Mar 4, 2013

Blog Tour: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

I love that today I get to have Jessica Brody, author of Unremembered (aka the books I've been coveting for months), here on the blog to share the original prologue of Unremembered. Make sure you enter to win the contest below for a finished copy of her book so you can compare the original prologue to the finished product.

Advantage You: A Look at a Deleted Prologue
by Jessica Brody

I’m going to tell you a secret. And it’s a big one. Are you ready? Are you sure? Can you handle it?

The first draft of UNREMEMBERED was...well, it kinda sucked. Actually, come to think of it, most first drafts of books kinda suck. That’s why they’re called first drafts. Or as I like to call them, “exploration” drafts. Where you get to know the characters and the story and you get to write as much crappy dialogue and cliché descriptions as you want and no one cares! (Because no one ever sees it!)

Once you’ve explored the story for a few months, gotten all the clichés and bad dialogue out of your system, only then can you go in, polish it up and make it shine. But until you actually finish a first draft, you have no idea what needs to stay and what needs to go. What’s good and what’s just plain embarrassing.

Okay, now I’m going to tell you another secret. Are you ready? Are you sure? Right, right, we’ve already been through this. Here it goes...

The second draft of UNREMEMBERED was...well, only slightly better.

I’ll be honest, this book was a challenge for me to write. It was my first book outside of the contemporary genre and it required a few more drafts than most of my other books. The plot is also rather complex (and it sets up two more books in the trilogy), so it took a lot of trial and error to make it work the way I wanted it to.

One of the things that was inserted into an earlier draft and then removed from a subsequent draft was a variation on the prologue. When I first came up with the idea for the book, I knew it would start with a girl waking up among the wreckage of a plane crash with no memories. I just loved the imagery of a girl opening her eyes to nothing but open water and debris without a clue as to how she got there. I could see it in my mind so clearly. But as I started to revise the book and get into more of the nitty gritty plotting, I had the idea to put a scene before that. One that was kind of mysterious and vague and gave the reader a glimpse of the girl’s life before the crash. She wouldn’t remember it when she woke up in the ocean, but the reader would. And therefore the reader would be one step ahead of her throughout the book...knowing something she didn’t.

So I wrote the prologue you’ll see printed below.

But that very reason I wrote it was actually the same reason I took it out. I decided I didn’t want the audience to be one step ahead of the character. I wanted them to be in her shoes the whole time. I wanted them to discover her past right along with her. And I almost felt like providing the reader this little glimpse was like cheating my main character. Giving the audience an unfair advantage in solving the mystery.

So I removed it.

Now the unfair advantage is yours. If you’re reading this, it means you will not only be one step ahead of the character when you read the book, but also one step ahead of anyone who wasn’t wise enough to stop by The Irish Banana blog. (Fools!)

So...congratulations! Don’t you feel lucky?

However, two words from this prologue did actually make it into the final book. Since I already gave you the advantage, I’ll let you figure out which ones on your own. :)

And if you do read the book, come back and comment. Let me know if you agree with my choice to remove it.

I must warn you, though, this is an unedited scene. You know when you watch deleted scenes from movies and the footage is all grainy and un-color corrected and has those weird borders around the screen? Well, think of this as the book equivalent.

So without further ado, I give you...the alternate prologue. 
With shaking hands I press the pen to the paper, pushing down so hard, I almost rip clean through. Despite my efforts to steady my fingers, the letters emerge rough and clumsy. Childlike.
Trust him.
I fold up the small page and tuck it into my pocket, shoving it down. Deep down. So that it can’t fall out somewhere along the way.
A knock comes at the door. I open it to find him standing on the front porch. His hair tousled from the wind. His dark eyes shining. He smiles.
That smile.
It gives me strength. Just as it always does.
Good, I think. I need all the strength I can get.
“You pack light,” he teases, glancing at my empty hands.
I reach up to touch the locket dangling from my neck, running my fingertip against the smooth metal clasp. I hold his gaze tightly as I say, “I have everything that I need.”
He grins and pulls me close. Breath-stealing close.  I inhale the scent of him. Trying desperately to commit it to memory. To make it a permanent part of me.
“So do I,” he replies. Then he kisses me. The kind of kiss that’s meant to last five hundred years. But is still never long enough.
I think about the note in my pocket. About what it will mean in only a few hours. I have never lied to him. I have never kept anything from him. Until now. And it kills me.
But I'm doing this for him. For us. Because I love him.
And he will know soon enough.
“Are you ready to go?” he asks, reaching for my hand. I grasp it. Squeeze it. Vowing to never let go.
 “Yes,” I whisper.
For him, I tell myself one last time. Because I’ve always loved him. And because it’s the only way.
the only way.
He will know soon enough. And by then it will all be over.

