Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

forget tomorrow

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes the hellish prison.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review is based on an uncorrected Netgalley proof. 

With its engaging premise, Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn immediately drew my interest. Though I am not as fluent in the free will versus determinism debate as I would like, the contents of the dialectic fascinate me more than the truth itself. If you share my perspective, then perhaps you will enjoy Forget Tomorrow, which offers some surprising insight into the question as well as a subtle discourse on social constructionism.

Forget Tomorrow is set in a future where ‘future memories’ – a memory sent from the future and received by the individual on their seventeenth birthday – is integral to the most significant rite of passage in one’s life. With this memory, seventeen year old’s are given a glimpse into the future that will dictate their life and their aspirations. As the protagonist describes, future memory isn’t just a predictor – it is a guarantee.

With something so integral and pivotal to an individual’s life and, in extension, society’s future, the functionality of society is widely centred on the existence of future memory. Even normality is redefined, and Dunn raises some valid points about the social constructions that we take for granted. All school children are given another name: their birthday or ‘the time remaining until their future memory is received’, and powerful institutions such as The Future Memory Agency (FuMA), arbiters of future memory, have palpably strong political and economic influence.

For a YA novel, Forget Tomorrow presents compelling insights to how something such as ‘future memory’ can have such widespread influences to how we construct, understand, and give meaning to the world around us. When the protagonist, Callie, receives her future memory and discovers that she commits a horrifying crime, her life is thrown into chaos, denial, and fear as she is caught in between trying to escape her future, imprisonment, and the discovery of the terrible extent FuMA will go to uphold the infallibility of future memory. There is a brief but interesting subtle narrative on criminality; that criminals may be people who do bad things, but that crime and the law are social constructs also. The revelations about crime and its function in society are surprisingly profound and thought-provoking. If there is something I appreciate about Dunn’s writing, it is that she respects the intelligence of her audience.

Forget Tomorrow partly contributes to the free will versus determinism debate – with the future set before her, is Callie able to escape the pull of Fate? Is there such a thing as free will? Is it possible to escape her future altogether? And if we can, will Fate cheat us into crossing paths with her? Though some of these questions are not entirely answered and the ending raises more questions than answers, Callie’s conflict and inner struggle are thoroughly explored and thus enjoyable to read.

Aside from Callie, a protagonist I liked, the other characters are somewhat neglected development-wise. The saving grace of this novel is that supporting characters are generally likable, and I expect we will learn more about them in the later books. The romance in the novel was sweet – perhaps not an ideal element for a book of this genre, but I expect the romantic interest will endure some hardships and misgivings especially since his future memory promises wonderful things. (If free-will is further explored in the Forget Tomorrow series, I would be very much inclined to read it.) After all, it seems that Forget Tomorrow hinges its character development on their actions or lack of, especially pertaining to future memories. Many characters with interesting and twisted future memories were introduced, and I expect these characters and their destinies will be revealed in due time.

I have left my discussion about future memory and the developments that entail for last, because there was one detriment to my enjoyment of the book: Forget Tomorrow is a YA version of Minority Report. The similarities the two share are glaringly obvious and inescapable. What Forget Tomorrow explores, Minority Report has explored already, especially the incorporation of precognition and its significance in the plot. Perhaps if themes or ideas were explored differently, even with Minority Report‘s influence, this book could have been better, more enjoyable and original. My hope is that the sequels will diverge from Minority Report and find its own identity. 

If you have not read or watched Minority Report, you will find Forget Tomorrow refreshing, enjoyable, and philosophically engaging. Forget Tomorrow presents some fascinating ideas and questions that readers may enjoy asking themselves as an exercise of self-perception or introspection. If you have, like me, then Forget Tomorrow will feel unoriginal and repetitive. Regardless, Forget Tomorrow has its merits, and is a decent start to – what I expect will be – a fun series that will get progressively darker and grittier with each installment. And I look forward to it.

