Review: The Memory Thief (Thirteen Witches #1)

Title: The Memory Thief (Thirteen Witches #1)
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Aladdin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon, this fantastical and heartfelt first book in a new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson follows a girl who must defeat thirteen evil witches.

Twelve-year-old Rosie Singer’s mom is missing whatever it is that makes mothers love their daughters. All her life, Rosie has known this…and turned to stories for comfort. Then, on the night Rosie decides to throw her stories away forever, an invisible ally helps her discover the Witch Hunter’s Guide to the Universe, a book that claims that all of the evil in the world stems from thirteen witches who are unseen…but also unstoppable. One of these witches—the Memory Thief—holds an insidious power to steal our most precious treasures: our memories. And it is this witch who has cursed Rosie’s mother. 

In her quest to save her mom—and with her wild, loyal friend “Germ” by her side—Rosie will find the layers hidden under the reality she only thought she knew: where ghosts linger as shades of the past, where clouds witness the world, and a ladder dangles from the moon leading to something bigger and more. Here, words are weapons against the darkness, and witch hunters are those brave enough to wield their imaginations in the face of the unthinkable. 

At the core of this stunning novel—the first of the Thirteen Witches trilogy from critically acclaimed author Jodi Lynn Anderson—is a passionate argument that stories have the power to create meaningful change…and a reason to hope even when the world feels crushing.


Twelve-year-old Rosie Oakes has always made up stories to comfort herself. She lives with her mom, but her mom has never been like other moms. She can’t seem to hold on to any of her memories. One night, Rosie wakes up to find ghosts in her house. The ghosts show her a book that holds her mother’s secret history as a witch hunter. The witch called The Memory Thief cursed Rosie’s mother after Rosie was born. Rosie, along with her best friend Germ, have to hunt down the witch to get her mother’s memories back.

This was a fun paranormal story. My favourite books in middle school were about ghosts, so I loved this one. Rosie was a strong character who practically had to raise herself since her mother wasn’t present in her life. She was brave since she insisted in hunting down the witch who had cursed her mother. I love reading about brave, determined young girls like Rosie.

There were some subtle plot lines that were woven throughout the story. The prologue shows the night that Rosie was born, which ended up being important to the end of the story. There were also lots of references and similarities to Harry Potter, which I also love in a book. Despite the problems with the Harry Potter world, I find the references comforting and they connect me to the story.

This was a fun first book in the Thirteen Witches trilogy!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan

The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance

Have you read The Memory Thief? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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