Review: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

in a sentence: a suspicious fall down the school stairs leaves naomi with amnesia...which doesn't turn out to be SUCH a bad thing (at first).

naomi wakes up on her way to the hospital with the emo-hottie james, only to discover that she remembers nothing of the past 4 years of her life. she doesn't remember that her parents are divorced, she doesn't remember her best friend Will (who is adorably obsessed with making CD mixes), or her boyfriend Ace (hot jock). she struggles with the confusion of having no recollection of her identity while others are trying to be patient with her along the way with nudges of encouragement. turns out, naomi is just fine not remembering who she is...for now.

there is lots of drama to go around, lots of built in mystery (having no memory and all), and great high school social commentary. it feels a little like shes invisible in that naomi has the opportunity to make herself whoever she wants because she has the freedom to let go of everything she can't remember. with this freedom comes the choice to let go of her frustrations, her regrets...but also the ability to play naive even when she's not.

Zevin does a great job of with the catch 22 of freedom and restraint with having no memory. the relationships naomi forms are confusing, yet understandable with her situation. the relationship with james is especially realistic to me - mainly so because of her explanation of his mental illness. even things she likes or doesn't like are up in the air, and naomi's frustration is palpable.

i really like the premise of the book, though it may seem a bit campy at first. Zevin really develops the plot and hooked me in. the family relationships and those with her friends are what really hold the book together, and what bring the novel full circle in the conclusion.

fave quote: "I wondered if the person who really loves you is the person who knows all your stories, the person who wants to know all your stories" (244)

fix er up: i was slightly irritated with the way things were all neatly wrapped up with naomi and her family...but the ambiguity of her relationship with will was enough to leave it feeling more true to the rest of the book.

title: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
author: Gabrielle Zevin
genre: Drama, Problem Novel

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I like your review style, and I share a bibliophile's interest in books. I'm also a Christian, whose gift if I dare call it that is writing fiction. Could I suggest a title to you to try, and see what you think of it? "Outcasts Of Skagaray" is a fantasy adventure, written for the abandoned children of the world. To get a free preview, go to www.threeswans.com.au and read the sample chapters AND other comments there. My blog is http://threeswans.blogspot.com Feel free to read and comment. I would really love to hear what you think of the novel, or hear your comments generally. In any event I greet you as one of my sisters in the Lord. Blessings.

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