Rating: 3/5

Book Information
Book Name: Forget Tomorrow
Book Series: Forget Tomorrow #1
Author: Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Forget Tomorrow in:
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon

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19 thoughts on “Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn

  1. I haven’t seen Minority Report, so I suppose I might enjoy this one :). Glad it’s more meaty than your average dystopian (so many of them around these days!). Yes…I think I’ll read it. Very thorough review!

    • Hi Roberta!
      If you haven’t, you definitely will! :) I’d read this book and then watch Minority Report (which is an awesome movie by the way! There are some icky parts in it though that make me squirm inside when I think about it).
      Thank you very much, and I hope you enjoy Forget Tomorrow! :D

  2. Your graphics are so cute! I love it. :)

    This book sounds really interesting—I’ve had numerous (NUMEROUS) discussions with people about whether or not we actually have free will, and it seems like from your review that it sheds some light on the whole debate. I haven’t read Minority Report, either. Would you recommend that one more?

    • Hey Reg! c:
      Haha I have too! ^_^ I think you will enjoy it if you think exploring that question interests you. Minority Report is a book, but I am referring (in the review) to the movie adaptation! The movie is really good (has some icky scenes though, so be warned) and it stars Tom Cruise. I would read this book first and then watch the movie – for reasons you’ll understand when you do both! <3

        • Hmmm, without context (to avoid spoilers!), if I remember correctly, there is a part where the protagonist drinks rotten milk and eats a rotten sandwich. I guess it’s not terribly icky, but it just made me cringe!

          I know that seems strange, but it is relevant in the context of the movie! XD

  3. Wow this sounds like a really fascinating book. I’m not usually a fan of dystopian-type books but the premise of this is super interesting and thought-provoking. It’s a bummer about the characters because I have a feeling that might’ve enhanced the book even more, but it sounds like a series that’s worth pursuing :)

  4. I really love how you always develop your book reviews, they’re fascinating to read, really. I’m really curious about this book, I’ve never heard about it before. I didn’t read Minority Report, so I wouldn’t be able to compare those two…I’ll add this one to my TBR right away! :) Thank you!!

    • Thank you Marie! To be honest I write word vomit and then find ways to make the word vomit sound nicer, haha!
      Minority Report is both a book and a movie! The movie is really good. It has Tom Cruise too! (Not that I like him very much but he’s pretty, ermmm, well-known, I suppose!)

      Hooray! You’re welcome and thank you too! <3

  5. I’ve never heard of Minority Report, so this seems like something I’d enjoy! I love it when authors incorporate philosophical thoughts and concepts to their book; it really brings out a bit of flair that just adds a level of depth. This seems like a series though, so I think I might wait a bit to see how many books there are before actually starting haha.

    • Minority Report is good! It is both a book and a movie, but I really liked the movie. It has Tom Cruise! (Not that I like him much but still, haha.)

      I believe it’s a trilogy – the second book is already named. I’m already very interested in what the second book will be like because the ending is SUPER open. But fair enough – I’ll probably wait for the third to release first, just in case the second book’s ending is killer!

  6. Having not have watched Minority Report, I found this to be a pretty interesting and refreshing concept! Sorry to hear that’s not exactly the case since you watched MR. I think one of the biggest things I loved about this book was the familial and sibling bonds! Am I the only one who noticed that? Callie’s strength and love for Jessa was great. :)
    Amazing review, CW! I’m planning on posting mine soon, and it’s nowhere near as collected and well-written as yours, LOL. <3

    • Hey Analee! I’m glad you liked it! I wish I hadn’t watched MR – I would’ve LOVED this, easily.

      I definitely loved that too! (On second thought, now I’m not so sure why I didn’t mention it…) But I absolutely agree – Callie’s love for her sister was really beautiful.

      I CAN’T WAIT TO READ YOURS! I’ve always loved reading your reviews. ^_^

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