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There were a few too many similarities for my liking and at times, it was a little hard to get over them. But I was still able to look past these similarities and enjoy the plot. I highly enjoyed the family elements and the friendship elements in the book. They really stood out to me and made the novel a lot more deep and emotional. The balance between family, friendship and romance was really good and it made the story for me. There were also some plot twists that I did not see coming at all and I thought they were extremely effective at keeping me immersed in the story.

I was a big fan of the romance in this book, which set me up for a lot of heartbreak. I knew from the synopsis that Addie had erased a boy from her memory so I had kind of prepared myself for the worse, but the reveal at the end still tore me up. For those of you who are terrified right now, I should reassure you that the ending/development of their relationship isn’t even that sad… I just connected with the pair of them so much that it hurt me immensely when I found out what had happened. I’m being super vague here but I really don’t want to spoil! The ending of the novel was very realistic and I thought it was a fantastic end to the story because it left me thinking about it for days and days.


Everyone We’ve Been was a great exploration of identity and I loved that it was explored through dual timelines. It had a wonderful love story that my heart connected with and refused to let go of. I highly enjoyed the plot, even though I did find it to be a bit too similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in some places.

Rating: 4 out of 5



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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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23 responses to “Everyone We’ve Been Review: Please Erase the Sound of my Heart Breaking from my Memory

  1. Cameryn

    I just finished this book and omg I LOVED this, I felt as if I were in the story the whole time! The ending made my heart clinched just knowing what Zach did and ughh.. words can not explain how I feel.

    • I had the same feeling! I felt so connected to the story even though I've never been through the same experience. And I definitely felt it in my heart when I found out what happened with Zach!

  2. Isn't this cover just the prettiest?! I love the colours and everything about it. The spine on the naked cover is also really shiny and pretty. I think you'd really be able to appreciate the story if you've never read More Happy Than Not or watched the Eternal Sunshine film. You'll be able to read it with fresh eyes!

    • Yes, my main criticism is that it's a bit too similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. There were a lot of elements that were the same and I kind of wish they had been a bit more original! But I did enjoy the romance and the family aspects of the book.

  3. Topaz

    (I must first say – the cover of this book is just. To die for. I adore the pastels far, far too much.)

    I have not read Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind nor More Happy than Not, but I'm always a huge fan of memory erasure/amnesia novels. There's something so wonderfully intriguing about exploring the ways in which our memories make us who we are, no? I've heard beautiful things about this book & so have already ordered my copy from my local library, and I truly cannot wait to dig in. I'll make sure I have tissues + chocolate with me, as it looks like they will very much be needed 😉 Thank you so much for this lovely review, Jenna! xx

    Topaz (Six Impossible Things)

    • Haha I hope you can get your hands on the library copy soon! The cover is definitely to die for! This book didn't really make me cry but it definitely did make my heart hurt. I just related to Addie's experience of first love a lot and the romance in the book broke my heart. I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think!

  4. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    I'm sooooo curious about this book because Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind s one of my favorite movies! However I think I'll be reading More Happy Than Not first haha. Fabulous review!

  5. Somewhat Reserved

    Since the blurb says it's suitable for fans of Jenny Han, I'm very interested in checking this out!

    • Haha I love the happy fluffy things too! This one is partly happy and fluffy but the romance is a bit heartbreaking… not because there are tragic things that happened but because it was just so damn SAD and I could relate to the feeling!

  6. annajayne99

    This sounds really interesting. I think I am somehow drawn to making characters with lapses in memory. I will definitely be reading this book sometime in the future.
    My recent post Just Write

    • Yeah I seem to really love the amnesia thing too. Though sometimes I get a bit exasperated with the whole unreliable narrator. This one came across a bit differently though so I really liked it.

    • Yeah there are definitely similarities between Everyone We've Been and Eternal Sunshine and More Happy Than Not. I tried to read it as its own book and really enjoyed it that way. I liked the romance in it and how it all played out. I thought it was pretty realistic (besides the whole memory erasure thing of course!)

    • It's really not that similar to More Happy Than Not, besides the whole memory erasure thing. It's more similar to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. You need this book for your instagram though. The naked spine is A+++

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