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Emily Barr worked as a journalist in London but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. She went travelling for a year, which gave her an idea for a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, an adult thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and she has since written eleven more adult novels published in the UK and around the world.
The One Memory of Flora Banks is her first novel for young adults. She lives in Cornwall with her partner and their children.
January 2018 Book of the Month This twisting tale of shady secrets, a destructive alter ego and a feverishly fast-tracked romance will leave fans of psychological thrillers reeling, as 17 year-old Ella Black is taken on a terrifyingly transformative journey from suburban Kent to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Aspiring artist Ella has long lived with a secret. She’s plagued by violent impulses from an inner demon she’s named Bella, Bad Ella. And then, out-of-the blue, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro, and she suspects that something is seriously wrong. Her worries are somewhat offset when she instantly falls for Christian, a Cuban American vacationing in Rio, but then, as Ella lies to her parents about him, she discovers that her entire life is a lie. Knowing that her parents have deceived her is upsetting enough, but the truth is even more disturbing, and so she flees and finds herself in an inconceivably precarious situation. While the real-world dangers are bad enough, the deepest danger is the monster buried in Ella’s past, a monster that’s just resurfaced. Driven by Ella’s intense, in-your-face first person narrative, this is a rollercoaster ride of a read for those who like their thrillers to have an outlandish edge. ~ Joanne Owen
Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2018 | Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | January 2017 MEGA Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: the unforgettable story of a girl with no memory Can there ever have been a heroine like Flora Banks? She’s 17 when the book opens, but an accident aged 10 has left her with no short term memory. Then a secret kiss on the beach – with her only friend’s boyfriend – lodges in her mind. Inspired, she sets off alone to follow him, a heart-stopping journey that takes her deep into the Arctic landscapes of Norway, scribbled messages she writes to herself on her arms her only reassurance or guide. Flora does find out the truth about the boy and about herself, but she needs all her courage. A unique mix, part coming-of-age, part psychological thriller, with an almost fairy-tale setting, this is a story that readers will want to read more than once, and one they will want to share with friends too. Unforgettable! ~ Andrea Reece Praise from the publishing team : It’s a rare moment when a book comes in that engages our whole team – and with such force. Flora Banks has made us cry and sit up all night, and we are so excited to bring her to readers everywhere around the world. Francesca Dow, Managing Director Emily’s YA debut compels and completely sweeps me up in its atmosphere every time I read it. In addition to clearly being an extremely accomplished and gripping thriller writer, Emily conveys the light and shade of life as a teenager falling in love and coming of age just brilliantly. To pull off a story narrated by a character like Flora is a fantastic achievement. I LOVE THIS BOOK. Ruth Knowles, Publisher My heart was in my throat from the first line of Flora’s prologue – this is psychological suspense at its best. Emily Barr’s writing is eerier than an Arctic squall and more beautiful than a serene tundra. Natasha Collie, Senior Marketing Officer
TFW you wake up and realise you're trending... #GirlOutoftheWoods Arty has always lived in the Clearing, a commune hidden in the forests of south India. But her happy life, separate from the rest of the world, is shattered after a terrible event. For the first time, Arty must leave her home, and head into the intriguing but frightening outside world. On the streets of India, a chance encounter leads to her becoming an unwilling overnight celebrity. As she embarks on her journey, she discovers she is being followed by thousands of strangers, who seem to know her every move... Forced to fight against mysterious hashtags and being constantly photographed, how can she find the help she desperately needs? Everything is changing too fast for this girl who came out of the woods... could she be running into a trap? The new thriller from the acclaimed author of The One Memory of Flora Banks, perfect for fans of Karen McManus, E. Lockhart and Sophie McKenzie. Praise for The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods: 'Compelling and brilliantly written'- Fabulous Magazine 'Barr brilliantly captures Arty's naivety and eager innocence as she's swept up in the globalised world of capitalism and social media'- The Observer 'A pacey, original thriller' - The Guardian 'Arty's fresh insights into the world make for an amusing, poignant story' - The Sun
Ella Black seems to live the life most other seventeen-year-olds would kill for . . . Until one day, telling her nothing, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro. Determined to find out why, Ella takes her chance and searches through their things. And realises her life has been a lie. Her mother and father aren't hers at all. Unable to comprehend the truth, Ella runs away, to the one place they'll never think to look - the favelas. But there she learns a terrible secret - the truth about her real parents and their past. And the truth about a mother, desperate for a daughter taken from her seventeen years ago . . .
Shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2018 HOW DO YOU KNOW WHO TO TRUST WHEN YOU CAN'T EVEN TRUST YOURSELF? I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA BE BRAVE. Flora has anterograde amnesia. She can't remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is. Then she kisses someone she shouldn't, and the next day she remembers it. It's the first time she's remembered anything since she was ten. But the boy is gone. She thinks he's moved to the Arctic. Will following him be the key to unlocking her memory? Who can she trust? THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS is the unforgettable YA novel to take home this summer. Barr's YA debut is a riveting page-turner that will keep you hooked till the end. - Entertainment Weekly An icily atmospheric story with a captivating hook...A pacy page-turner that packs a significant emotional punch - Guardian Gripping. . . We promise you won't see the end coming. - HelloGiggles a winning mix of a John Green/ Rainbow Rowell-style sharpness and sensitivity but underlined with a darker edge - View Magazine Do yourself a huge favor and grab this atmospheric, unique mystery for your Memorial Day weekend getaway. - Bustle.com An absorbing, original and definitely memorable book. - S Magazine An extraordinarily moving and original novel, a story of secrecy and lie, love and loss that manages to be both heart-breaking and life-affirming ...This is Barr's first novel for teenagers and it is as brave as Flora herself . - Daily Mail