So?! Pretty awesome, right? Want to win your own copy of this incredible book? Just fill out the rafflecopter!


  1. Quite a lot, actually ;P

  2. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    No, because it all taught me something, even the bad stuff. But I'd like to unremember my clumsy moments. That way when I have more clumsy moments they're not added to the previous embarrassing stuff:)) would be awesome if others could also unremember!!

    Thank you:)

  3. My car accident. Enough said. :)

  4. Ooooo that was so much fun to read now that I've read the book! I do like that she took it out though, it was really interesting to be even with Sera the whole time and never one step ahead. It made me feel closer to her than I might have otherwise. Can't wait for book 2!

  5. I can honestly say that there isn't any moments in my life that I would want to unremember. Each experience has made me who I am today. Thank you for the giveaway!!

  6. Most of my junior high school years.

    Stephanie (Go Flash Go) @ Read, Rinse, Repeat

  7. No, anything that has happened to me has built my character and made me who I am.

  8. i would like to unremember the bad and embarassing times in middle school

  9. OMG! I am SO glad that prologue was removed! It would have killed me! Thank you, thank you, for removing it, Jessica (and I'm actually *really* glad I've already read the book -- before reading it)!

  10. Oh, the things I would unremember if I could... But then I think about things in that Butterfly Effect/timey wimey sort of way and think how one awkward teenage moment affects another and BAM! I would probably not want to unremember it!

  11. Every embarrassing moment in my entire life!

  12. Woah okay I appreciate Unremembered so much more now. I loved learning about Sera's path right alongside her and can't imagine the book being written in any other way. And the alternate prologue...woah! I still love it but it gives SO much away. I can definitely appreciate it much more after having read the book. :) That Unremembered clue is awesome, BTW. I love Cody so much!!

  13. There are things I'd want to unremember, but I wouldn't want to forget something that other people knew about. I'd rather they not have the advantage over me!

  14. Of course there's things I'd like to unremember, but that doesn't mean I should. It's all a learning experience :)

  15. There are a lot of embarrassing moments in my life I wouldn't mind unremebering.

  16. Very engaging sci-fi novel, full of twists but also spiced with romance. I loved the mystery caused by Sera’s complete loss of memory and her not being on the passenger manifest and her DNA being absent from every DNA database in the world, really managed to draw me in. The teenage girl, renamed Violet, finds herself in a foster family that includes her foster brother Cody, one of the most likeable and exciting characters of the novel. Zen, the boy, who claims Sera to have been in love with him, is also a sweet character, protecting Sera from the, to her, unknown world, and helping her to remember him. Sera’s unawareness of the world adds qualities of a newborn exploring the world to her character which I found very enjoyable. The novel’s ending is left open, however overall it ends well and there isn’t much of a cliff-hanger. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a good book with a great plot.

  17. I would def like to unremember the time I fell in the cafeteria in middle school. It was so embarrassing and my closest friends still tease me about it.

  18. There are a lot of embarrassing moments in my life I wouldn't mind unremebering

  19. Thanks. very few moments in my life that I would not remember

  20. I have quite a few moments in middle school I wish I could erase!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  21. I would like to remember a few things and sometimes I would like to forget a few things.

  22. This book sounds both creepy and interesting at the same time! :)

  23. yes, I would like not to remember to buy unhealthy food

  24. There are a few things that I don't want to remember and just to forget it. But then somehow I thought maybe I can learn something from that things.
    The book sounds really interesting. I would love to read it :)

  25. I think I would like to unremember bad and/or sad memories.
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  26. No, I'm a firm believer that everything that's happened to me has shaped the person I am today and I kind of like that person. Change one thing and who knows what the ripple effect could be. :)

  27. Probably the last few years of my boring job.

  28. I would like to unremember my embarrassing moments.

  29. I have to say I would like to unremember some of my high school days.

  30. Without a doubt, yes. There are plenty of things that I would love to unremember. BUT, the big question is, if I did unremember those things would I lose parts of who I am today? Those things are awful. Really awful in some cases, but I have come a long way and I have grown into a woman and I am happier than I have ever been. I wouldn't want to lose that for anything in this world.


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